Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cuomo and Bloomberg: Bosom Buddies

We got a kick out of reading how Governor Cuomo feels that he and Mayor Bloomberg are good friends: "Cuomo gave a shoutout to Mayor Bloomberg, who called this the best legislative session for the city in a decade. Cuomo said reports of friction between the two powerbrokers last year were greatly overblown. He dubbed Bloomberg a personal friend."

That doesn't surprise us much-and neither does the governor's eloquent toast to his BFF on Fred Dicker's radio show:

"Those stories of the mayor and I being at odds were grossly overblown. I understand the sensational value of them, but it just wasn’t true,” Mr. Cuomo responded. “It is true, institutionally, a governor and a mayor sometimes advocate for their own causes and sometime advocate for different causes, because of their institutional roles.”Mr. Cuomo went on to stress his personal friendliness with New York City’s mayor.“But I’ve always had a very strong personal relationship with the mayor. I’ve known him for many, many years,” he explained. “We’re friends. He’s friends with my family. He was supportive of me in my election when he didn’t have to be, so he’s gone out of his way to be kind to me and I enjoy our personal relationship.”

Of course that wasn't the case when then AG Cuomo launched an investigation of the money given to Claire Shulman's LDC to lobby illegally for the development at Willets Point, Oh no, not at all-and Jim Dwyer of the Times reported on the harsh words and threats that emanated from City Hall against then candidate Cuomo. It's worth quoting at length:

"Some weeks back, the state attorney general’s office sent the city a request for records of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, one of these invisible public agencies wearing the costume gowns of a nonprofit operation. The attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo, was looking into a report that the city, through the Economic Development Corporation, was the source of funds for lobbyists who helped persuade the City Council to condemn land in Willets Point, Queens.

It is illegal for a not-for-profit corporation to use city money for lobbying. Instead of complying with the records request, the city’s chief lawyer, Michael A. Cardozo, demanded a meeting with the attorney general’s office. Mr. Cuomo said that his investigators wanted to review the records before meeting with city officials. Mr. Cardozo balked. Mr. Cuomo said that if necessary, he would issue a subpoena.

In one of the many exchanges between the city Law Department and the Attorney General’s office, a Bloomberg administration official said that a subpoena from the state would be seen as a hostile act, and would be remembered next year, when Mr. Cuomo is expected to run for governor."

But then a funny thing happened on the way to the governor's mansion. On September 6, 2009 the mayor of NYC endorsed AG Cuomo and that investigation of the illegal activities of the Shulman gang went into the circular file at the NYS AG's office-a casualty of political expedience. It remains there to this day since Cuomo's successor has been preoccupied chasing less lofty malefactors.

So Cuomo's acknowledgement that he and the mayor are bosom buddies comes as no shock to the property owners at Willets Point who were sacrificed on the altar of the governor's ambition. We knew Andrew's father who fought to save our land in the 1960s-and he is no Mario Cuomo!