Cuomo, speaking to a sparse group of financiers and GOP powerbrokers including John Catsimatidis, the supermarket magnate who ran for mayor in the NYC Republican primary last year, said that he has decided to dispense with the sham of calling himself a Democrat and just come out as the corporate-toadying Republican he really is.
"99% of my campaign donation were big-money donations, coming from corporate interests and/or affluent people. My fiscal policies, my environmental policies, my education policies all favor wealthy people and corporate interests. I have pushed tax cuts for rich people even as I have cut education aid to districts that serve poor and minority students. I have handed out tax breaks to wealthy real estate interests in return for campaign donations and expanded legalized gambling across the state to pay back my casino campaign donors. There really is no point to calling myself a "Democrat" anymore - I have just decided to come out as the Reagan Republican I really am."
While Cuomo spoke to his wealthy audience inside the Harvard Club, 50 anti-fracking protesters outside the club vowed to follow Governor 1% around the state, saying they would not allow Cuomo to sell out the environment to his corporate friends and donors:
"Everywhere the governor goes, whether it's upstate or downstate, [there] the anti-fracking movement will be, demanding that he do the right thing and protect our health and safety," said Alex Beauchamp of Food & Water Watch, which opposes the gas-drilling process on which Cuomo has yet to make a final pronouncement.
Meanwhile inside the Harvard Club, the GOP powerbrokers and Wall Street financiers who gave Sheriff Andy envelopes with unmarked bills as "Christmas gifts" on the way into the talk, said they were impressed with Cuomo's Republican/conservative credentials:
Overall, "I would say it was exactly the kind of crowd that you need to have if you want to run for governor of this state, especially from the Republican side," said GOP consultant Michael McKeon, a former top aide to then-Gov. George Pataki, after the event.Many in the press were surprised by Cuomo's announcements that he was changing parties and becoming a Republican, but could not ask the governor any questions after the event, as Cuomo fled the scene with a sack full of little white envelopes stuffed with cash and business cards with contact information so he can receive his Valentine's Day, Easter, Passover and Father's Day gifts from the GOP powerbrokers and Wall Street financiers.
"I think his presentation won over a lot of people today who I think will be prepared to stand with him in November," said McKeon, who wasn't willing to confirm he's officially heading this cycle's "Republicans For Cuomo" movement, as he did four years ago.
Earlier today, Cuomo's office announced that Governor Cuomo has the largest war chest of any U.S. governor up for re-election.
After the audience with the Wall Street financiers and GOP powerbrokers at the Harvard Club today, you can see just how he got all that money.