Andrew Cuomo acts like a politician with things to hide

Briefing: Spitzer and Cuomo, in 2006. (Azi Paybarah via flickr)
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Andrew Cuomo, who promised unprecedented transparency as governor, is going to extraordinary lengths to regulate the media's access to records of his time as attorney general.

After he found out that reporters for the Times Union had visited the state archives to look at publicly available documents, Cuomo dispatched two aides to go through those documents and remove a bunch of them that he presumably didn't want scrutinized. That resulted in a TU story by Jimmy Vielkind and James Odato that included this amazing quote from Cuomo's director of communications: "Sending records to the Archives is about preservation for future generations, not access for today."

The Times' Danny Hakim follows up today, on the front page, in a story entitled, brutally, "Cuomo Is Editing His Years as State Attorney General."

The lead says that his administration is "already drawing attention for its focus on secrecy." And the article goes on to note that the state archives lied in response to a Freedom of Information Request from the Times for documents related to Cuomo's investigation of Troopergate, which resulted in a report that effectively sealed Eliot Spitzer's fate.

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Spitzer told the Times those files were “documents that should be in the public domain that would reflect upon the underlying integrity of a report that I always viewed to be fundamentally flawed.” Cuomo's office could barely contain itself in response, saying, “This is just Eliot and his minions still trying to vindicate Eliot,” then adding a second statement that began with, “The governor’s office does not respond to Eliot Spitzer, but ..."

It's a not a new thing for a governor interested in running for president to get a little jumpy about his records. The Times compares Cuomo's behavior, for example, to that of Mitt Romney, who did what he could to clean up after himself in Massachusetts before setting out for the White House. Nor has Cuomo's unusually controlling behavior, when it comes to media scrutiny, done anything to damage his popularity in New York.

But the rest of the country has yet to meet Cuomo. They'll hear all about what's in his record, eventually, but Cuomo's actions seem to ensure that they'll also hear about what's missing from it.

One wonders what they'll make, one day, of the agglomeration of data points—the routinely dishonest and overblown responses from his office to accurate press reports; the Liz Benjamin dossier; and now, the archive redactions—suggesting that New York's quite capable Democratic governor is also, inexplicably, deeply paranoid when it comes to his record.

In other news

Michael Fragin, an influential Republican operative, and Moshe Friedman host a new talk show Tuesday nights 7 to 8 p.m. on WSNR 620 AM. It airs on the same station as the influential Zev Brenner show. You can get more information about it here.

Quote

Mark Levine: "After a plane crash we fix air safety. After a wildfire we fix fire prevention. But fixing guns laws after a shooting is 'politicizing a tragedy'?" [Facebook]

Events

9 a.m. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn attends the 10th annual legislative Breakfast in support of Shema Kolainu, at 5902 14th Avenue, in Brooklyn.

10 a.m. On The Brian Lehrer Show: "UCLA law professor and author Adam Winkler discusses why mass shootings have not led to more restrictive gun laws in the recent past--and what the National Rifle Association has to do with it."

10:30 a.m. Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the expansion of the New York Genome Center, at 101 Avenue of the Americas.

11 a.m. Bloomberg has a Q&A following an event with Quinn and others to announce the state's same-sex marriage law generated $259 million in the last year. The event is at 141 Worth Street, in Manhattan.

12:30 p.m. Quinn discusses the first anniversary of New York State's marriage equality law, with Alex Wagner on MSNBC.

1 p.m. Monroe County Democratic Chairman Joseph Morelle and others speak out against Republican Rep. Richard assemblyman Sean Hanna for "dirty political tactics and property tax hypocrisy" at 1150 University Avenue, Building 5, in Rochester.

4 p.m. Services are held in honor of Sylvia Woods. Bloomberg and many others expected to attend, at Abyssinian Baptist Church, 132 Odell Clark Place, in Manhattan.

4 p.m. There's a "Workers Rising 'Day of Action'" series of events taking place at Union Square. #RisingUpNY

6 p.m. Protesters participate in the "Teach Sen. Marty Golden the Feminine Presence" event, at 7405 5th Avenue, in Brooklyn.

6 p.m. Bloomberg speaks at the 30th Annual Awards for Excellence in Design, at 12 Spruce Street, in Manhattan.

6:30 p.m. Councilman Stephen Levin hosts the first Participatory Budget meeting in Brooklyn's 33rd district, at 180 Remsen Street.

7 p.m. Counciman Ydanis Rodriguez, State Senator Adriano Espaillat and others have a Town Hall meeting to address tenant issues, at 515 Audubon Avenue, in Manhattan.

8:30 p.m. Quinn attends the 7 p.m. event, listed on her schedule as the "Vantage Tenants Association meeting."

2012

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both vocalized support for stricter gun control measures, but are painfully silent now. [New York Times]

Obama, Romney and other "politicians should not be permitted to evade a serious discussion of whether additional [gun control] restrictions are warranted." [Washington Post]

Actually, this race isn't as filled with negative rhetoric and campaigning as other presidential elections. [Al Hunt]

Romney's taxes would confirm what most people know and don't like about him. [Richard Cohen]

Romney aides knew George W. Bush wasn't going to attend the convention, so they invited him, making it look earnest, without risking being seen with him. [Thomas DeFrank]

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, the Daily News' publisher said Obama has failed to create enough jobs. [Mort Zuckerman]

2013

RWDSU doubled their donations from four years ago. UFT's donations jumped 23 percent in 2 1/2 years, and CSA's went up 57 percent. 1199 SEIU's is down 14 percent from 2009. [Michael Howard Saul]

The next mayor will have to find billions of dollars to pay for retroactive pay raises on public employee contracts Bloomberg hasn't renewed, according to City Comptroller John Liu. [David Seifman]

John Liu: "I think it's probably irresponsible for the mayor to simply poo-poo any kind of retroactive pay increase given that the precedent has been set so many times." ["Inside City Hall"]

Liu is the only Democratic mayoral contender that Jay Kriegel is not bundling money for. [Josh Margolin]

"Quinn's largely seen as the only thing that stands in the way of the Paid Sick Time Act." [Sarah Jaffe]

Guns

On CNN, Bloomberg suggested cops go on strike, to put pressure on the public and lawmakers to ramp up gun control laws. [Erin Durkin and Ken Lovett]

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie -- a potential V.P. for one of Bloomberg's targets, Mitt Romney -- said the Aurora shooting victims shouldn't be used as "political pawns." [Gerry Shields, Beth Defalco]

Fat Joe: "There's been this new epidemic with the kids shooting up the basketball courts now." [NY1]

The father of a 4-year-old shot and killed in the Bronx said stop-and-frisk would reduce the number of guns being carried by people on the street. [Larry Celona, Jesssica Simeone, and Jamie Schram]

A columnist hears a gun store clerk refer to the weapons used in the Aurora shooting as "black guns" "tactical guns" and "Guns that are meant to kill people. Guns that give guns like ours a bad name." [Mike Lupica]

Proactive policing is what prevented New York City from turning into Detroit. [Thomas Reppetto]

City Hall

"We’re not going to let one man become king in the City of New York, are we?" Republican councilman Dan Halloran said at an anti-beverage ban rally. [David Seifman]

A tabloid editorial page mocks the Bloomberg administration for its stalled taxi service plan while a taxi rate hike was passed. [New York Post]

Bronx Health Science allegedly "forced out" unwanted students to keep up their statistics. FYI: Class of 2011 had 58 students, though it started with 107. [Yoav Gonen]

Albany

Former governor Eliot Spitzer said he was "deeply troubled" by Cuomo removing Troopergate documents from the state archives.
[Danny Hakim]

Cuomo's potential Republican challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, is refusing to release budget requests from his department, despite similar requests in prior years being granted. [Elizabeth Ganga]

Cuomo's passive role in the Con Ed lockout is drawing more scrutiny, in light of contributions the company made to the Committee to Save New York, and because top Cuomo aide Michael del Guidice is on the Public Service Commission. [Michael Powell]

SD-21

The News notes Mindy Meyer is using a picture of the U.S. Capitol, though she's running for a seat in Albany. [Ken Lovett]

"Finally a Brooklyn Candidate Inspired by Elle Woods from Legally Blonde." [Jen Chung]

The Brooklyn Conservative Party chairman is happy his candidate is getting so much attention. [Erik Kriss]

Local

Councilman Larry Seabrook's trial could go the jury for deliberation as early as today. [Benjamin Weiser]

Seabrook's defense lawyer said the financial wrongdoing was committed by nonprofit workers and witnesses used in the government's prosecution. [Tamer el-Ghobashy]

On Air

"How sick is it that some Second Amendment advocates suggest people in movie theaters should be armed?" [Richard French Live]

Media

Jesse Angelo and Rebecca Dana got married. [Page Six]

Why do reporters refer to Rep. Michelle Bachmann as a deeply religious woman when she acts so mean? [Frank Bruni]

From Capital

"On Sunday morning, while Chuck Schumer was holding a press conference on the rising rates of whooping cough, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on 'Face the Nation' talking about guns." [Reid Pillifant]

Julianna Margulies and Valerie Jarrett put together an event. [Reid Pillifant]

Bloomberg "shows every indication of making [gun control] an even more central focus once leaving office in 2014." [Dana Rubinstein]

The Democratic and Republican candidates in the NY-06 race debate gun control. [Azi Paybarah]

Republican state senator Marty Golden hopes Democrats keep talking about his "feminine presence" event rather than issues voters care about. [Azi Paybarah]

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