Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, July 2, 2015

NY Times Editorial Unloads On Cuomo

The NY Times backs up on de Blasio in the Cuomo/de Blasio feud, mocking Cuomo in the process:

The immediate analysis focused not on the truth of what the mayor said, but on whether he was a fool and a noob for saying it, or whining, or showing weakness at playing Albany chess against a grandmaster.

The important point is that everything he said is true. By any fair reading of the events of the last Albany session, the governor has acted disgracefully toward the 8.5 million people of the city Mr. de Blasio leads. Though Mr. Cuomo poses as liberal and reform-minded when it suits him, his indifference to the city’s needs, and his poorly disguised disdain for the mayor, are further discrediting an already disheartening second term.

Mr. Cuomo’s hand was acutely evident when crucial goals for Mr. de Blasio — like extending mayoral control of the New York City schools, repairing crumbling public housing, investing in mass transit — became needless struggles. An important deal that Mr. de Blasio struck with the real estate industry this spring, to reform a tax break for developers called 421-a, would have added many thousands of units of dearly needed affordable housing. In Albany it was nearly sabotaged. Efforts to extend and update rent-control laws governing more than one million city apartments were similarly undermined.

When the governor wasn’t playing Tommy Lee Jones in the upstate manhunt for two escaped killers, he was saying it was too late to fix 421-a, although it was not, or challenging the mayor over managing wage rates for construction workers or costly disability-pension giveaways to police officers and firefighters. Mr. de Blasio said the governor’s vindictiveness had even extended earlier in the year to surprise state inspections of city homeless shelters.

Mr. de Blasio’s many critics say he was foolish to go on the attack and are waiting for Mr. Cuomo to bury the hatchet, in Mr. de Blasio.

But really — what should he have done?

State law gives the Legislature and governor far too much control over New York City’s business, and whenever the mayor — any mayor — takes his petitions to Albany, he has to beg, wheedle, cajole and bargain.

For a year and a half, Mr. de Blasio — maybe na├»vely, maybe cunningly, maybe because he had no other choice — played nice with Mr. Cuomo, stressing their decades-long acquaintance and going out of his way not to pick fights. Sometimes it worked, as when the mayor won funding for a huge expansion of prekindergarten. Sometimes it didn’t. He was never going to eliminate longstanding mayor-governor tensions. But he has seemed to be making an effort to get past the nonsense, with a steadfast focus on policy over personality and power plays.

Some are now wondering whether Mr. de Blasio’s stand-up-to-the-bully tack will backfire. If it does, it will make clearer than ever who the bully is.

Very strong support from the Times editorial page.

De Blasio told the truth.

Cuomo's a bully.

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