Democratic gov hopeful Andrew Cuomo expects to get thousands of people to sign his campaign pledge to clean up Albany.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver won’t be one of them. “I don’t sign anybody’s pledges,” the veteran Albany pol said. “Pledges are fixed in time, usually, and they really don’t mean much. I have never signed a pledge.”
Cuomo, who launched his run for governor Saturday, is asking citizens and candidates to sign a pledge backing his reform agenda – which includes several items that puts him at odds with Silver (D-Manhattan). Among them are Cuomo’s call for lawmakers to fully disclose their outside incomes, something his fellow Democrat has resisted.
Silver played down his potential clashes with Cuomo, stressing his support and their ability to work together.
He also said he did not take Cuomo’s repeated criticisms of state government, and especially the Legislature, personally. “He’s been my candidate for governor for quite a while,” Silver said. But he made a point of saying that Cuomo does not get a vote on who serves as speaker.
“New York government is made up [of] a lot of people – legislators, executive branch,” Silver said.
Cuomo earlier told an Albany radio station he did not see Silver as an “obstacle” to his agenda, but he didn’t deny the two are on a collision course. He stressed that he intends to build momentum for his reforms with voters – and the Legislature will have to follow.
Cuomo also announced that he had tapped four Republicans, including former state party Chairman Patrick Barrett and former state Sen. Michael Balboni of Nassau County, to lead his outreach to GOP voters. “I want to have an agenda that is supported by Democrats and Republicans and independents; otherwise, we get nothing done in January,” Cuomo said.
(Source: NY Daily News)