Andrew Cuomo, undoubtedly, is a pretty popular guy amongst New Yorkers (especially with New York Post state capital bureau chief Fred Dicker — as we’ve chronicled, the guy just loves him). The gov currently boasts a 68-percent job approval rating, according to the latest poll. However, more than two-thirds of those polled think he’s one shady dude.
According to a Quinnipiac poll released this morning, 76-percent of New Yorkers think Cuomo’s “lack of transparency surrounding these major policy deals is a very serious or somewhat serious problem.”
The response is in regards to how the governor managed to come to an
agreement with legislative leaders on the state’s $132 billion budget
during an all-night marathon of closed-door, backroom negotiations. The
budget deal has since been dubbed “Big Ugly.”
“Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and New York voters say Gov.
Andrew Cuomo has done a beautiful job so far,” Maurice Carroll, director
of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, says of the latest poll
results. “But if voters liked the result, they weren’t happy with the
process, the so-called ‘Big Ugly’ deal where Gov. Cuomo and legislative
leaders worked out an agreement on pensions, legislative redistricting,
casino gambling, DNA and whatever else they needed to resolve.
“Was the time honored – or dishonored – Albany practice of three-men-in-a-room the only practical way to get a deal? Most voters don’t think so. How about the lack of transparency – a big problem, three-fourth of voters think.”
Last week, after listening to Dicker gush over the fact that his pal Cuomo had reached a budget deal by the April 1 deadline for the second year in a row, we asked him if he ever planned on asking Cuomo any tough questions, or if he was just going to continuing lobbing softballs right over the plate for the governor to crush out of the park. Dicker responded by asking us what “tough questions” we thought he should ask.
From our post last week:
“In the midst of Dicker’s gushing over Cuomo’s on-time budget, he asked the governor “why would it require all night sessions to get a budget passed?”
What are you new, Fred? All night sessions are why budgets get passed in New York state at all.
As anyone familiar with New York’s budget process will tell you, these late-night (closed-door) negotiations are when secretive, backroom deals between the governor and the Legislature get ironed out — and the souls of elected officials are often bought and sold. Perhaps a better question Dicker could have asked the governor is “what the hell went on during these closed-door negotiations that allowed for you and legislative leaders to come to an agreement.”
We suggested that question for Dicker because we find three men (who have a hard time agreeing on much) sitting in a room all night at the state capital deciding how to spend more than $100 billion — and then miraculously reaching an agreement without telling anyone how they did it — to be a little shady. Apparently, we’re not the only ones.
Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting the Village Voice and our advertisers.