Cuomo Defends His Liberal Credentials
He’s liberal enough.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo gave a defense of his progressive credentials on Wednesday after he was asked about a potential challenge from a liberal gubernatorial candidate this fall.
“I don’t know if there’s a lot of space to my left,” Cuomo said.
He cited the legalization of same-sex marriage, along with the 2013 gun control law known as the SAFE Act as examples of Democratic base-friendly measures he has successfully pushed through the Legislature which both times was partly controlled by Republicans.
“I think we’ve accomplished more progressive measures than this state has accomplished in decades and decades and decades,” he said while adding, “We have a phenomenal record of accomplishment.”
A Siena College poll this week found a candidate running on the union-backed Working Families Party ballot would receive up to 24 percent of the vote, with Cuomo scoring only 39 percent.
The same poll, however, showed the governor remains popular among liberals, New York City residents and black voters.
Cuomo with reporters on Wednesday suggested the noise that the WFP may not grant him the ballot line this year is more than just political philosophy.
“Politics is politics and people do what they do in politics for a lot of different reasons beyond just ideology,” he said.
Support for gun control and same-sex marriage aside, liberal advocates have been upset that Cuomo’s fiscal agenda doesn’t necessarily line up with the liberal faction of the Democratic Party.
Cuomo has sought and successfully won a cap on local property taxes as well as tax cuts aimed at businesses, most recently a reduction in the corporate tax rate in last month’s budget.
Liberals continue to push for a statewide system of public financing as well as the DREAM Act, which provides state tuition assistance to the children of undocumented immigrants.
The budget included a public financing program with a small-dollar match for the state comptroller’s race only, while the DREAM Act vote failed in the Senate, which is under a coalition of Democrats and Republicans.
Cuomo insisted it’s the Senate that remains an impediment to those measures.
“The problem is not that I don’t support, the problem is I can’t get it passed because we don’t have a Senate who supports it,” he said. “So that answer would be elect people to the legislative body that support the initiatives you want passed.”
Public financing, he added, was a not a “slam dunk” even with voters across the state and remains controversial.
In sum, Cuomo said those goals failing wasn’t for a lack of trying.
“You know me, I punch until I hear the bell,” Cuomo said. “I’m still working on these issues, but it’s not for want of my support or effort. I have worked harder on these issues than I have on many of the issues were we actually succeeded.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on April 23, 2014 at 3:34 pm, and is filed under 2014, Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|