Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Which "Rabbis" Are Meshubud To Cuomo?
Cuomo denies having anything to do with the machinations— “You are not supposed to interfere in the Legislature, and you’re not supposed to be hyperpartisan. Well, Eliot [Spitzer] was. And that’s why he got nothing done”—and Klein backs him up. “The governor and his people didn’t really interfere in this process,” the senator says. “When the dust settled, he said, ‘Let’s get to work.’ ” But Cuomo is adept at sending signals, and it’s impossible to believe it would have happened if the governor had objected. The Senate play fit with Cuomo’s core big-picture political vision—that Albany is now a model of bipartisanship—and the structure quickly paid dividends. More important, both Democrats and Republicans now need him. In late December, after the horrific shootings in Newtown, Cuomo pressed his advantage. He threatened to blow up the coalition if legislators didn’t cut short holiday vacations and return to Albany so that New York could be the first state to tighten gun laws. “You think they’ve got Felder?” Cuomo said, according to Senate Republicans. “I have the rabbis who Felder reports to! You think you have Klein? I’ll get Klein to be a Democrat again! You are in power only so long as you can move progressive measures.” (Cuomo denies making the remarks.) The governor was prepared to launch an ad campaign lasting months. No need: In mid-January, the Senate passed Cuomo’s gun-control package two hours after the bill was distributed.