Political Speeches Will Include Taxpayer-Funded Goodies
Cox: He can run, but he can’t hide from the legislature, his failed, corrupt record & growing budget deficit
(New York)–Governor Cuomo, having failed to bribe the legislature and embroiled in a series of high-profile economic development disasters and corruption at the highest levels of his Administration, has abandoned two centuries of tradition by taking his Constitutionally-mandated message to the legislature outside the capitol in a series of invite-only political speeches designed to avoid confrontation with the legislature and distract from his failures, today charged State GOP Chairman Ed Cox.
While past State of the State speeches always provided both houses of the legislature tickets to invite guests, the Governor’s speeches this year were made in tightly controlled environments with an audience selected solely by the Administration. The Governor has driven by his attempt to avoid rumored demonstrations by legislators after failing to bribe them for a pay raise in exchange for a hodgepodge of unexamined legislation to be passed during a special session.
Chairman Cox and local leaders from across the state organized press conferences at each of the Governor’s planned stops to respond and hold the Governor accountable for turning the traditional State of the State message into a political sideshow to distract from the latest indictments of his top aide and “brother” Joe Percoco, close associate Todd Howe and seven others tied to his administration, a series of high-profile economic development boondoggles that have cost taxpayers billions.
Chairman Cox warned that the Governor will try to project a progressive face by proposing feel-good projects–most recently his plan for free college tuition announced with Bernie Sanders– in an attempt to position himself as a potential Democratic candidate for President in 2020. But they should be viewed dubiously in light of a growing budget crisis and his previous high-profile broken promises, such as unfunded mandate reform, his Queens convention center and his pledge to reform the education system as the “student’s lobbyist.”
According to the Citizens Budget Commission, out-year budget gaps continue to increase and since the first quarter update, the fiscal year 2018 gap grew by $295 million to $3.5 billion. Fiscal year 2019 grew by almost $1 billion to $7.1 billion and fiscal year 2020 grew by almost $1.4 billion to $8.9 billion. If the economy were to enter into a recession, those figures would grow larger.
“Governor Cuomo’s Administration is embroiled in corruption, pay-to-play, and failed political gimmicks,” said Chairman Cox. “This year’s magical media tour is designed to distract, but the reality is clear. The Governor can run, but he can’t hide from his failed attempt to bribe the legislature or his corrupt record.”
He continued, “The Governor will try to project a progressive face by proposing feel-good projects, which the coming budget crisis will shrink to meaningless symbolism or higher taxes in the tax capital of the nation, which has New York citizens already voting with their feet.”
Chairman Cox cited several of the Governor’s projects, announced with great fanfare, that have gone corrupt or bust, including the Buffalo Billion, $250 million on Start-Up NY ads that created just 400 jobs, the collapse of the Utica nano deal, the empty film hub in Syracuse under federal investigation, the flagging $90 million for the Soraa deal, and the collapse of the Rochester photonics projects. Despite throwing billions of taxpayer dollars at ill-conceived corporate welfare projects and boldly claiming New York is “open for business,” Andrew Cuomo’s New York still has the worst business climate, the highest taxes, most out migration of citizens, highest energy costs, most onerous regulations and the worst corruption of any state in the nation.