Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cuomo on Appointments

In Capitol Tonight Governor Cuomo said something that really was quite ironic-and not in a funny way. His new ethics body-called JCOPE has been tasked with looking into the sexual escapades of Vito Lopez and the efforts to sanction him by the NY State Assembly. One of the members of the body, Ravi Batra, has just resigned and apparently has also gotten under the governor's skin for his opinions on the composition of JCOPE-made up mostly of the governor's cronies.

Here's how Cuomo-unwilling to be upfront in his criticism-passive aggressively lashed out at Batra and Senator Sampson who appointed him:

"Cuomo said the responsibility for appointees ultimately lies with whoever gave them the job.

It’s a reflection on the appointing authority,” Cuomo said. “The behavior of an appointee is not something you’re proud of that’s a reflection of you.”

Ho, ho ho. This is the same man who, after getting an important endorsement from Mike Bloomberg in 2010, not only deep-sixed the investigation into the illegal lobbying of NY EDC and its partners, but who then went ahead and appointed Joan McDonald as the new DOT commissioner even though the woman had been a transportation executive for the very same NYC EDC-a woman who would soon be in a position to push for the Van Wyck ramps that the staff at DOT had been resisting for over a year.

But it gets even better. When WPU wrote to the Inspector General, Ellen Biben, to ask that she examine whether there was a conflict inherent in this appointment-and this was after City and State had written a glowing portrait of her as an independent voice-she never even bothered to answer our letter-so much for courageous independence. Biben, for her part, understood that rhetorical independence only gets one so far-and not nearly as far as being a toady does.

She soon received the benefits of zipping her lip when the governor appointed her, hold for the laugh line, as the new head of JCOPE-a position that she holds today after Cuomo twisted arms to put her in the chair. This is the glass house living governor who's taking veiled shots at John Sampson. He should be careful of the stones he's throwing.