8:24 am Jul. 17, 2012
In May, on the occasion of an annual roast hosted by reporters in Albany, Andrew Cuomo made a funny video that sportingly mocked his administration's reputation for unusual secrecy and paranoia. The video showed, among other things, Cuomo's communications director stuffing papers into a shredder.
Inevitably, the video itself has become an issue: The administration didn't post it online or provide it to the media, and when a Times reporter filed a Freedom of Information Law request for a copy of it, the response came from an administration lawyer, who promised that a "diligent search" would be conducted.
That's one anecdote in Thomas Kaplan's story about how Cuomo's administration deals with transparency.
The article is actually less about the administration's unwillingness to provide access to existing documents than it is about the care that Cuomo and his aides take to avoid creating a paper trail in the first place, relying heavily, for example, on a Blackberry messaging system that leaves little record of their communications.
According to the Times, "in-boxes are regularly wiped clean," and "Aides do not regularly use their government e-mail addresses for substantive correspondence and some are quite fastidious about deleting the messages they do send."
Yesterday, Ken Lovett published a lengthy story about this in the News, based on his FOIL request for messages sent to and from Cuomo's email address. No records were handed over.
Cuomo ran for office on a platform of "sunlight" and transparency, and in May of last year, his lieutenant governor, Bob Duffy, told Talk1300's host Fred Dicker, "We have a governor who is absolutely transparent in everything that he does."
That was an absurd claim at the time, and it only seems more absurd in retrospect.
But the last word here should go to Cuomo, who expressed his feelings about transparency somewhat more accurately in an interview with Susan Arbetter on Albany's WCNY radio: "Transparency, backroom dealings, they talk about this in Albany all the time," he said. "They also talk about it in Washington all the time. You can’t live your life in a goldfish bowl."
Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and has no public schedule.
2 p.m. Mayor Michael Bloomberg joins Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to announce an agreement about Jamaica Bay, at City Hall.
6 p.m. Bloomberg hosts a reception for "Reimagining Parks for the 21st Century Cities" at Gracie Mansion.
Republican consultant Jake Menges: "In a race that is going to have a run-off, Anthony Weiner can win this thing." ["Inside City Hall"]
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It's been hard for Obama to end the Bush tax cuts even though polls show that's what voters want. [Steve Kornacki]
An editorial board that hasn't historically been friendly to Hillary Clinton says her record looks good by comparison to the president's. [Wall Street Journal]
Mitt Romney has aggregated some old attacks on Obama to allege that he has engaged in "crony capitalism." [Benjy Sarlin]
Obama's television ad, 'Firms,' was made by John del Cecato's company, and Jimmy Siegel is impressed. [David Taintor]
Republican consultant Bill O'Reilly argues against Mitt Romney releasing more than two years of his tax returns, saying it will only continue the unflattering storyline and take attention off Barack Obama's record as president. [YNN]
A graph showing each candidate's cash on hand and how much they raised in six months. [Wall Street Journal]
Bill de Blasio raised more money than any other candidate in the last six months: $760,746. Christine Quinn came in second, with $654,666. When it comes to money in the bank, Quinn leads the pack, followed by Scott Stringer. [Courtney Gross]
It's the second filing period in a row in which de Blasio out-raised his rivals. [David Chen]
Scott Stringer raised $3.67 million and has $3.28 million on hand. [Associated Press]
John Liu spent $200,000 in six months on legal bills. [Ben Lesser, Erin Durkin and Tina Moore]
That's more than half of Liu's expenses. [Michael Howard Saul]
"City Council Speaker Christine Quinn toughened her stance against Con Edison after labor leaders pressured her, several sources told The Post." [Sally Goldenberg]
Republican challenger Dan Halloran raised only $18,915, compared to Democratic challenger Grace Meng's $754,685. [Nigel Chiwaya]
Juan Gonzalez: "There were hundreds of people who actually cast votes that were not counted." ["Inside City Hall"]
Democratic challenger Sean Patrick Maloney visited a local business with Rep. James Clyburn. [MidHudsonNews.com]
Democratic challenger Dan Maffei has $115,000 more in the bank than freshman Republican congresswoman Anne Marie Buerkle. [Mark Weiner]
Nine of Andrew Cuomo's donors used the L.L.C. loophole to contribute more than the state's maximum contribution limit. [Ken Lovett]
Two thirds of Cuomo donations were for $1,000 or more. A spokesman said, "The only events we have done this cycle are high-donor events." [Danny Hakim]
Cuomo and his aides leave few traces of their communications, rarely use email for substantive work and rely on Blackberry PIN messages which leave no trace of what was said. [Thomas Kaplan]
Cuomo has yet to sign into law the I-STOP legislation, which State Senator Andrew Lanza and State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said should be a model for the rest of the country. [Associated Press]
Councilwoman Maria Del Carmen Arroyo paid her husband $15,000 through her campaign. [Erin Durkin]
Fox anchor Greg Kelly still can't sleep late, despite moving from morning broadcasting to hosting the evening news. [Cindy Adams]
Eliot Spitzer defends his prosecution of AIG's Hank Greenberg, despite what Maria Bartiromo says. [CurrentTV.com]