An Andrew Cuomo media strategy goes to seed

Briefing: Cuomo. (Hofstra University via flickr)
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Since Andrew Cuomo came to power, Fred Dicker's word has been as good as the governor's.

That is to say, the New York Post state editor has relied heavily on Cuomo and his aides as sources for his columns, which have for the most part been authoritatively stated, anonymously sourced and pretty much inseparable, in their point of view, from whatever the governor was thinking at the time they were written. 

Then, in January, the two men fell out when Cuomo passed a gun control package, over the strong objections of Dicker, an unabashed gun-rights advocate. And things have only gotten worse since then, as Dicker has grown angry at what he sees as the governor's disingenuousness on the question of whether to permit fracking upstate. 

Yesterday, Dicker cast doubt on the governor's general credibility, and by extension on the wisdom of his previously heavy reliance on the administration, by making the somewhat remarkable suggestion that he shouldn't have been so trusting.

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Dicker is, or was, working on a biography of Cuomo with the governor's cooperation. He has frequently in the past come to the governor's defense when other journalists complained that the administration was being systematically dishonest (echoing the administration's ill-supported contentions that it was the beat reporters who were in fact the liars) or that Cuomo was falling well short of his promise to exceed Albany's normally dismal standards for transparency.

"Sadly, the governor's office has not exactly earned a high level of appreciation for veracity, for telling the truth," he said on his radio show yesterday. "And I think some journalists have felt that for a long time. I may have been a little late in coming, but I've come to recognize that too, sad to say."

Less remarkably, other outlets are accusing Cuomo today of exaggerating his accomplishments.

This morning, the Post editorial page picked up on a Buffalo News report from yesterday questioning the effectiveness of the teacher evaluation deals Cuomo proudly touted as being passed in 99 percent of the state's school districts.

"The deals are shams," the Post wrote.

And here's how News columnist Bill Hammond led his piece today, which says a series of a New York- (and governor-) boosting ads is "snowing New Yorkers with their own tax dollars: "Gov. Cuomo’s nose must grow a little longer every time the state’s latest commercial message hits the airwaves — which is quite a lot recently."

Cuomo's popularity is undiminished by whatever criticism he's getting in the press. According to the recent public opinion polls, the freshman Democratic governor is still in very healthy shape among Democrats, and has even gained some ground among Republican voters. 

But Cuomo is a politician who regularly expects to get the benefit of the doubt from the media, and counters with unusual aggression (via his spokespeople, of course) when he doesn't receive it.

If Dicker won't give it to him anymore, who will?

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The state's changes to the Medicaid system in New York have led to an explosive growth in "adult day care" centers that are siphoning Medicaid dollars from the programs that serve people in greater need. [Nina Bernstein]

For some reason, Bloomberg's Business Integrity Commission gave a no-bid contract to Global Consulting L.L.C., whose owner, Theodore Leb, has a problematic past. [Michael Powell]

Police officers have a hard time recalling who they stopped and frisked. [Joseh Goldsetin]

Rep. Charlie Rangel is suing House Speaker John Boehner and others in order to reverse his 2010 ethics censure. [S.A. Miller]

The "overall message" in the ads touting Cuomo's fiscal record "distort economic reality."  [Bill Hammond]

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Mayoral candidates on the M.L.S. stadium in Queens: meh. [Dana Rubinstein]

Bloomberg can see both sides of another term-limits argument. [Dana Rubinstein]

Senator Chuck Grassley erupted at Senator Chuck Schumer. [Reid Pillifant]

Fred Dicker has a revelation about Andrew Cuomo's trustworthiness. [Azi Paybarah]

The Times hired Jesse Wegman as an editorial board writer on the law and Supreme Court. [Joe Pompeo]

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"The undercover operation could have gone on further … Everything points to the next level." — John Chiue

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Events

"Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is in Albany."

9 a.m. Mayor Michael Bloomberg will have a Q&A after announcing plans to turn the Kingsbridge Armory into "the world's largest indoor ice facility," at West Kingsbridge Road at Davidson Avenue, in the Bronx. @MikeBloomberg #KingsbridgeOnIce

10 a.m. On Brian Lehrer's show: excerpts from the mayoral debate he hosted yesterday. Plus, "Reaction from Muslims to the identities of the Boston bombing suspects." And Brian Stelter discusses his new boon "on the morning T.V. wars." [WNYC] @BrianLehrer #GreeNYC @BrianStelter

10 a.m. On Fred Dicker's show: guests and topics to be announced. [Talk1300]

11:30 a.m. Christine Quinn, the City Council Speaker, visits the CUNY and New York Daily News Citizenship Now! hotline, at 50 West 40th Street, Manhattan. @ChriscQuinn @NYdailynews @CUNYnewswire

6:30 p.m. Bill Thompson, a Democratic mayoral candidate, attends DecideNYC.com's launch party, at the Manhattan Brewhouse, 354, 3rd AVenue, Manhattan. @BillThompsonNYC @DecideNYC #NYC2013

1 p.m. Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly visit the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative to thank counterterrorism personnel, at 55 Broadway Exchange Place, Manhattan. @MikeBloomberg @NYPDnews

4:30 p.m. Bloomberg considers signing several bills related to "studying the feasibility of developing geothermal energy," training for agency inspectors, creating a "business owners bill of rights," and the mayor's 10-year capital strategy, at City Hall. @MikeBloomberg

5:30 p.m. Bloomberg presents the 2nd annual NYC Literary Honors, at Gracie Manshion, 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan. @MikeBloomberg #LiteraryNYC

7 p.m. A Republican mayoral candidate forum will be hosted by the New York Young Republican Club and the Maverick PAC, at The Women's National Republican Club ("Business attire required") 3 West 51st Street, Manhattan. @JoeLhota4Mayor @JCats2013 @McDonald4NYC #NYC2013 #GOPdebate

7 p.m. Sal Albanese, a Democratic mayoral candidate, speaks to residents at Concord Village, 240 Jay Street, Brooklyn. @SalAlbanese2013 #NYC2013

7 p.m. On "The Road to City Hall:" Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis. Plus, the Wiseguys segment with Eliot Spitzer, Alfonse D'Amato and guest Judith Hope. [NY1] @RoadToCityHall @Jcats2013 @EliotSpitzer @AlfonseDamatoNY

7:30 p.m. Tom Robbins moderates the Professional Staff Congress' CUNY Mayoral Forum at the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, 2180 3rd Avenue, Manhattan. [PSC-CUNY] @PSC_CUNY @DeBlasioNYC @AdolfoCarrionNYC @JohnLiu2013 @ChriscQuinn @BillThompsonNYC #CUNYdebate #NYC2013

7:30 p.m. Tish James, a Public Advocate candidate and City Council candidate Mendy Mirocznick speak at the North Shore Democratic Club, 697 Forest Avenue, on Staten Island. [Facebook] @TishJames #PubAdv2013 @MendyForCouncil #CD50

2013

Quin is the only candidate who wants to close the Indian Point nuclear power plant and John Catsimatidis questions whether global warming is man-made. [Jennifer Fermino]

Headline: "Quinn's nuke hit" [David Seifman]

Bloomberg ceded the spotlight to Quinn to announce the bill to raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21. [Anemona Hartocollis]

The bill is opposed by small shop owners and customers. [Sally Goldenberg]

The Post picks up on Chris Bragg's reporting and says Quinn is "just sharp enough to see that Marty [Markowitz]'s endorsement can be bought — with your money." [New York Post]

More on Joe Lhota and public safety. [Carl Campanile]

Anthony Weiner and his wife declined to provide proof they were paying market rate for their apartment on Park Avenue and 20th Street, which would normally rent for about $13,000 a month. [Elizabeth Harris]

Weiner has a lot of followers on Twitter. [Tim Herrera]

"If Weiner does run, he will enter the race as a formidable candidate." [Adam Edelman]

"Weiner should stop the striptease and get in or give it a rest." [Daily News]

"The undercover operation could have gone on further," said John Chiue, a federal agent who probed John Liu's fund-raising operation. [Benjamin Weiser]

City Hall / City Council

Bloomberg wants to turn the Kingsbridge Armory into one of the nation's largest ice rink complexes. [Josh Koshman and David Seifman]

Public employee unions are scoffing at Bloomberg's offer for pay hikes that aren't retroactive. [Lisa Colangelo]

How reasonable does Bloombeg's offer look? [Nicole Gelinas]

Councilman Ydanis Rodgriguez wants to fight high commercial rents. [Nigel Chiwaya]

Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., is taking little comfort in the city's decision not to cut a gifted and talented program at P.S. 122, for now. [Clare Trapasso]

Investigators found evidence of cheating at the Mathematics, Science Research and Technology Magnet H.S. in Queens. [Yoav Gonen]

Albany

How credible are those teacher evaluation deals Cuomo says were passed by 99 percent of school districts in the state? [New York Post]

Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, said political corruption is so pervasive that no one single solution will stop it. [Robert Gearty]

Washington

Cartoonists are helping Bloomberg push gun control. [Adam Edelman]

Anna Sale on what friends remember when they first met the bombing suspect years ago at college. [PoliticsNation]

Nate Silver can't get over Politico's use of statistics. [@DJpolitico]

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