It's a fine line for the governor to walk. While he has sought to distance himself from certain people being probed in connection with the "Buffalo Billion" economic development program, he also continues to defend it because it's a centerpiece of his upstate agenda.
Cuomo spoke to reporters in Rochester.
"Also remember, it is a vitally important program," the governor said. "It's doing great work in upstate New York. Buffalo has turned around dramatically. Job growth is way way up. Dr. Alain Kaloyeros' work has been extraordinary."
Kaloyeros helped develop the nanotechnology industry in upstate New York. He is currently under investigation, along with former lobbyist Todd Howe and former longtime Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, for possible bid rigging and inappropriate lobbying. No one has been charged.
But recognizing there are questions about their conduct, the governor has ordered his own internal investigation.
"These are questions at this point," Cuomo said. "I am the former attorney general. I got a lot of "tips," quote unquote, and I did a lot of investigations. Frankly, most investigations turned out to be nothing."
Oh, so few lines from the governor, yet so much here to contemplate.
Job growth is way up in Buffalo as a result of the Buffalo Billion Project?
Dr. Alain Kaloyeros' work has been extraordinary?
Surely it has, if by extraordinary he means extraordinarily secretive and non-transparent.
As for Cuomo's saying he got lots of tips as attorney general but the investigations never turned into anything, that was one of the big criticisms of Cuomo from back in the day - that he was only interested in investigations that would help him politically and garner big headlines.
In fact, Cuomo's record as attorney general was overall pretty mixed, as the NY Times reported in 2010, so maybe Cuomo ought not to compare the work of a U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted the former assembly speaker and former state senate majority leader to his own lackluster days as A.G. when it comes to talking about the investigation into his economic development programs that has widened in the past few weeks and seen subpoenas go all over the state to different individuals and entities involved with the Cuomo administration and/or state business.
Cuomo's defense of his scandal-scarred administration gets weaker and weaker by the day.