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Andrew Cuomo

It's A Free Country ®

Cuomo's People: In the Governor's Office

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo has named many of the people he is bringing in to run the administration. Here's the official It's A Free Country guide to Cuomo's team (so far). Better bookmark this now — there's no telling who might need a letter someday.

»» Also check out our guide to Cuomo's Agency Heads

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It's A Free Country ®

Cuomo's People: Who Will Head the Major Agencies?

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

WNYC

Governor Andrew Cuomo has named many of the people he is bringing in to run the administration and state agencies. Many departments and agencies are facing potentially deep cuts to the services they provide. Here's the It's A Free Country guide to the people who will be enacting Cuomo's "rightsizing," in order of their agency budget size.

»» Also check out our guide to Cuomo's Team in the Governor's Office

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It's A Free Country ®

First Impressions: Cuomo and the State Senate

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

We’re spending about a billion dollars a week on Medicaid, so when you have a 10 billion dollar deficit, anyone who thinks we’re going to somehow walk away from this problem without touching Medicaid is divorcing themselves from reality.

John J. Flanagan, Republican State Senator from Suffolk County

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The Empire

Pataki: I thought of relocating my business to CT

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Here’s how former Governor George Pataki described the challenges facing Andrew Cuomo in Albany:

“He’s got some budget difficulties, but they’re manageable,” Pataki said on Morning Joe.

When host Joe Scarborough mentioned Cuomo’s plan to freeze salaries for public employees, Pataki said, “It’s not that hard to do.”

Most of Pataki’s appearance on the show was spent defending the elimination of the millionaires tax on New Yorkers. Pataki, who is now in the private sector, admitted that he thought about moving his 11-employee company out of New York when officials here raised taxes on businesses.

“We looked at Connecticut,” the former New York governor said.

Later on, Pataki said raising taxes on the rich – who can easily relocate – ultimately does not bring in money to the state.

“If you tax the so-called super rich, you generate virtually no revenue,” Pataki said.

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It's A Free Country ®

A Tale of Two Governors: How Cuomo and Malloy Will Tackle Their Budget Crises

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

As the new governor of the state of New York, Andrew Cuomo has pledged to freeze the salary increases of state employees, veto any increase in personal or corporate income taxes, and impose a state spending cap.

Dan Malloy, who will be sworn in as the next governor of Connecticut on Wednesday, hasn’t pledged anything of the sort.

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WNYC News

Financial 411: New Year, New Governor

Monday, January 03, 2011

WNYC

Andrew Cuomo is now New York's governor and it will now be up to him to fix the state's growing fiscal crisis.  And it won't be easy. The state faces an estimated $9 billion budget deficit and a divided legislature, and, as Cuomo himself said in his inaugural speech, "The words 'government in Albany' have become a national punch line."

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The Empire

Cuomo's idea of consensus building

Monday, January 03, 2011

  (azi paybarah /wnyc)

Here's a clear shot at Albany's legislative practices, fired by Andrew Cuomo during his inauguration ceremony in the War Room on Saturday.

"We must realize that achieving political consensus in a political conference is different than providing governmental leadership for the people of the state of New York."

Which seems to cut directly against the kind of legislative process we saw withcongestion pricing, which failed in conference committee:

From NYO:

The way the Democratic members see it, opening potentially contested votes up to all the members of the Assembly would be a voluntary abdication of party advantage. The will of the majority of Democrats, they point out, correctly, might not be done.

“If you had 44 Republicans and 32 Democrats, you could theoretically pass a bill that a majority of the Democratic conference opposed,” said Assemblyman Richard Brodsky of Westchester, who emerged as the vocal public leader of the opposition to congestion pricing. “That is not the way we run the system. And frankly, it’s not the way we should run the system.”

Assemblyman Jonathan Bing, a good-government type from the East Side of Manhattan, explained it by saying, “The idea that democracy did not occur here [because] it was not a floor vote really is incorrect. Democracy occurred with every member of the Assembly majority providing the speaker with his or her views, whether it was in conference or when the speaker polled members.”

“The process works in ways in which the committee structure weeds out bad bills and kills them,” Mr. Brodsky explained. “In this case, the issue was so important that the conference substituted for a committee meeting. It was a committee of the whole, as it were.”

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It's A Free Country ®

What's In Store For Governor Cuomo

Monday, January 03, 2011

You're talking about freezing salaries, capping state spending, these changes in worker status. I think Cuomo's saying, we've got to rip this thing up and start over again. A lot of municipalities are going to be looking at this and saying, "What's for me?"...Everybody wants the state to do well, but not at their expense.

Celeste Katz, writer for the Daily Politics blog at the New York Daily News

Comments [23]

WNYC News

Cuomo Emphasizes Transparency and Accountability as He Takes Office

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Suffering from a competency, integrity and trust "deficit," Governor Andrew Cuomo is proposing to use public attention as a "silver bullet" to fix state government.

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WNYC News

Cuomo New York's New Governor

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Andrew Cuomo officially became New York’s new governor at 12:01 a.m. this morning. Cuomo took the oath of office, surrounded by family and friends, just after 10 p.m. New Year’s Eve.

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The Empire

Day 1: Gov Cuomo opens the capitol

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Governor Andrew Cuomo's staff meeting. (http://www.flickr.com/photos/governorandrewmcuomo)

Governor Andrew Cuomo is removing a series of concrete barriers surrounding the state capitol which were erected shortly after the September 11th terrorist attacks. The move by Cuomo comes on his first day as governor, and is seen as a sign of the new governor's push to lure the public's focus back onto the capital, which has been derided for its legislative dysfunction and a series of criminal probes.

Cuomo is breaking with tradition by having a modest swearing-in ceremony today with only staff, family and the media in attendance--and no parties. He is casting a wider net for his first State of the State speech this Wednesday, where the public for the first time will be offered free tickets.

The removal of the barriers will be announced later today, according to a press aide to Governor Cuomo, who briefed reporters after Cuomo held a 35-minute long meeting with senior staff. The meeting was held on the second floor of the capitol.

"The governor spoke about opening up the government back to the people," said communication deputy director Josh Vlasto. "That is what today is all about."

He added, "the governor stressed an absolute commitment to integrity in government and openness."

Cuomo was officially sworn in as the state's 56th governor last night. He'll have a ceremonial swearing in this afternoon.

The barriers were installed by Governor George Pataki, a Republican, after the attacks on New York City and Washington in 2001. Pataki and his successor, Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat who resigned amid a sex scandal in 2008, were not invited to today's swearing-in ceremony. Cuomo's immediate predecessor, Governor David Paterson, is expected to attend today's events.

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WNYC News

New York 2010: The Year In Sound

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WNYC

Before the year 2010 fades out with the melting snow, it's worth taking a few moments to think about the events of the past 12 months. Here in the New York area we've had intense political squabbles, a continued economic downturn, transit hikes, a tornado -- and it all began with a cataclysmic event overseas that affected thousands of New Yorkers. Revisit the full year in sound in the montage here, and be sure to watch the slideshow below to relive some of New York's key political moments of 2010.

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It's A Free Country ®

Cuomo Details Decision to Move State of the State Address, Not Much Else

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo has been mostly silent lately about his plans for New York, but he's got a lot to say about his plan to present them. Today Cuomo announced that the annual State of the State address won't be held in the State Assembly Chamber, as it usually is. Due to exceedingly high demand for tickets, the governor has opted to host this year's event at the Empire State Plaza's Convention Center.

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WNYC News

Cuomo Files Lawsuit Against Ernst & Young

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo has filed a civil lawsuit against the accounting firm Ernst and Young.

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WNYC News

Skelos Poised to Lead NY Senate

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Republicans are poised to take over the State Senate again after a brief two-year hiatus, and GOP leaders are determined to do things differently this time.

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The Empire

Long and short-term impacts of the health legislation on NYS

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The federal health care legislation that President Obama helped steer through Congress is now heading for a long, contentious legal fight. The latest step in that direction was a federal judge ruling part of it unconstitutional.

The legislation is something of a mixed bag for New York State, as governor-elect Andrew Cuomo described in one of the policy books he released during the campaign:

The recently enacted federal health reform legislation may prove helpful to New
York in gaining control over the runaway growth in health insurance costs in the long run, but in the short run, the new law threatens to actually increase the cost of insurance for many businesses—a risk the Cuomo Administration will work to counteract. One direct measure the Cuomo Administration will take to help protect businesses is to ensure that insurance carriers do not raise health insurance premiums beyond a level warranted by the risks they
are insuring. The Cuomo Administration will also rigorously enforce the new State law that gives the State Insurance Department prior approval over health insurance premium increases to ensure that any such increases are warranted. We will also aggressively pursue new federal subsidies that can reduce the cost of health insurance for many small businesses with 25 or fewer employees.

I've reached out to a spokesman for the governor for comment on the court decision, and will update when it's received.

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WNYC News

Fracking Issue To Concern New York's Next Governor

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The term "fracking," short for hydraulic fracturing, has moved from an obscure type of natural gas extraction to an issue debated by environmentalists, government officials and movie stars. And recent action by outgoing New York Governor David Paterson placed the decision of how to regulate the practice in the hands of the next Governor, Andrew Cuomo.

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The Empire

Unpopular Budget Cuts

Monday, December 13, 2010

Siena's poll this morning reminds us why cutting the state budget isn't easy:

“By a better than three-to-one margin, voters say they would vote against cutting education by $1 billion to help close the state’s $9 billion budget deficit.  By a slightly smaller, but still overwhelming margin, they would also vote against cutting Medicaid and health care by $1 billion to help balance the budget.  Voters of every party and region oppose these cuts to help close the budget deficit,” Greenberg said.

Also, 44 percent say if there's one topic they want Cuomo to address in his inaugural speech, it's revitalizing the economy.

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The Empire

Defending Steven Rattner

Friday, December 10, 2010

Ira Stoll says Andrew Cuomo is acting like Eliot Spitzer when it comes to prosecuting Steven Rattner:

However sinister Mr. Cuomo makes this all sound, none of it amounts to Mr. Rattner doing anything wrong. The investment, far from harming the state pension fund, actually performed relatively well. From March 2005 to September 2009, the net internal rate of return for the Rattner-managed fund in which the state invested was +4.6%. That's a period for which the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 8% and the S&P 500 was down 11%. Since then, the Quadrangle fund's returns have grown to about 7%.

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It's the memorandum of law arguing for that ban in which Mr. Cuomo goes most over the top. On not one, not two, not three, but four occasions, Mr. Rattner had answered questions posed by Mr. Cuomo's lawyers. At the fifth meeting, Mr. Rattner exercised his Fifth Amendment right under the Constitution. "He expressly declined to answer based on his exercise of his Fifth Amendment rights," Mr. Cuomo's memo says, "Rattner's refusal to answer sixty-eight material questions in a Martin Act inquiry constitutes prima facie proof that he has been engaged in the fraudulent practices set forth in the complaint." If exercising the Fifth Amendment to avoid a prosecutor's perjury trap is seen as "prima facie proof" of guilt, we may as well repeal the Fifth Amendment, because it's no longer worth the parchment on which it's written.

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The disparate treatment has given rise to quiet speculation that the attorney general is mad at Mr. Rattner and Mr. Rattner's wife for siding with Kerry Kennedy in the Kennedy-Cuomo divorce or that Mr. Cuomo is peeved that Mr. Rattner rebuffed all of Mr. Cuomo's efforts to solicit him and never gave a penny to his campaign, putting Mr. Cuomo in the rare position of being a high ranking Democrat in New York to whom Mr. Rattner had never contributed. Spokesmen for Mr. Cuomo did not respond to my questions about that, though Mr. Cuomo himself has dismissed as "laughable" the idea that his treatment of Mr. Rattner is politically motivated.

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WNYC News

Ravitch Offers Blunt Assessment of His Time as Lieutenant Governor

Thursday, December 09, 2010

New York’s departing Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch gave a blunt assessment of his term in office Thursday. Speaking at a Rockefeller Institute forum, Ravitch said he didn’t feel like he accomplished very much during his time serving under Governor David Paterson.

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