Cuomo promises an ‘accountability year’ for legislators who don’t comply

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Governor Cuomo. (via Azi Paybarah)
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ALBANY—Gov. Andrew Cuomo suggested he would campaign against legislators if they continue to resist his calls for changes in disclosure and campaign finance laws, he said during a radio interview.

Cuomo and his associates are engaged in a war of words that began with legislative resistance to his Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, and culminated yesterday when Democratic State Committee executive director Rodney Capel called on a Republican-allied Democratic senator to "register Republican."

Republicans also filed a court challenge to a Moreland Commission subpoena for their political records.

“They have a right to go to court,” Cuomo told Susan Arbetter on “The Capitol Pressroom.” “They have a right to challenge the subpoenas. I have a right to go to the people of the state of New York next year and explain to them the issue, and next year is an election year, and it will be an accountability year. Everyone can do what they have a right to do.”

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This would represent further escalation were it not for Cuomo's preceding comments, in which he reiterated a desire for a negotiated solution with legislators.

“I've worked with them for three years. They have been much more functional than ever. I have applauded the functionality of the Legislature. … It's inarguable but that they are working and producing better, and I'm proud of it and they should be proud of it,” he said. “There is a second issue, which is the ethics, which is a perception and a reality of corruption in the Legislature. I am more aggressive on that issue than they are. They will say the perception is worse than the reality — and by the way they're right. But the reality is an issue, and people need trust in government. If people don't trust their government, it actually limits the power of government, I believe, and I want restore trust in the Legislature also, and I want ethics reform and different rules so in a gray area the citizen wins.”

Cuomo also discussed rebuilding efforts related to Superstorm Sandy and the construction of a replacement Tappan Zee Bridge. Cuomo noted that New York officials still have not gotten a response to their request for a federal loan to defray its cost, but that the ask was “aggressive.”