The number of messages of necessity to waive the three-day aging period for legislation in Albany have gone done in the first two years of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s tenure in office, even as he deploys them for what critics are calling “political” purposes to ram through legislation.

An analysis from the New York Public Interest Research Group found that in 2011, Cuomo issued 29 messages of necessity in his rookie season. Last year, he issued five.

Here’s a good chart from NYPIRG’s analysis on the messages:

messagechart

That is a sharp reduction from Govs. George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson, with more than 30 messages of necessity nearly each year since 2002 (Spitzer in 2007, his first year in office, issued 23).

Cuomo is being criticized for issue a message — his first of the year — so that lawmakers could vote on a package of gun control measures that he signed into law on Tuesday. He’s also issued messages for other complex and lengthy bills that were hot off the copiers, including a new pension tier and the tax reform package of December 2011.

An editorial today in The Post-Star of Glens Falls blasted Cuomo for “an obvious misuse of power.”

But the governor, who noted his reduced reliance on messages in a radio interview today, defended the use of acting swiftly on legislation, saying that lawmakers technically have to ask him for a message before he can send it.

And as we’ve noted this week, it all comes down to whether the public cares more about the process — ala the sausage making of Albany — versus the final product of actually getting something done.