May 22, 2017

The Three Things Cuomo And De Blasio Have In Common

Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have three big things in common. They each are embroiled in multiple ethics scandals, they loathe each other, and both harbor an intense desire to leave New York behind and take their political brand to the national stage.

Since March, Governor Cuomo has been under steadily more pressure for using state agencies to hire former Obama and Clinton staffers. These hires, many of whom are paid for by state agencies that have nothing to do with their actual jobs, are seen as a way for Cuomo to prep for 2020.

Over the weekend, Newsday reported that Cuomo’s 2020 prep is costing New York taxpayers at least $1.5 million dollars a year:

“Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s hiring of 13 former staffers from the Obama administration, Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid and other nation campaigns is costing state taxpayers $1.5 million a year, state records show. Some of the hires are being paid not through the governor’s office budget but through state authorities and other entities considered ‘off budget.’”

All New Yorkers should be outraged that their taxes, the highest in the nation, are going to pay for these political hires. Once again, this story shows that Cuomo’s first priority is his political career, not New Yorkers’ well-being.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio is racking up the frequent flier miles in his efforts to rebrand himself from failed big city mayor to national progressive leader:

“This month, de Blasio took off the weekend from re-election appearances to travel 300 miles (480 kilometers) to Vermont and introduce Bernie Sanders at a Democratic Party fundraising dinner. The U.S. senator and former presidential candidate also advocates taxing the rich to pay for health care and college tuition. The next day, de Blasio threw out the first pitch at Burlington’s Little League opening day. Since January, the 56-year-old Democratic mayor has traveled widely as a spokesman for his ‘progressive vision.’ The forays reprise a national role he has sought since 2014, when he tried and failed to create a coalition to press policies that would address income inequality.”

Cuomo and de Blasio envision themselves as leading contenders in the 2020 Democratic primary. But history is littered with the political bodies of over-eager candidates who lose sight of the race directly in front of them – lessons these unethical New York Dems should heed.