Cuomo Says Scandals Help Agenda
Gov. Andrew Cuomo believes the spate of corruption scandals, arrests and potential investigations will actually help light a fire under state lawmakers and take action on a variety of his proposals.
Cuomo said at a Red Room cabinet meeting this afternoon that the scandal-scarred Legislature can repair its image by passing his agenda before the legisaltive session ends in June.
“I think it’s going to help us get the agenda done because I think the Legislature is going to realize there’s been a lot of bad publicity about the New York state Legislature and then that thing becomes writ large,” Cuomo said. “There’s been bad publicity. You know how you counter bad publicity? Good publicity? You know how you get good publicity? Do something. Pass bills that will help people of the state of New York.”
Cuomo is still pushing a women’s agenda that includes a controversial move to strengthen abortion rights, a measure he insists he won’t drop from the proposal.
“There’s no reason to not get the whole 10,” Cuomo said.
When it comes to public financing of political campaigns, another provision that has run into a wall of opposition in the coalition-led Senate, Cuomo acknowledged that Republicans were “adamant” in opposing that measure.
“I understand their opposition to public finance. They’ve been clear. They’ve actually been more clear as time has gone on,” Cuomo said.
The scandals — most recently the resignation of Assemblyman Vito Lopez over allegations of sexual harassment — have threatened to have a destablizing effect on the Legislature as calls mount for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to resign the post he’s held since 1994.
Cuomo this afternoon again criticized Silver’s handling of the confidential settlement for Lopez’s legislative aides, but said he did not support the speaker’s resignation.
“I believe the speaker mishandled the complaint and the situation,” Cuomo said. “It is different, however, than what Vito Lopez did, which is actually be the person who was abusing women. One is you didn’t handle it well, the other is the actual act.”
The governor added that sexual harassment isn’t just a problem confined to the state Capitol in Albany, reiterating that it’s an impetus to pass his women’s agenda. Cuomo last week said it would be the “height of hypocrisy” for the Legislature to not pass it in the wake of the scandals.
“On the speaker I’ve said it’s totally appropriate level of conversation, how was it handled, could it have been handled better? We were waiting for facts before we commented,” Cuomo said. “I think it’s an appropriate level of discussion. It’s an important topic. It’s a societally important topic.”
Silver this afternoon is expected to unveil a package of reforms to how internal sexual harassment claims are handled in the state Assembly.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 20, 2013 at 4:22 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|