Cuomo won’t attend what promises to be a lively Somos
ALBANY—The weather in San Juan may be lovely, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo won't be going down to the annual Somos El Futuro conference there, according to an administration official.
Cuomo, a Democrat, will attend the Hispanic organization's spring conference in the capital city, the administration official said.
Several administration officials will represent the governor in San Juan, including labor commissioner Peter Rivera—a former Bronx assemblyman—and Mecca Santana, the state's chief diversity officer. The conference was canceled last year as officials grappled with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy; Cuomo attended after his election in 2010 as well as in 2011.
Most talk at the conference, it seems, will center on picking the next City Council speaker. Melissa Mark-Viverito was toasted last night by SEIU 1199, the powerful health care workers' union. A political operative at the San Juan conference tells me that the Democratic chairmen from each of the five boroughs will meet today to discuss the speakership, which needs to be settled as the new council is sworn in next year.
NY1's Zack Fink reported this meeting may also include talk of a replacement for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat who has weathered a series of scandals. Publicly, at least, he retains the support of most members. The political operative, who helped broker the meeting, said, “It's totally not about Shelly.”
Silver told Fink: “I will serve as the speaker as long as the members want me to serve as the speaker. I am privileged to do that.”
Somos is a normal post-election junket for Hispanic lawmakers as well as other state officials demonstrating their respect for the increasingly potent voting bloc. Comptroller Tom DiNapoli will be there for a day, an aide said, but Attorney General Eric Schneiderman isn't going this year. Nick Reisman posted a list of legislative attendees earlier this week.
Last year Republicans in the State Senate made a show of being there, but this year Senate G.O.P. leader Dean Skelos will not be attending, his spokesman said. Republican state chairman Ed Cox held a reception last night toasting just-re-elected Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. But as Fink notes, some Democratic lawmakers weren't allowed in.
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