Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Business Group Cuomo Has "Partnered" With

Little Andy says labor unions are "special interests" who must be destroyed in order for NY State to be saved from budget problems.

Take a look at the group Cuomo is working with to destroy the unions:

When television advertisements criticizing state government began to appear across New York last week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo seemed anything but displeased. After all, the group paying for the advertisements, known as the Committee to Save New York, shared many of the governor’s broad goals, like reining in runaway spending and capping local property taxes, and its Web site even included a link to video of his recent State of the State address.

“I encourage people to join that group,” Mr. Cuomo said Thursday, after speaking to an audience in Jamestown, N.Y., about his plans for the year. “I encourage people today to speak up.”

But he has more than a passing familiarity with the committee. It was organized at his urging, after a series of meetings last spring and summer at which the then-candidate pressed business leaders to take a more aggressive role in Albany.

The committee is represented by Dan Klores Communications, a public relations and consulting firm closely tied to the new governor. And the first salvo of advertisements was broadcast just days before Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, began a road tour to highlight his budget agenda and encourage New Yorkers to join him.

For years, labor unions and other special interests have pooled millions of dollars to mount advertising and direct-mail campaigns on budget issues in New York, usually aimed at governors. A joint fund controlled by the state’s powerful health care workers union and a hospital trade association has spent roughly $12 million a year on advertising campaigns to head off cuts to Medicaid spending, while the state teachers’ union spends about $1.5 million a year to advocate for more school aid.

In allying with New York’s newly active business lobby, Mr. Cuomo is borrowing a page from that playbook, and essentially organizing one set of special interests to offset the power of another.

Yet for Mr. Cuomo, who has pledged to seek radically stricter campaign finance laws and deeper financial disclosure in Albany, the effort poses quandaries. The new group is expected to spend at least $10 million in support of him, and, because it is organized as a nonprofit group, it is not required to disclose its donors or budget.

Meanwhile, some of those who have voluntarily disclosed their involvement in the group, like the Real Estate Board of New York and the state Business Council, collectively have billions of dollars at stake in the decisions that Mr. Cuomo will make in the coming year, on issues including insurance and banking regulations and rent control.

“It appears that they are coordinating with the governor and they are doing this to help the governor and maybe even at the request of the governor,” said Blair Horner, legislative director for the New York Public Interest Research Group, a nonpartisan watchdog organization. “We don’t know everyone who’s involved in this. But the ones who have crowed the loudest about it have critically important public policy issues in play this year.”

It's so nice to see holier than thou Little Andy partnering with the kinds of people who will DIRECTLY benefit from weakened labor unions:

On Friday, after news media inquiries, the committee added to its Web site a list of 16 board members. The group includes Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York; Kevin S. Law, president of the Long Island Association; Kathryn S. Wylde, president of the Partnership for New York City; Rob Speyer, president of the real estate firm Tishman Speyer; and Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York.

Cuomo isn't alone in this kind of thing - Moneybags does it too:

The group echoes efforts by other elected chief executives to muster coalitions of supporters outside their traditional campaign committees, which typically report all donors and expenditures. In New Jersey last year, advisers to Gov. Chris Christie set up a nonprofit group called Reform Jersey Now to push his agenda with television advertising, mailers and automated calls.

In New York City, the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has encouraged its allies to set up at least three groups to advocate for his policies over the last few years. One group, Education Reform Now, pushed the state to raise the cap on the number of charter schools in the city, and another, the Campaign for New York’s Future, backed Mr. Bloomberg’s plan to charge a fee on cars traveling in Midtown.

So when Cuomo says business people do not have enough say in government, you can see that he - along Chris Christie and Mayor Moneybags - are full of crap.

They're partnered with business, they're raising money from business interests and they're making sure the business special interests get EXACTLY what they want.

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