The legislative session is done.
In New York, this year’s meeting of the Assembly and Senate is over.
Oh, the two bodies will convene for another couple of weeks, and there will be speechifying and posturing. But nothing will be accomplished. All pending legislation of import is dead aborning.
Because of Andrew Cuomo.
He slit its throat.
In a deal to benefit himself, the egomaniacal governor has shut down the interests of the state.
In this most recent instance, he has burned the bridges of four years of legislating partnership in order to buy the endorsement of a small, extreme political party from New York City.
But this is just the most recent demonstration of Andrew Cuomo’s unique ability to disappoint or betray everyone with whom he deals. What the people of New York share, regardless of their politics, priorities or geography, is the fact that they all have been screwed by Andrew Cuomo.
Every single group across this state can taste the blood of being punched in the mouth by Andrew Cuomo. He is an equal-opportunity disappointer who has discounted the interests of liberals and conservatives, upstaters and downstaters.
And in an election that is shaping up to be a referendum on the status quo, that’s worth bearing in mind. If your state is at the bottom of every good list, and at the top of every bad list, and the governor has contemptuously dismissed valid interests all across the state, do you really want to pull down the Four More Years lever?
Let’s look at the specifics.
In the current controversy, Andrew Cuomo betrayed his surest legislative partners – the coalition of Republicans and breakaway Democrats who lead the Senate – to get the nomination of the liberal Working Families Party. He promised that party that he would actively campaign against the Senate coalition that had given him his biggest legislative victories.
It was four years of partnership versus 20 minutes of convenience, and Andrew Cuomo threw his partners under the bus to help himself.
And he did it knowing that by doing so he would lose any chance of having this year’s Senate back what he says are the most important bills still pending – a “woman’s rights” package, raising the minimum wage, and free college for illegal aliens.
Ironically – or hypocritically – Andrew Cuomo had earlier promised liberal supporters that passing those very pieces of legislation would be his top legislative priority this year.
He promised he would pass them, then he made sure they wouldn’t pass.
That’s a good illustration of Andrew Cuomo’s tendency to step on toes.
Like those of people concerned about hydrofracking. The natural-gas drilling technique promises to bring prosperity to the worst-in-the-nation economic situation in New York’s Southern Tier.
Or, it promises to bring ecological ruin.
It depends on your perspective.
And, amazingly, this governor has managed to disappoint and disrespect both sides.
By purposely dragging out a review process, year after year, Andrew Cuomo has made sure New York doesn’t have a fracking industry. But that delay has not been a permanent denunciation, and those who oppose fracking worry that the governor is going to stick it to them as soon as he gets past this election.
So he has denied New Yorkers both the prosperity of fracking and the peace of mind of a ban on fracking. By saying nothing, he has said, “No,” to both sides.
He has also passed the most anti-gun legislation in the country, making felonious a variety of possessions and practices that are completely legal in most of the nation.
He has given away hundreds of millions of dollars each year to out-of-state television and movie interests whose lone impact on New York seem to be donating to its governor.
He likewise accepted massive contributions from casino interests just before announcing, completely out of the blue, that casino gambling was the cornerstone of his plan for upstate economic development.
He formalized the theft of local legislative appropriations – “member items” – taking away the power of local senators and assemblymen to funnel money to worthwhile projects. Instead, he redirected those dollars into regional economic councils under his control.
He crammed a hated and dysfunctional education program – Common Core – on the very people – teachers and parents – who had been his biggest supporters.
In short, he screwed everybody.
There isn’t a person walking down a New York street – anywhere, of any political persuasion – who hasn’t taken it in the shorts from Andrew Cuomo.
And that’s worth remembering in an election year.
He shut the legislature down because it served his political interest. Just like he’s shut the state down to serve his political interest.
This election is a referendum on the status quo. If you like things the way they are, vote Four More Years.
If you can taste the blood in your mouth, perhaps you should consider doing something different.