Business Council Endorses Cuomo
Citing his work on on-time budgets over the last four years, as well as voluntary caps on state spending and an improved credit rating, the New York State Business Council on Wednesday endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo over his Republican rival Rob Astorino.
The endorsement is the second one issued by the state’s largest business lobbying organization for governor, which in 2010 also gave Cuomo its nod over Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino.
Cuomo and the Business Council made their announcement of the endorsement at a Plug Power, a company based in a suburb of Albany that manufactures hydrogen fuel cells.
“One of the fundamental shifts in state government over the past few years is we’re not warring with the business community, we’re not jockeying with the business community, we’re working partnership with the business community,” Cuomo told reporters after the endorsement event. “And that makes a major difference. I think it’s one of the reasons why we’ve had the success that we’ve had.”
Dovetailing with Cuomo’s endorsement today was his announcement for plans to expand broadband Internet access in upstate New York — a move he said was essential to growing businesses in the region.
Cuomo said the program would combine a $500 million state investment with $500 million from the private sector to lay 6,000 miles of fiber optic cable.
The endorsement comes as Cuomo sought to shore up his relations with the business community following his primary challenge from Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor.
Both Cuomo and Astorino put in personal appearances at the group’s annual meeting in Bolton Landing.
Astorino used his time to chide the business community for not taking a more aggressive posture with Albany and state government when it comes to taxes and regulations.
Cuomo, meanwhile, touted his property tax cap and spending restraint, while promising to use the state’s $4 billion surplus to encourage local government cost savings and infrastructure investment.
Business Council President Heather Briccetti said the nod for Cuomo isn’t related to the substance of what Astorino told the group in September.
“It’s unrelated to Rob Astorino’s appearance at our annual meeting,” she said. “It’s really related to success of the last four years, including maintaining fiscal discipline in New York which is something we haven’t seen a in long time.”
Astorino has knocked Cuomo’s handling of the economy, as well as the administration’s use of grants and tax credits for businesses such as the film industry. Republicans have criticized Cuomo, too, for launching an advertising campaign to promote the state’s START-UP New York program (Cuomo himself is not mentioned in the ads, nor does he appear).
“The economy in upstate New York has gotten better,” Cuomo said. “It needs to continue to improve, no doubt about that. But it has gotten better and it’s gotten more attention than it has gotten before.”
Still, there were questions over whether the Business Council could endorse Cuomo, given his support from the labor-aligned Working Families Party.
Cuomo in May sought the endorsement of the party, and agreed to supporting its agenda if re-elected, including a faster phase-in of the state’s minimum wage and a full Democratic takeover of the state Senate.
Cuomo said the nod from WFP doesn’t conflict with his endorsement today from business leaders.
“The part of the challenge as governor of the state is you represent everyone,” he said. “It’s hard when you have the spectrum that we have, but it’s one of the challenges. But we represent everyone and I think you see that in my political support.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on October 8, 2014 at 1:36 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
Comments are closed.