Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Bigger Risk For De Blasio Was Staying Silent While Cuomo Mauled Him

I keep reading this morning about the "risk" that Mayor Bill de Blasio took in publicly blasting Governor Andrew Cuomo as a transactional politician who governs by vendetta.

See here, here, here, and here.

But even a few critics of de Blasio's critique acknowledge how badly Andrew Cuomo has treated Bill de Blasio and NYC in the 18 months de Blasio has been mayor.

Josh Greenman wrote up a list of the barbs, arrows, slights and outright screw jobs Cuomo has sent de Blasio's way in the past year and a half:

In the midst of the Ebola crisis last fall, Cuomo failed to consult the mayor before making major policy announcements.

Ditto when Cuomo decided to shut the city’s subways before a snowstorm.

When de Blasio put forward a plan to build housing at Queens’ Sunnyside Yards — a goal Cuomo should have been able to work with — Cuomo snippily replied the space wasn’t available.

This year, agreeing with the state’s request, de Blasio and the city were set to pony up more money than ever to support the buses and subways — only to be attacked by Cuomo’s MTA as cheapskates after the budget had gone to press.

Against his better fiscal instincts, Cuomo fought against de Blasio in favor of hiking disability pensions for cops and firefighters — which would have saddled the city with huge bills.

Having previously been a champion of mayoral control of the schools, Cuomo gladly accepted Republicans’ insulting one-year extension.

And when de Blasio offered vital, pragmatic reforms to the 421-a housing tax credit, Cuomo had nothing to offer but out-of-character complaints that de Blasio was shortchanging construction workers.

And Ken Lovett gets an unnamed former Bloomberg aide to note that considering how badly Cuomo was treating his "friend" Bill de Blasio, the mayor had nothing to lose:

Seasoned observers understand why the mayor got fed up. A one-time aide to Michael Bloomberg, who as mayor had his own problems with Cuomo, said that the governor “never made Bloomberg feel like he had nothing left to lose, but that’s what he’s done to de Blasio and I think Cuomo will regret it.”

Don't forget too that Cuomo started the public feud by criticizing de Blasio to Ken Lovett last week, but doing it through the beard of an "unnamed" source in the Cuomo administration who turned out to speak exactly the way Andrew Cuomo speaks.

I think this tweet sums up the bigger risk for de Blasio than openly returning fire at Cuomo:

Sure, de Blasio's taken a risk by being so open and forthright in his criticisms of Cuomo (Elias Isquith tweeted that de Blasio had nuked the bridge between he and Cuomo - then nuked the ashes), but quite frankly, the bigger risk was, Brooklyn Shaun said, in staying silent as Cuomo took it to him over and over and over.

By calling out Cuomo as a vindictive politician who governs by vendetta, by pointing out all the ways Cuomo screwed NYC not because of policy differences or principle but simply because he wanted to remain top dog in the political equation, by saying that he expects Cuomo to retaliate and he will call him out publicly when he does so, de Blasio puts some onus onto Cuomo when he screws NYC going forward.

De Blasio is helped here too by the fact that Cuomo has destroyed every relationship he has with other prominent Democrats:

De Blasio joins a growing list of state Democrats, including Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Controller Thomas DiNapoli, Senate Democrats and many Assembly Dems, who are no longer afraid to speak their minds when it comes to Cuomo.

Other than party hacks who owe their employment/political relevance to Cuomo  (e.g., David Paterson, Chris Quinn, et al.) who's backing Cuomo in a fight with de Blasio?

No one from the list above, that's for sure.

I would add our two senators to the list of pols unlikely to back Cuomo as well, especially Schumer, who is said to loathe Cuomo with a passion Chuck usually reserves for camera opportunities.

Certainly not party activists, as I pointed out in a post last night - many are fuming over Cuomo's betrayal on rent regulations.

And by saying publicly that Cuomo governs by vendetta and he now expects a few aimed the city's way, de Blasio puts some pressure on Cuomo:

De Blasio in part enabled Cuomo by helping to engineer the Working Families Party ballot nod last May and by helping Cuomo win re-election.
De Blasio seemed to do this because he thought he would have some chits he could call on later with Cuomo, but as many of us pointed out at the time, Cuomo doesn't play that game and de Blasio was likely to lose it.

That's of course exactly what happened - Cuomo went out of his way to screw de Blasio and NYC every way he could.

De Blasio could have stayed silent and acted the co-dependent here as Cuomo continued to use and abuse him, but I give de Blasio a lot of credit for taking the gloves off, getting very pointed in his criticism of Cuomo and doing it openly.

Now it's important for activists, other Dems, and city residents to back de Blasio in this fight with Cuomo, not because they like or support de Blasio, but simply because de Blasio has become the face of the "Fight Cuomo" movement here.

Others have criticized Cuomo before, but none so openly and frankly as de Blasio.

Sure there was risk in this for de Blasio and NYC, but the bigger risk was continuing to stay in the abusive relationship with Cuomo.


  1. This is a good move by DeBlasio. This is one of the worst things you can do to a politician. Negative publicity. Also, he is now put in a awkward position where if he retaliates, everyone will be given a heads up on it. It is a strategy for fending off a bully in the playground and likewise in the public arena. DeBlasio is doing all of us a huge favor by shining a giant spotlight on bad behavior.

  2. Cuomo has obviously lost his mind. Screwing NYC - the only voting block he had. Time for his hedge fund rats to desert his sinking ship.

  3. That's what cockroaches do when you turn the lights on.

  4. Cuomo has no friends. He is a sociopath.

  5. It's pretty good politics. The better move would have been to send proxies to do this (I think lots of folks would have done it for free) but It's still a good move. Every single de Blasio constiuent group must be very happy and the other weaker pols and press folk can gasp for a minute while they figure out if someone can do that to Andy and get away with it. It'd be nice if there was follow through (like say the city asking the Feds to investigate the state? Hmm...)

  6. Investigate Cupmo for his transactional politics. Closing the Moreland Commission, shady real estate contributions, hedge fund contributions for charter school creation