Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s staff wrote at least portions of speeches made in favor of Cuomo’s budget proposal earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The story noted that Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, SUNY Plattsburgh president John Ettling and state Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, Niagara County, all said basically the same thing about Cuomo:
“Gov. Cuomo has restored a sense of pride, a credibility in New York state government,” Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, a first-term Democrat, told an audience on Jan. 18, before beckoning Mr. Cuomo to the podium.
“Gov. Cuomo has restored a sense of pride and credibility in New York state government,” said state Sen. George Maziarz, a Niagara County Republican at a Jan. 25 event in Buffalo.
“Gov. Cuomo has restored a sense of pride and credibility in New York state government,” SUNY Plattsburgh President John Ettling said.
The Wall Street Journal said that the officials were sent “a fully scripted speech” before they introduced Cuomo.
Cuomo’s aides said their written comments were simply talking points, and aides to the local officials said they concurred with the talking points, so they used them.
Cuomo's minister of propaganda, er, spokesperson, Josh Vlasto, said it is standard operating procedure for governors to have their staffs write speeches for other politicians that will be given in front of the governor.
Aides to two former New York governors told the Wall Street Journal this was not the case at all. A former aide to Senator Schumer also disagreed with the Cuomo spokesperson:
A press aide to former Gov. Eliot Spitzer recalls a different approach. "The closest we came to control was in the minutes before a news conference. We'd gather the participants and say: 'Are you OK to go first? You second? You third?' That was it. There really wasn't much in the way of orchestration. And sometimes it showed. Sometimes we are all surprised by what was said," the aide said.
A senior aide to former Gov. George Pataki said the administration regularly suggested talking points to those introducing the governor. The official didn't remember an instance in which an entire text of a speech was provided. A former aide to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer said his office doesn't write speeches for other people. A spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg had no comment but said it is uncommon for elected officials to introduce the mayor.
This isn't the first time Cuomo has been caught having other people's remarks about him written for them by his staff.
Last month we learned that Cuomo's staff has also written the remarks of business leaders who were giving speeches about Cuomo and his policies.
Along with his scrubbing of his papers and official documents as attorney general, his refusal to release the donor list to his SuperPAC, the Committee To Save New York, and his insistence that his staff use untraceable methods of communication with him that can never be subpoenaed after the fact, a pattern of Nixonian paranoia and manipulation has emerged from Cuomo.
So far, his poll numbers are through the roof, so clearly the manipulation is working.
But I maintain that this man with the Nixonian paranoia and insatiable need for secrecy and control will eventually be exposed.