Governor Andrew Cuomo and one of the state’s top legislative leaders don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on corruption metaphors.
Dean Skelos, the head of the State Senate’s Republican caucus expressed concerns yesterday that Mr. Cuomo’s recently-launched Moreland Commission, which will go after corruption in Albany, would amount to a “witch hunt” against sitting lawmakers. But asked about Mr. Skelos’s phrasing today, Mr. Cuomo questioned its applicability.
“The concept of ‘witch hunt,’ when you use that word, you suggest that you’re looking for something that isn’t there,” a musing Mr. Cuomo told reporters during an Albany press conference announcing the Moreland Commission’s launch. “See, that’s the concept of the ‘witches.’ Because there really were no witches. You couldn’t really search for the witch because the witch didn’t exist. That’s what they’re trying to say here.”
Mr. Cuomo, eying the raft of corruption cases that have dominated the news cycle in recent months, concluded the allegations and convictions clearly show that wrongdoing by public officials is no “witch.”
“I’m trying to say, ‘No, no, no, this is different.’ This is not about looking for something that’s not there. We know it’s there because we just read in the newspaper about all these cases of corruption,” he added. “So this isn’t an idle mission where we’re creating or fabricating the issue. The truth is the exact opposite.”
The Moreland Commission, a powerful commission that can subpoena lawmakers, is Mr. Cuomo’s response to the State Legislature failing to pass a package of reforms he felt would have helped to halt the endless string of scandals.