ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo is telling his political backers he believes that indicted ex-Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is still calling the shots in the chamber, the Daily News has learned.
Cuomo made the comments at a closed-door breakfast with members of his campaign finance committee, according to a source with direct knowledge of the statements.
Cuomo was bemoaning the fact that nothing has changed since Silver was forced to resign his leadership post in early February after being hit with federal corruption charges, the source said.
Cuomo, the source said, described new Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie as Silver's "instrumentality" in keeping power.
The governor claimed that Silver, who remains in the Assembly, is still ruling through his team that Heastie has left in place, notably counsel James Yates and Program and Policy Secretary Lou Ann Ciccone.
The source said that Cuomo added that Silver also has his imprint at City Hall through de Blasio's budget director Dean Fuleihan, a former longtime Silver aide.
"Shelly and the teachers union run everything through Fuleihan, Yates and Lou Ann," the source quoted Cuomo as saying.
And just in case you think the anonymous report might be b.s., here was Cuomo's reaction to the report:
A Cuomo spokeswoman didn't confirm or deny that the governor made the comments. Instead, she declined comment.
The Assembly looks like they won't give Cuomo everything he wants on education reform - it appears the power he wants to take over "failing" schools and districts won't be part of the budget, though changes to the evaluation system, a lift to the charter cap, more money for charters and tenure changes do seem like they are on tap.
This despite the fact that the public backs teachers over Cuomo 55%-28% and Cuomo has a 63% disapproval rating for his handling of education.
So dunno why Cuomo is grousing - given how low he's fallen in polls (below water in the Siena poll, at the waterline in the Quinnipiac poll) and given how much protest his ed agenda has engendered around the state, that he's going to get as much of his agenda as he is is a major freaking victory.
As always, hope to be wrong believing that the Assembly, backed by the unions, will cave to him on evals, tenure, and charters.
But all indication is, that's what's coming.