Why I Am Not Voting For Cuomo
by Paul Wolf - posted 12:01 pm, October 30, 2014
Below are just a few reasons why I am not voting to re-elect Andrew Cuomo as Governor.
1) Open Government – Cuomo promised his administration would be the most open and transparent New York State has ever seen. Several examples show that under Cuomo open government has taken a step backwards:
– Under Cuomo a policy has been implemented whereby emails are automatically destroyed after 90 days. Storage of emails on a state computer servers is not an issue. This policy is a convenient way to hinder pesky reporters from obtaining important information months or years later. Some states require emails to be saved for several years.
– Cuomo and members of his inner circle purposely do not communicate through government email. Cuomo uses Blackberry pin to pin messages to communicate which does not leave a paper trail.
– All Freedom of Information requests to state agencies are now handled by the Governors office where refusing to release information or delaying the release of information for very long periods of time now occur.
– Cuomo dislikes answering questions from reporters and as such his public events are tightly controlled and scripted with little ability for the media to ask him questions. Members of the public are kept at a distance and he rarely interacts with them. Cuomo refused to engage in a debate with his democratic primary opponent Zephyr Teachout and only agreed to one televised debate with his November opponents. There is an arrogance and secretiveness to Cuomo that I find concerning.
2) Cuomo Is Bought and Paid For By Wealthy Special Interests – Since first running for Governor, Cuomo has raised an astonishing $60 million dollars from campaign donors. People donate large sums of money to politicians because they want something in return. Less than 1 percent of Cuomo’s donors gave under $1,000. In the past four years Cuomo has raised more than $22 million dollars from just 331 donors. Cuomo likes to claim that he represents and advocates for average New Yorker’s but average individuals cannot afford to give $1,000 or more to politicians. In fact 80% of Cuomo’s donors gave $10,000 or more to his campaign.
Money corrupts and Cuomo is the king of raising money.
3) Cuomo Is A Big Supporter of Corporate Welfare – See number 2 above. Politicians need campaign cash from wealthy individuals to survive in office. In exchange for campaign cash, politicians provide grants, and tax breaks that assist wealthy individuals. The example of Extell Development provides an interesting glimpse into how this typically works. Extell had never donated to a political campaign before but gave $100,000 to the Cuomo campaign just days before the company was granted a lucrative tax break for one of their real estate development projects. Several weeks after the tax break a top Extell official donated $100,000 to the New York State Democratic Party.
In 2012 alone, New York State handed out $1.8 billion in tax credits to businesses, a figure that has doubled under Cuomo since 2010, according to a tax reform commission appointed by Governor Cuomo. It is against the New York State Constitution to use public dollars to assist private corporations. Politicians find creative ways around the constitutional restrictions and Cuomo has taken corporate welfare to even greater heights.
4) Cuomo Has Flawed Personality and Leadership Skills – Cuomo is an old school manager who believes that micro managing and bullying through a closed circle of associates is the way to get things done. According too many people Cuomo is a strange paranoid bully which are not good leadership qualities. Some interesting quotes sum it up:
– “He is so unbelievably involved in almost everything,” said an Albany insider of Mr. Cuomo. “On one level, it’s very impressive because he’s a machine in the way he works. But it’s also completely paralyzing and debilitating because [agencies] can’t go to the bathroom without him giving the go-ahead.”
– “There’s this pathological need on the second floor for exact control — control at a level that’s not really achievable, and not even healthy, over the long-term,” the aide argued.
– Mr. Cuomo’s desire to shape public perception sometimes means injecting his staff into otherwise mundane departmental actions. A former chief engineer in the Transportation Department said the agency had to run press releases on highway-lane closures through the second floor.
– Critics see a darker side to the governor’s approach. “His style is to bully and intimidate,” said one longtime state official. “He does it because he can and it’s tough to fight back because he has the governor’s mantle. . . . It’s the mindset that if you don’t go with us, we are going to get you.”
– Cuomo is also known for making nighttime off-record calls to members of the media to quibble with unflattering stories about him. New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters described this habit as part of a “pattern of intimidation”.
– “The sense was that he didn’t trust anyone. I never took it personally, because I realized he didn’t trust anybody, except a very small group of advisers around him,” said Robert Hernan, a former assistant attorney general in the environmental protection bureau who was a trial lawyer for the state in the Love Canal toxic-waste case in the late 1980s. “I have served under five attorneys general, and I never encountered that kind of micromanagement and lack of trust in the staff attorneys.”
– “… he has … alienated subordinates, who call his demands unrealistic, his approach overbearing and his intolerance for disagreement dispiriting.”
Some people view the above traits as being a tough leader, I don’t see it that way. Cuomo is a toxic person obsessed with his image and the thought of higher office. Cuomo in many ways is a typical phony politician. I am tired of politics as usual. These are just my opinions and many will certainly disagree.