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If Andrew Cuomo Is Such a Tough Guy, Then…

Posted by Larry Doyle on May 21, 2010 1:33 PM |

NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Andrew Cuomo will be exceptionally tough with legislators who do not play ball with him if and when he is governor of New York. How might Cuomo display his toughness? Cuomo’s Message: Dont Cross Me highlights:

As Democrats in Albany prepare to celebrate the kickoff of Andrew Cuomo’s campaign for governor next week, Mr. Cuomo is quietly putting out the word that if he’s elected lawmakers who resist his agenda will be punished.

Mr. Cuomo, who holds a wide lead in polls over possible challengers, has said he would even go so far as to support rival candidates against recalcitrant legislators of either party, according to people familiar with private discussions the attorney general has had with potential supporters.

Where was this toughness from Cuomo when it came to negotiating a settlement with Oppenheimer on behalf of auction-rate securities investors? In that settlement, Cuomo rolled over like a dog. Or, perhaps, Cuomo had more to gain from Oppenheimer by acceding to a cheap settlement.  Would Cuomo stoop so low and effectively reward Oppenheimer with such a sweetheart settlement? Let’s revisit today’s WSJ report:

“He said he’s going to pick off legislators,” said a person who heard Mr. Cuomo’s comments. Mr. Cuomo, who has yet to officially announce his candidacy, described a carrot-and-stick approach that would reward cooperation with political protection, resources and access.

Cooperation? Interesting. Looks like Andy knows how to play politics. Did he play politics with the funds rightfully owned by investors who purchased ARS from Oppenheimer? Might we ever learn the real details behind that negotiation and settlement? The WSJ continues:

In a speech before a gathering of Democrats in Niagara Falls three weeks ago, Mr. Cuomo said the state government had “violated the public trust” and demanded that Albany “clean up the disgrace that is the legislative process.”

Violated the public trust? If we listen to the individuals who purchased ARS from Oppenheimer and who still continue to suffer given the pathetic terms agreed to by Cuomo, we may hear more about violations of trust.

If Cuomo were truly tough, he would have stood up for these investors rather than having played politics with their money and their well being.

Andrew Cuomo tough? Not by how I measure toughness.


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