Cuomo: Most Important Election ‘In My Lifetime’
AG Andrew Cuomo delivered what sounded very much like a campaign stump speech in Niagara Falls tonight – no matter how much he insisted it wasn’t – telling a fawning crowd that the upcoming election is “the most important election for the State of New York in my lifetime.”
“And my friends, this state is at a crossroads,” Cuomo said. “I believe, depending on what we do now, this state will go up or this state will go down.
“And I maintain that this state is in drastic need of change and reform today.”
Cuomo went on to rail against the Albany establishment, calling it a “mess” and the legislative process “a disgrace.”
“We have to clean up the gridlock. We have to clean up the dysfunction. We have to clean up the waste. We have to clean up the delay. Enough is enough, my friends. The state government works for the people, and the people have been failed by this state government.”
“…We also have to say that in this Democratic Party, there is no place for government corruption. Period,” the AG continued. “This is a government that has violated the public trust and betrayed the public trust. And government is nothing without the public trust. That’s the bottom line.”
Cuomo later dodged questions from reporters about whether he will announce his gubernatorial bid soon, and even declined to acknowledge he’s running for anything at all.
He insisted the speech he had delivered to rousing cheers and applause was merely “what I’ve been saying all across the state.”
The AG seemed a bit stumped when asked by the TU’s Jimmy Vielkind whether he believed there is room in a Democratic Party that doesn’t tolerate corruption for state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Senate President Malcolm Smith – both of whom are in the subject of investigations (in the DiNapoli’s case, by the AG himself).
“What I was trying to say inside is that government is basically a function of the trust with the people and when you lose the trust you have nothing and right now we have lost the trust of the people of the state,” Cuomo replied during an impromptu media scrum held in the hallway between the Crowne Plaza hotel ballroom and the kitchen.
“And that’s what we have to restore, and one of the ways you have to restore it is zero tolerance for any corruption, any waste, any fraud any abuse. Zero tolerance.”
The AG seemed to lose patience with reporters and their pesky questions at that point.
He took one more inquiry – from Newsday’s James Madore, who asked Cuomo what he believes is the most severe problem facing the state right now and how he might fix it.
“I reject the question,” Cuomo retorted, insisting New York has too many serious problems to single out just one.
He then allowed that the top two most important things that need to be done is for the state to “get its fiscal house in order” and “clean up Albany.”
As NYT reporter Nick Confessore yelled out: “How would you close the deficit?” Cuomo turned and walked away, saying over his shoulder: “Have a nice day, Nick.”
Cuomo’s presence at the DRC was a hotly debated topic throughout the day, with rumors running rampant that the AG would not show up at all – a move that would have greatly annoyed members of the conference, one of whom grumbled to me this afternoon: “We were the only ones with him in 2002; our straw poll was the only contest he won.”
The AG turned up after the DRC kick-off dinner was already well underway.
Everything stopped when he walked through the door and started working the room as the crowd jumped to its feet and gave him a prolonged round of applause.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on April 30, 2010 at 10:01 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|