Cuomo: Albany has worked well for the past two years, hasn’t it?
Responding this morning to criticism from liberal commentators over his political alliance with Republicans in the New York State Senate, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he'd prefer "a little less hyperpartisan rhetoric and a little more substantive rhetoric on issues."
A little while later, the governor attended a press conference at the Javits Center to announce more private support for rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy.
During the ensuing press gaggle, I asked him whether he thought the Senate Democrats or the Senate Republicans were more progressive on issues like minimum wage and stop-and-frisk, given the governor's stated preference that New York be the progressive capital of the nation.
He didn't really answer.
"Now, you can say, well I'd rather have the Republicans win, I'd rather have the Democrats win, but ... we had an election and people voted, and let's see what the results of the election was, let's see who people voted for and find out who actually won the election," he said.
Cuomo was of course not a passive bystander in the election; he signed off on Republican-gerrymandered district lines, after having pledged not to, and endorsed a pro-gay-marriage Republican in the general election against a Democrat. His obvious preference for a Republican majority in that chamber prompted a Democratic incumbent earlier this year to wish publicly for Cuomo and the state party to stay out of the Senate elections altogether.
Zack Fink, NY1's Albany reporter, asked him if at the very least he'd like to see the election wrapped up sooner rather than later.
Again, the governor didn't really answer the question, though his response was a bit more illuminating.
"I want to see the government work, Zack," said Cuomo. "We've seen two Albanys. We've seen a dysfunctional Albany, we've seen a legislature that couldn't get anything done. We saw a legislature that had corruption issues, frankly. As attorney general, I started investigations against legislators from Albany. So we've seen a dysfunctional Albany. We've also seen the past two years where the government worked, where government functioned, we got things done. I believe people expect government to work."
During the last two years, the Republicans have controlled the State Senate.