Andrew Cuomo on the limits of Andrew Cuomo’s transparency agenda
"There are some things I do alone and there are some things I do in private, and by the way, there are always going to be some things I do alone and in private,” Governor Cuomo said. “You do the best you can, but you’re always going to hear the point, I think, well, you could be more transparent.”
Cuomo is framing the issue as if transparency advocates are moving the end zone further away and are never really satisfied by the practial demands of a public office. I've heard that complaint from aides to other progressive Democrats who have struggled with the tensions between transparency advocates and the reality of needing to negotiate deals in private.
But, as I've noted earlier, Cuomo is aggressively pursuing the trappings of an advocacy-champion with periodic gestures while in fact continuing Albany's long tradition of closed-door government whereby the public and even other lawmakers are not brought into the conversation until, literally, minutes before a vote. (We won't get into how he deals with the media.)
If that's what he has determined is the best way to get things done, fine. His list of first-year legislative accomplishments is long, and the public will or won't decide to care about the manner in which he achieved them. (His approval rating so far suggests that they won't.)
But Cuomo can't really govern that way and also claim that he's breaking the Three Men paradigm and flooding the smoke-filled back room with sunlight.
Related: Today, Cuomo launched a new website aimed at increasing public participation in the legislative process. It allows users to input their email addresses.