Cuomo Wins! / Loses! By Hon. RICHARD BRODSKY

eHezi Politics 5 Comments

Conventional political wisdom has New York Governor Andrew Cuomo winning the Democratic Primary and the November General Election handily. The same wisdom has him badly damaged in New York and nationally. What gives?

The objective measures of political success show Cuomo on a roll. He’s raised over $35 million. His opponents are starving. His poll numbers are good. Most voters don’t know the opposition. He’s dominated the political news as a candidate in the same manner that he dominated the government.

That may be the rub. His political operation was never satisfied with winning. Opposition was to be crushed and the methodologies were simple and punishing. It worked. Republicans voted for gay marriage and gun control. Democrats folded to an austerity economic agenda that cut taxes for the rich, cut spending, and gave billions to corporations as “economic development.”

He earned public approval as an effective executive. But when the inevitable mistakes came, there was no cushion of goodwill anywhere, no chorus of rebuttals by friends and allies. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

Cuomo’s mistakes were doozies. He championed ethics reform, then publicly took apart his own investigative commission when it started to look at his $35 million in fundraising. He coached a response from commission members that moved the US Attorney to publicly denounce it as witness tampering. He picked an intelligent and likable upstater as his Lieutenant Governor candidate who turned out to have a very conservative record on immigration, abortion, guns, etc.

But the heart of the growing disaffection was probably a political and governing strategy that looked smart for the first two years of his term. He won in 2010 in the midst of a Tea Party sweep. He’s nothing if not decisive and he decided to embrace a Tea Party-ish economic agenda. He cut the estate tax for a few thousand super-rich families. He repealed the bank tax. He cut state income taxes for those making over $300,000. He imposed tax caps on schools and local governments, cut school aid and bashed public sector unions. At the same time he was a big liberal on identity and social issues.

He became the main, if not the only, “progr-actionary” Democratic governor, marrying hard right economics with a hard left social agenda.

It’s become fashionable to blame Cuomo’s dilemma on personal style defects. The New York Times recently portrayed him as aloof and unfriendly, and his take-no-prisoners style has left him with a political class more than willing to stick a knife in when it can. There’s truth to all that. But the larger truth is that Democrats have moved away from tax-cutting austerity to concerns about income inequality and social investments. He’s out of step with his base on a lot of big issues.

It’s the combination of ideological and personal misjudgments that are causing him agita on an unprecedented level.

So what do voters do? Very hard to tell, but they don’t pay us the zero bucks to duck the hard predictions. He wins the Democratic Primary with about 60 percent of the vote and is declared damaged. He wins the general election with about 60 percent of the vote and is declared damaged.

Who ever said politics was fair?

First published September 3, 2014 by The Huffington Post


Richard Brodsky is a fellow at the Demos think tank in New York City and at the Wagner School at New York University.

eHeziCuomo Wins! / Loses! By Hon. RICHARD BRODSKY

Comments 5

  1. Is NYS Fuhrer Cuomo thinking about becoming our Fuhrer? Why is the political establishment so nervous about candidate for Lt. Gov. Dr Wu????? Are they envisioning Fuhrer Cuomo in DC in January 2017? Scary, huh? That would leave Dr. Wu as our governor – and he’s not a member of the Party!

  2. Submitted by matt_ on Thu, 03/28/2013 – 22:39. Permalink
    Our Governor is a king. The SAFE Act was his royal proclamation that defined me as a criminal if I don’t register my rifle with the state. Meanwhile, knights of King Cuomo’s round table (the active and retired police) are exempt from his laws.

    Property taxes are literally the highest in the nation. A semi-nice home that costs $175,000 will cost you more than $500 PER MONTH in property taxes.

    Sales tax is 8%. Income tax is 8%. Gasoline tax is the highest in the nation. A pack of cigarettes is about $9. New York also enforces a use tax. If you buy something out of state, but use it here, you are supposed to pay New York taxes on it.

    Police are actively revenue generating EVERY DAY I go to work. We have the red light cameras now generating tickets as well.

    They try to block every exit and turn up the heat.

    We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
    -C. S. Lewis

  3. Americans Leaving Blue States for Red; New York Least Freest State of All
    Submitted by Allegory on Thu, 03/28/2013 – 15:26
    Current Events
    By John Merline | Investor’s Business Daily | March 28, 2013

    Americans are migrating from less-free liberal states to more-free conservative states, where they are doing better economically, according to a new study published Thursday by the George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.

    The “Freedom in the 50 States” study measured economic and personal freedom using a wide range of criteria, including tax rates, government spending and debt, regulatory burdens, and state laws covering land use, union organizing, gun control, education choice and more.

    It found that the freest states tended to be conservative “red” states, while the least free were liberal “blue” states.

    The freest state overall, the researchers concluded, was

    North Dakota, followed by South Dakota, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. The least free state by far was New York, followed by California, New Jersey, Hawaii and Rhode Island.

  4. Cuomo says he created 500,000 jobs? Where? What kind of jobs? Mr. Brodsky can you give a little more detail on this alleged job creation?

  5. We hope the word gets out that Teachout/Wu is the candidate of choice other than Tammyhall Cuomo. As I respect Brodsky for all his work in the past regarding authorities. I would think he would then endorse Teachout/Wu. During the Cuomo administration how many authorities made the newspapers for shady Cuomo actions?
    Empire State Development – for their hiring practices and for their failed programs.
    Port Authority – come on Brodsky. Cuomo won’t say a word about the road closings and numerous people wrote to his office with no response back about this issue. Traffic was backed up in Washington Heights and all his then operations manager could say was it was a nj problem. Yeah, I don’t think so. Please don’t forget their are commuters from NY who use this bridge. How is it that the Battery Park Authority has a board member who is the largest donor to Andrew Cuomo, who doesn’t live in Battery Park and also made the newspapers this week –

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