Gov. Andrew Cuomo today drew an interesting comparison between his opposition to the millionaires tax and his father’s anti-death penalty stance.

At a Red Room news conference, Cuomo said he wouldn’t be swayed by voter surveys showing support for the tax on the state’s wealthy, noting he supported the tax on the federal level (in a bit of Cuomoian logic, the governor said he, in fact, supported a millionaires tax on New Yorkers, just a federal surcharge being pushed by President Obama).

Impishness aside, Cuomo said his opposition was a principled one, similar to his father Mario’s unwillingness to go along with the death penalty, a policy deeply rooted in the elder Cuomo’s Catholic faith.

“My father was governor of this state. He was against the death penalty. Everyone in the state wanted the death penalty — everyone. It was near 80 percent. And he was the governor of the state and he said he wasn’t going to sign it. Every year — go back and talk to some of the people who know the history — every year we had to scramble and make sure there wasn’t an override of the veto.
(snip)

“The point is, we don’t elect — the governor isn’t a big poll taking machine. And that’s what we do, we take a poll and do whatever the poll says and you wouldn’t need me … so the fact that everyone wants it, that doesn’t mean all that much. I respect the people, their opinion matters, but I’m not going to go back and forth with the political winds.”

A tax on those making $250,000 and more will expire at the end of this year. Cuomo disputed the idea that this is essentially a tax break for those earners.

His comments — basically a reiteration of what he’s said all along — come as the Occupy Wall Street protests continue in New York City and show no signs of slowing down.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, issued a statement today trumpeting the Siena poll results as a sign New Yorkers want the tax in order to shore up budget cuts.

The results also gave high marks to Cuomo, which the governor wasn’t surprised by, adding that the public is inherently contradictory.