Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo laid out his agenda on Fred Dicker’s radio show this morning, saying that it was his goal to change the culture of Albany, but adding that politicians should fear the will of the voters in light of Tuesday’s elections.
“Part of what we have to accomplish, part of it is we literally have to change the tone and the culture,” Cuomo said. “All this negativity, Fred, it’s not productive, its not healthy for the body politic.”
He said his goal to renew a sense of pride in the state capital, and Cuomo made special note of the splendor of the governor’s mansion where his father lived as governor.
The 40-room Victorian mansion was built in a time when “people celebrated government and were proud of public service,” Cuomo said.”[Now] they would want you to build a state capital out of a cinderblock.”
Citing his experience working as his father’s transition director, Cuomo said that his team’s attention to policy during the campaign will enable them to focus mostly on personnel during the 59-day transition period.
“My campaign did extensive policy work, mock me if you must–seven, eight books of policy–so I don’t need to do a lot of policy work in this transition,” he said.
“The focus for me is going to be on the personnel side, and working very hard to attract new talent to state government, or begin to attract state government. That is not an easy sell right now,” he continued.
In spite of Dicker’s urging, Cuomo refused to speculate on who will be leading the state senate, sidestepping questions about whether majority leader John Sampson should be reinstated in light of the Aquaduct AEG investigator general’s report.
Looking back on the campaign, Cuomo said that he was pleased with the outcome, noting how results in New York bucked the national GOP-leaning trend.
He said he thought nationally too many campaigns were based on fear.”When you look at what’s going on nationwide, I’m proud to be a New Yorker, New Yorkers are going the other way.
“I truly believe New Yorkers heard their better angels. They really did- this emotional play to the fear play to the anxiety- it didn’t work.”
That’s not to say that he thinks the anti-incumbency sentiment that was alive and well in New York will go unnoticed when the state government comes to session in January.
“The one word you didn’t hear anyone say this year was ‘re-elect’… because they got that the people were saying ‘whatever you did we don’t appreciate, it has to be different.’ They heard it in stereo and I think they’re going to come to Albany with that recognition,” Cuomo said.
“Politicians are not hard of hearing, they are attuned to what the people want.”