One of the most promising lines in our new governor’s inauguration speech was his pledge “to lift the veil of secrecy” now surrounding Albany. This heavy lift began this morning with twin revelations from Andrew Cuomo’s administration to that veil-lifting tabloid, the New York Post.
First, we have Fred Dicker’s insider report on how Cuomo squelched state police protection for outgoing gov David Paterson. The report says “severe behind-the-scenes tensions between Cuomo’s aides and [former top state cop John] Melville…were resolved Saturday with a decision to end Paterson’s protection.”
In keeping with Post political reporting protocol, there are no named sources in the story, that is, aside from an embarrassed former governor Paterson himself who calls it “a minor security issue that will be worked out.”
The No-Secrets Cuomo insiders are anonymously quoted as saying the new gov was “stunned” to learn that Paterson was angling for extended state protection. When the Times does this, it explains that anonymity was granted because the speaker was not authorized to speak. In the Post, such nonsense is unnecessary, because this is Dicker speaking, and it is a known fact that All of Albany is in Dicker’s own Witness Protection Program, except when they are not. Paterson and ex-governor Eliot Spitzer can both attest it is better to be in the program than out.
The other big Post expose from the No-Secrets Administration is an introductory interview with Sandra Lee, who lets us know that she spent the first night in the governor’s mansion’s master bedroom with the new gov and their secret love child — a two-month old white cockatoo given to Lee as an Xmas gift.
Lee told the Post‘s Jennifer Fermino that she has narrowed the field of possible names for said bird to four: Journey, Hudson, Madison, and Phoenix. “The stunning blonde,” as the Post dubs her, is from L.A., so the “Phoenix” idea is kind of hard to figure.
The good news is that the TV cooking star is going to focus on food and hunger issues in her new role and will be visiting food banks around the state.
The other good news is that cockatoos are generally non-talkers, although rigorous training can coax a few words. Dicker is said to be studying these manuals.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 3, 2011