Cuomo: No Left Turn
A turn to the left?
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says that’s not happening.
Cuomo, who spoke with reporters today in the Red Room following Department of Health Commissioner Nirav Shah giving him a flu shot, denied there was any attempt in his third State of the State address to make a leftward turn.
Still, the Democratic governor who has pushed austerity budgeting, tax caps and a less-generous retirement plan for state workers in past session years, insisted he remains consistent in his agenda from year to year.
“I don’t see it, Karen,” he said in response to a question from New York Public Radio’s Karen DeWitt. “Last year they wrote I made a right turn. This year they wrote I made a left turn. I think I’ve been going straight all along. I think we’ve been remarkably consistent here. I said when I ran I would run on a platform on being fiscally responsible and socially progressive and I think that’s what we’ve done here.”
Cuomo this year unveiled a plan that would increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.75, require pay equity for women, strengthen abortion rights, expand the state’s ban on assault weapons and require a public financing of political campaigns.
But the governor reiterated today in so many words that he’s a “broke progressive.”
“I am socially progressive and fiscally responsible,” he said. “That’s what I am, that’s what I ran on. That’s the program that I put forward every year and that’s where I believe most people are.”
Regardless of that, it is an ambitious agenda. The governor’s office released a 312-page book accompanying the speech. The printed book for the first State of the State was 37 pages. Last year it was 33 pages.
Cuomo says he pushed hard last year for a minimum wage increase as proposed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, but it didn’t face much luck in a Republican-led Senate.
Now he’s backing the wage hike when it has the support of 80 percent of voters and the a new-look Senate led by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans.
While some next-day analysis of the speech focused on the governor’s 2016 aspirations, I think it has more to do with Cuomo bolstering support for 2014, when he needs the disparate coalition that is the Democratic Party in New York to unite.
Cuomo wants New York to be the “progressive capital” of the country — seizing on the idea that the state has led the way on gay and women’s rights, as well as innovations in technology and government.
His signature issue is same-sex marriage and its legalization in 2011.
Cuomo said today you couldn’t get more progressive than the gay marriage law in New York. But that notion nationally is changing. After all, Cuomo never pitched that as a right or left issue, but one of fairness and justice. He even got four Republicans to back that measure, at significant political cost. But the needle is moving on same-sex marriage in other states, a policy that’s attracting GOP support.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on January 10, 2013 at 2:52 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
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