Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo spoke to Fred Dicker on his radio show this morning, and offered a few more details about how he hopes to curb the influence of “special interests” in Albany.
In talking about his visit to Tryon Detention Center, a juvenile detention center that currently employs 30 people but holds no juveniles, Cuomo said it was an example of the power of special interests to maintain a status quo that suits their interests.
“The Tryon is just a very simple, graphic demonstration of the dysfunction of incompetence,” Cuomo said.
The governor-elect likened yesterday’s guilty plea by Hank Morris, a longtime aide to former comptroller Alan Hevesi, to Tryon’s symbolic meaning.
“I think it’s another metaphor: Tryon was one. This comptroller pay-to-play went on for decades, decades,” Cuomo said.
“For decades, everybody in Albany said, ‘That’s the way it is, that’s the way it is,’ like it came down from the Bible… And how many AGs sat in my seat and nothing was done? It was just, ‘That’s the way we do business in Albany.’ Baloney,” he said.
“It’s not the way you do business in Albany, it’s not unethical: it’s illegal,” he said. “It’s an important case because it says reform is necessary. Just because it’s gone on for years doesn’t mean its going to continue.”
Cuomo said he’s going to continue raising campaign funds–on top of the $4 million left in his campaign account–to make sure he can counter the inevitable advertising from groups that oppose the cuts in his first budget.
“I’m going to have about $4 million left and that is not enough to wage the kind of campaign that I want to be prepared to wage,” he said.
The importance of the p.r. campaign, Cuomo said, is that the public be made aware of the choices, and not simply be offered the one solution provided by well-funded special interests.
“I believe if the public hears the argument, and hears both sides, it’s not even going to be close.”