While Gov. Cuomo and Sen. Dean Skelos play ‘The Blame Game’ Sen. Jeff Klein remains stuck in the middle of a test of political will that will clear the decks in the State Senate. It’s really important for Governor Cuomo to remember why he came to Albany, NY, and now that the finger pointing has started, it’s really something a Governor might forget during the ensuing fireworks. Governor Cuomo ran for Governor to make things in Albany work, unencumbered by the foot dragging of vested interest that sought to control his legislation, or to block that legislation if it failed to serve the interests of the rich and powerful. With Hillary Clinton and oversehelming favorite even the Governor realizes that 2016 Presidential run is out of the question.
I often remember the summer he ran for Governor and reflect on his candidate persona and message at that time. It was clear Gov. Cuomo aimed to clean up the cesspool that Albany’s politics had become and to start passing legislation that would get the NYS economy moving into high gear. He chose to avoid the divisiveness of a one party rule by Democrats that ceased to allow Republicans to be stake holders in his legislative program. The Governor thought if both the Democratic and Republican Party’s were stake holders in the State Senate process, he could achieve across the board consensus for his legislative program in the State Senate. This has failed in my opinion, because long time player Majority Leader Dean Skelos never really bought into the Governor’s goal of bi-partisanship, and merely saw the formation of the IDC Coalition as the last best chance for Republicans to keep Cuomo’s ‘Progressive’ legislation from being passed intact or undiluted by Republicans.
Sen. Skelos knew the pressure Sen. Klein and the IDC Coalition would be under to get his signature on the dotted line. That he and Republicans could continue to bargain tough, while serving their usual constituency, ‘Wall Street, and the Rich at the expense of the Middleclass. To date this strategy has worked brilliantly at times. Gun Control after the Newtown, CT massacre was unstoppable perhaps, but Skelos used it to his advantage leaving Cuomo open to criticism about the language in the bill. Language hastily written and which needed revision, after a fast track passage that left little time for its provisions to be reviewed.
Now Sen. Jeff Klein and the IDC are in the middle, of the power struggle between Dean Skelos and the Governor, and that isn’t the place to be when two guys want to have at it with each other. Sen. Jeff Klein is on the way out a victim of the blame game, which leaves Governor Cuomo now having to explain, why this new IDC Coalition set up is failing to deliver on his political agenda. In the State Senate the passage of ‘Progressive’ legislation is a low Republicans priority, because it fails to serve their constituency, or the need of the Rich and Powerful who shun Cuomo’s ‘Progressive’ agenda. The Governor will secure a great legacy by pushing a 'Progressive' agenda with sound fiscal management as the foundation of his administration's legacy. This is a worthy goal and whatever the future brings one he'll be fondly remembered for in the future.
Mike Flynn ‘Middle Class Mike’