Skelos On The Two Andrew Cuomos (Updated)
Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos told reporters Monday afternoon that an end-of-session agreement on controversial measures are “going to be more challenging” in the coming weeks now that Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’s backing a full Democratic takeover of the state Senate.
“We always continue discussions, but I would say most of the more controversial things would be brought up next year,” Skelos said.
Skelos, speaking to reporters off the floor of the Senate chamber, said Cuomo’s endorsement by the labor-backed Working Families Party suggested there were two different Cuomos he’s dealing with.
“We’ve had a book the tale of two cities, we’ve had when it comes to affordable housing in an Assembly district a tale of two Shellys,” Skelos said, making a reference to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver insisting to the New York Times the paper was confusing him with a Sheldon E. Silver when documentation proves otherwise.
“And now we have Governor Cuomo who on one hand in commercials saying how great it is to work together, four on times budgets, cutting taxes, creating jobs. And then you have another Andrew Cuomo, maybe it’s a different middle initial, who is basically kowtowing to the most extreme liberal Working Families Party, saying bipartisan isn’t working in Albany,” Skelos said.
Cuomo pledged to pass a package of liberal friendly legislation and work to flip the Senate alongside the WFP and a coalition of labor groups.
The move comes after Cuomo has worked well with the Republican leadership in the Sentate, but that has come at the detriment of the governor’s support on the left.
“He felt he had to do what he had to do to get that nomination,” Skelos said. “I think he went a bit far in the promises he made them. I think they’re counterproductive in terms of the creation of private sector jobs, cutting taxes.”
Cuomo’s partnership with the Senate GOP, as well as the coalition that has allowed them to retain power, has led to him achieving significant accomplishments such as the legalization of same-sex marriage and a package of gun control laws.
But the governor has also passed a cap on property tax increases as well as a suite of business tax cuts, along with embracing charter schools — all policies that have led to activists within the WFP to challenge him.
“It’s either he’s an extremist on the left or he’s a person that tries to bring people together to get results,” Skelos said.
Updated: Peter Kauffmann, a spokesman for the state Democratic committee, responded in a statement noting that Republicans are yoked to the state Conservative Party in many instances.
“A Democratic governor supporting Democratic senators is no more or less bipartisan than a Republican senator supporting their Republican ticket,” he said. “And if liberals are extremists, what does Dean Skelos call the smaller Conservative Party which is anti-woman, anti-marriage equality, anti-gun safety and anti-campaign finance reform?”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on June 2, 2014 at 5:35 pm, and is filed under Dean Skelos. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|