Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, August 1, 2014

The "Fuck Cuomo" Factor

For three and a half years now, Andrew Cuomo has governed the state through fear.

Jimmy Vielkind at Capital NY writes that "fear factor" is gone:

What the episode has done, people involved in government and longtime observers say, is make it OK, for the first time since Cuomo came to office, to defy him.

Where once other officials wouldn't publicly oppose the famously controlling governor, out of fear, they now will. Where once they would have flocked to his side, they'll now bide their time until they're satisfied that he's gotten a grip on things.

Bharara has very publicly seized control of Cuomo's narrative: Cuomo is no longer the white knight, he's the guy who reversed positions multiple times and presides over an administration under federal investigation. Just another Albany politician.


Added one Democratic strategist: “When they see [G.O.P. gubernatorial candidate Rob] Astorino do it, and [Democratic primary challenger Zephyr] Teachout, and now Preet—it will embolden people. He's basically had no real opposition for the last three years. People will start saying, 'He's not our ally, fuck him. Let's go after him.”

This mixes with an element of schadenfreude—indeed, the past weeks have offered the bubble's revenge. People in Albany knew about Cuomo's word-parsing, micromanagement and willingness to make threats, but have never before seen it called “fucking ridiculous,” or “ham-fisted” on national television.

This has been a fundamental thrust of both of his opponents: that Cuomo is arrogant and unliked. Now, they're also pointing to the Moreland mess to say that he's as bad as the ethically dubious politicians he's criticized.

Vielkind writes that so long as Cuomo's poll numbers don't erode, there probably won't be a public pile-on from politicians, but whatever support Cuomo has is tenuous.

All it's going to take is some move out of Bharra's office for whatever support Cuomo still has in Albany to disappear.

This is a politician who is without friends, a politician who is disliked by everybody around him, a politician who inspires no warmth from the public or the Democratic base (indeed, when the Cuomo campaign wanted to send some people to disrupt an announcement by Zephyr Teachout, they had no volunteers they could tap - they had to use interns from a corporation with links to the campaign.)

He ruled by fear alone and now that the fear factor has been replaced with the "Fuck him" factor and with mockery from the nighttime comedy shows and morning political shows, his hold on his power grows weaker by the day.

If you're opposed to Cuomo's policies, now is the time to strike against them and him.

The charter school giveaway Cuomo engineered in the spring could not happen any longer, not in this environment - it is time to try and walk some of that giveway back in the next session (especially now that Gotham Schools reports the city could be on the hook for a lot more money than was first thought)

It is also time to put more pressure on the governor and the Legislature over Common Core, testing and APPR - what is the governor going to do, tap another Common Core Commission to try and get his way on things?

The power and influence to "persuade" and "engineer" things behind the scenes that Cuomo exhibited for most of his first term is gone now.

So now is the time to push back against him, to push back against the policies he forced through in his first term.

Now is the time to say "Fuck him, he's not our ally! Let's go after him!"

And what I say is, it's about time.


  1. He has four friends left: Andy Pallotta, Michael Mulgrew, Karen Magee and Randi Weingarten. Expect very little to change in education policy as the legislature is done for the year. Cuomo might change a position or two for political expediency but nothing of any real substance moves. Had Iannuzzi still been in power at NYSUT, then maybe but we will be so neutral now or actually in support of Cuomo if it is a real race with Astorino.

    1. Birds of a feather flick together.

    2. I meant birds of a feather flock together.

  2. Does anyone have Ashley Dupre's number?