Thursday, December 30, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME AGAIN WHY ANDREW WANTED THIS JOB?????
Karen DeWitt (2010-12-28)ALBANY, NEW YORK (WXXI) -
When Andrew Cuomo becomes Governor Saturday, he faces some huge challenges, including a $10 billion dollar deficit.
Cuomo already faces a formidable challenge of closing the multi billion dollar budget gap, but he's upped the ante by promising to also freeze spending and taxes.
The new governor will not be bailed out by an improving economy, as has been the case in the past. Experts, including Governor David Paterson's budget director Robert Megna, says Cuomo will have to make some very hard decisions, perhaps even eliminating some government services altogether.
"There are certain things it's not going to be able to do anymore the way it's been done in the past," said Megna. "The numbers just don't allow it."
Megna says budget makers have already made deep cuts. The state raised taxes on the rich. And the past two state budgets were cushioned by billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds, which are unlikely to be renewed.
E. J. McMahon, with the think tank The Empire Center, says Cuomo is in for a complicated political battle, comparing it to a "multi level chess game". McMahon predicts he will have to make cuts, to schools, health care and local governments, which represent the largest parts of the budget.
Cuomo is sure to face a backlash from groups that benefit the most from the budget, in the education and health care industries as well as municipalities. Already school boards, as well as local governments, are demanding mandate relief, to bring down employee benefit costs for health and pensions. Unions have already warned against making drastic cuts. New York State United Teachers President Dick Ianuzzi says schools have been cut by $1.86 billion dollars a year already, and he says teachers will look to the legislature to restore the cuts.
"I expect good people in the Assembly and the Senate to push back on that," Ianuzzi said.
And polls show that Cuomo may not have that much support from the public for these cuts. A recent Siena College survey found that while voters want a balanced budget, they balk at spending reductions for health care and education.
In the past, groups including the health care workers union 1199 have spent millions of dollars in negative TV ads against former Governors Spitzer and Pataki. Both proposed deep cuts, and both governors later backed down. Cuomo has been preparing for a repeat of those tactics, and has begun his own fundraising campaign, chaired by business interests, to counter the ads if necessary. Ianuzzi, with the teachers union, calls that class warfare. He says some of Cuomo's supporters are trying to drive a wedge between what he calls the "haves", and the "have- nots".
"My goal and the goal of the union movement is to speak truth to that power," said Ianuzzi.
Cuomo will also need the support of the legislature, if he is to succeed.
The Senate Majority Leader, Dean Skelos, has endorsed Cuomo's fiscally conservative plans, which he says mirror the GOP's call for less spending and lower taxes.
"Since Governor -elect Cuomo has run for office, he's been singing the same song," Skelos said.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver leads a democratic conference that has traditionally held more liberal values, and has not wanted to make deep spending cuts. The Assembly Democrats have also not been averse to raising taxes on the wealthiest in society. Speaker Silver, while non committal about specific proposals, says he hopes to enjoy a good working relationship with Cuomo.
"I have no problem with Andrew Cuomo," said Silver. "I think we will accomplish a lot together."
The state's current Governor, David Paterson, famously had a famously difficult time getting his proposed spending cuts through the legislature. He also feuded bitterly with state worker unions. Paterson says he believes he was pilloried for abandoning his traditional Democratic Party values that he'd held throughout his two decades in the State Senate.
"It looks like the person has acted as a traitor," said Paterson.
Paterson says at least Cuomo has been very up front about what he intends to do.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Yes....I remember when Mario lived fulled time in the governor's mansion......
Cuomo to split time between Westchester and Albany
By Cara Matthews and Gerald McKinstry •Gannett Albany Bureau • December 27, 2010, 8:15 pm
ALBANY -- After his inauguration speech Jan. 1, Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo will be on familiar territory as he heads a receiving line at the 155-year-old governor's mansion on Eagle Street.
From 1983 to 1994, the Cuomos lived in the 40-room home while Andrew's father, Mario, served as governor. Like his predecessor, Gov. Hugh Carey, Mario Cuomo moved his whole family into the sprawling, Queen Anne-style house with facets of other Victorian- and Edwardian-era architectural styles. Andrew Cuomo was in his 20s when his dad was first elected.
The Cuomos, who are from Queens, took pride in living there. Matilda Cuomo, Andrew's mother, is credited with renovating the mansion, which is on a hill overlooking the Hudson River, and doing a lot of outreach work to bring in visitors, especially schoolchildren, as often as possible.
"I think the Cuomos have a feeling that it's a very special building," said Assemblyman John McEneny, D-Albany, a local historian.
But times have changed. After being the primary residence of two governors and their families for two decades, the mansion has been less lived in during the intervening 16 years of Govs. George Pataki, Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.
Pataki lived primarily at his Garrison, Putnam County, home, and Spitzer split his time between New York City, a home in Columbia County and Albany. Paterson's primary residence is in Harlem, and he said Thursday that he vacated the mansion in recent days for Cuomo.
While Cuomo, 53, has said he recognizes the need to make Albany a key residence, he will divide his time between the mansion and the Mount Kisco, Westchester County, home he shares with girlfriend and famous Food Network host Sandra Lee and with his three daughters, who are there several days a week. He also has an apartment in New York City.
Lee, 44, has a full-time business and career that's based in New York City. Cuomo aides have said Lee is not expected to have an official role in the administration. Any contribution of her time or participation would be voluntary and not at taxpayer expense, they said. to read more....click here..................
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Archbishop Timothy Dolan (WCBS 2)
A tourist from Brazil brought his son to the service, "This is the best thing you can do in New York," and a Brooklyn resident said, "It’s a place that tourists come and it’s just, it can compete with the European churches." Speaking of Europeans churches, the Vatican held an early Midnight Mass last night (10 p.m.), where Pope Benedict spoke about religion in China, "May the birth of the savior strengthen the spirit of faith, patience and courage of the faithful of the church in mainland China, that they may not lose heart through the limitations imposed on their freedom of religion and conscience but, perserving in fidelity to Christ and his church, may keep alive the flame of hope," and about the Middle East conflict, "May the light of Christmas shine forth anew in the land where Jesus was born, and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to strive for a just and peaceful coexistence."
Friday, December 24, 2010
'director of agency redesign and efficiency" ??? I AM QUITE SURE CSEA AND PEF WILL BE WATCHING THIS STATE AGENCY VERY CAREFULLY :-)
Published: December 23, 2010
Governor-elect Andrew M. Cuomo named two veteran state officials to his senior staff on Thursday, continuing to populate his administration with a mix of seasoned operatives, trusted advisers of long standing and members of politically important minorities.Eliot Spitzer and, for several months in 2008, director of state operations for Gov. David A. Paterson, was named director of agency redesign and efficiency, a new post.
Lawrence S. Schwartz, who is secretary to Governor Paterson — the highest-ranking unelected office in the Executive Chamber — will stay on for several months as a senior adviser to Mr. Cuomo to ease the transition. Before his service in Albany, Mr. Schwartz, known as Larry, spent years at the wheel of big suburban governments as deputy county executive in Westchester and, before that, in Suffolk.
Mr. Schwartz, like many other appointees, has ties to the Cuomos stretching back many years. In 1994, he was deputy campaign manager for Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, who was defeated that year by George E. Pataki. (The campaign manager in that race was John Marino, who remains a member of Andrew Cuomo’s tight circle of outside advisers.)
Mr. Francis left state government in September 2008 for Bloomberg L.P., where he was chief operating officer of its financial products division. Earlier, he spent 25 years in private business, as a lawyer, investment banker, corporate executive and venture capitalist. He also was the first chief financial officer of Priceline.com.
Mr. Francis, who was among the candidates for secretary to the governor, had delved deeply into policy for Mr. Cuomo during the campaign, helping to flesh out his platform in a series of “New NY Agenda” books.
His new position is intended to fulfill one major campaign promise: the first restructuring of state government in decades, involving an evaluation of more than 1,000 agencies, commissions and authorities to eliminate duplication and cut costs.
“Paul knows as much about how the private sector works as he does about how government works,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. “This is exactly the type of experience and perspective we need in order to take on the critical task of reorganizing and right-sizing state government for the first time since the 1920s.”
Also this week, Mr. Cuomo named his top spokesman in the attorney general’s office, Richard Bamberger, as his director of communications; Alphonso B. David, the special deputy attorney general for civil rights, as deputy secretary for civil rights; and Arlene González-Sánchez, the commissioner of mental health, chemical dependency and developmental disabilities services in Nassau County, as commissioner of the state’s Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services.