ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo really wanted the public to “like” him — and state websites were helping to satisfy his wish.
The websites of more than half a dozen state agencies asked visitors to “like Governor Cuomo on Facebook” — until the Daily News inquired about the matter.
And the agencies were not obscure: They included the departments of taxation and finance, health, budget, labor and economic development, among others.
While a Cuomo spokesman said the social-media pitches were not tied to any political campaign, some questioned the use of state agency websites to boost the governor’s online popularity.
Union College professor and public policy economist Mary O’Keefe wrote on her Taxprof blog recently that the practice left her “shocked” when she saw it.
“One can only imagine the outraged reaction if the IRS website front page encouraged taxpayers to ‘like’ President Obama and used up 20% of the space on the irs.gov page to promote him!” O’Keefe wrote, creating a hypothetical example.
“The equivalent at the state level seems equally inappropriate to me.”
A noted government watchdog agreed.
“The agencies should not be tied to a particular individual but rather to the service of the people of New York,” argued Richard Dadey, executive director of the Citizens Union. “It’s not appropriate to tie a government webpage to an individual elected official’s Facebook page.”
After the Daily News raised questions about this, the Cuomo administration had state agencies change the wording on their pages from "like" Governor Cuomo to "connect" with Governor Cuomo's Facebook page.
This is STILL an outrage.
There should be NO link AT ALL to Cuomo's Facebook page on state agency websites.
This is a misuse of agency websites for personal campaigning and frankly, it's just wrong.