Giuliani, Mario Cuomo ‘Trustees’ Of Koch Albany Reform Effort
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Gov. Mario Cuomo are among the nine trustees of former Mayor Ed Koch’s new reform Albany effort, “New York Uprising,” sources with knowledge of the nascent organization confirm.
All nine trustees – “prominent New Yorkers,” according to the press release – will be announced at a press conference tomorrow morning at the Manhattan offices of Bryan Cave, where Koch is a partner.
Giuliani, a Republican, was once considering a run for governor against the presumptive Democratic nominee, AG Andrew Cuomo, who is Mario Cuomo’s son.
Organizers of tomorrow’s event say they’re hopeful both Giuliani and Cuomo-the-elder will show up in person, but at this point it’s unclear if either of them will do so.
The fact that the former governor is lending his name to an effort that has considered trying to oust state lawmakers who aren’t sufficiently reform-minded at a time when his son is seeking to be in a position where he will have to work with the Legislature is fascinating – and potentially problematic.
(Whether Koch’s group will end up actively fielding challengers and campaigning against incumbents remains to be seen, at least one member, Citizens Union, does not plan on getting that deeply involved in the political system).
Also on tap to be announced tomorrow: The release of signed commitments from the three major announced candidates and one “as-yet unannounced candidate” for governor to “adhere to specific meaningful reform of the state redistricting process” if they are elected.
(That “as-yet unannounced” candidate is, assumedly, the AG). I can’t imagine that agreeing to a nonpartisan redistricting commission is going to be something that endears any of these candidates to either side of the aisle in the state Senate and House delegation.
From an optics standpoint, Bryan Cave is perhaps not the best location for an announcement about reforming Albany.
First off, the firm is home to a number of registered lobbyists. The prevalence of lobbyists in New York – the lobbyist-to-state lawmaker ratio is somewhere in the neighborhood of 24-to-1 (the highest in the nation) – is viewed by most good government groups as a big part of what ails Albany.
Also, Bryan Cave is certainly no stranger to the campaign contribution game, having doled out $142,485 since 2003, including to Andrew Cuomo.
The firm’s largesse to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer became an issue at the height of the Troopergate scandal in 2007. The Republicans cried foul when it became clear the (now defunct) state Ethics Commission might look into the mess, noting the body’s executive director, Herbert Teitelbaum, came from Bryan Cave, which had contributed $117,208 of the $118,796 is had given over the past four years to Spitzer.
Teitelbaum outlived Spitzer in state government, but ended up resigning in May 2009 after the state IG accused him of leaking sensitive information about the Troopergate probe to a top Spitzer aide.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on April 18, 2010 at 5:25 pm, and is filed under Albany, Andrew Cuomo, Reform. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|