Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cuomo Says Sheldon Silver And Teachers Union Are Running The Assembly

Coming just a couple of days after newly-minted Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie gave Governor Cuomo everything he wanted on ethics reform (i.e., reform for legislature, not for executive or girlfriend of said executive) comes this report from Ken Lovett at the Daily News:

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.


  1. Cuomo is a horrible human being and Dean Skelos is just as bad. Not sure about Carl Heastie, but Silver was awful, too. He sold us out pretty bad over the past five years. We need call every single one of these bums out as often as we can.

    I sent the following e-mail to former US Attorney and newly elected Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky this morning.

    Dear Mr. Kaminsky -

    I was astounded to read this morning that you now favor allowing billionaires who are trying to destroy public education in this state to get a tax credit for the monies they devote to this sickening effort. Your excuse for abandoning your campaign pledge to oppose such a credit is utter nonsense. This credit is not aimed at the parents of Catholic school children, despite the bill having support of the NYS Catholic Conference. It is a scheme by the charter school crowd to underwrite the efforts of the handful of billionaires that fund their efforts. I really expected more from you. You are nothing but a typical politician. It did not take you long to start turning your back on your promises and your constituents. I fully expect you to next cave to the governor and Senate Republicans and abandon public school teachers.

    1. Didn't take long for Kaminsky to change his tune, did it? Couple of months and some cash in a bag is all.

      As his uncle Mel says, "It's good to be the king!"

  2. I worry that the corruption charges were just to get Silver out of the way...from one scumbag prosecutor to another...

    1. My thinking is, this is all WWE wrestling, a show put on for our entertainment. The fights between these pols are real, but not for the political reasons we here. This is all about ambition, money, power, etc. That's my sense.

  3. Andy is Still feeding the "powerful teachera union" narrative I see.

    1. In The Nation piece on Cuomo, they were described as "the once-powerfrul teachers union." Much more accurate.

  4. Probably a good time to point out that the union didn't get everything it wanted from King's evaluation decision two years ago.
    I point it out because, if tenure and eval reform are still in the works, it's probably because the teacher union wants it. This present eval system is beyond insane. It has folks like Phy-Ed and Music and Art teachers being evaluated based on a test -and the 20% local measure is requiring more testing red tape than anticipated.
    Amending that stuff just seems to make sense (I mean, honestly, who in the world can defend this current NYC eval system? Everyone has got to know it needs to change). I feel like the union was always willing to trade tenure reform for something on evals that they liked more than we have now. Trading away an extra year, or even two, may not be a big trade-off from NYSUT's perspective (other city employees don't have job protections through A75 until year 5) and being able to blame someone else for it (like Cuomo) is typically just what our union would like.
    We'll all find out more days or so.

    1. Both NYSUT and the UFT are touting the NYC APPR system as the "fix" for the statewide APPR issues (like the numbers that don't add in the components - the problems that Carol Burris pointed out a couple of years ago in her Washington Post pieces.)