12:05 pm Jun. 20, 20122
This morning Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the Republican-led Senate, in opposing marijuana decriminalization, was responding to the "extreme" conservative wing of the state's Republican party, whose views he sometimes sees articulated in the New York Post.
“I think there’s no doubt but that the State Senate heard the conservative wing of the party and they’re reacting to it and that will now be an issue in this campaign season, right, because the Republican Senate has to go before the voters," said Cuomo, offering a rare criticism of the Republican-led Senate during an interview on Post state editor Fred Dicker's Talk 1300 radio show. "And I believe when they’ve done well this past 18 months, it’s because they have been … a moderate Republican party. I don’t believe this state will tolerate a party that caters to the extreme ultra-conservative side of the party. that’s not what this state does, Fred, with all due respect to some of the positions of your paper. You do not have a sizable constituency for extreme conservative philosophy. So-"
Dicker cut him off.
"I haven’t seen that in my paper, by the way, an extreme conservative philosophy," said Dicker, who is something of a Cuomo insider among the Albany press corps, and whose column is frequently the forum of first resort for authorized leaks from the administration. "I see some conservative philosophy, but I wouldn’t call it extreme. I mean just today there’s an editorial that opposes your teacher evaluation disclosure plan and it takes Mayor Bloomberg’s position. I don’t think you’d consider him to be an extremist, would you?"
"I believe your paper on occasion takes extreme conservative positions yes,” said Cuomo, laughing. “It may be a difference of perspective between me and you, but that’s what I believe. So you take an issue like marijuana, yeah, the extreme conservatives object. I think that the Senate heard those voices. You take an issue like minimum wage. You have an overwhelming majority in this state support minimum wage, in the 70s. The extreme conservatives don’t. So I think these will be issues that the people of the state will weigh in this election season."
The governor has recently backed measures that would decriminalize the public possession of small amounts of weed, and which would raise the state's minimum wage, both of which have stalled out in the Senate.
"To the extent the Republican party in this state is successful or districts in which it’s successful, it’s because they’re moderate Republicans," said Cuomo. "There is no place in this state for extreme conservative theory.”
“If the Senate wants to run as extreme conservatives, how much do you want to bet on the outcome in November?” he added.
Possibly related: Cuomo, who lifts weights alongside a big poster of Jim Morrison, has been a Doors fan since high school.
More by this author:
- A new (non-smoking) champion for marijuana legalization in New York
- Andrew Cuomo has no Lopez-related thoughts about Sheldon Silver