When Andrew Cuomo ran to be the Governor of New York he promised that his administration would be the most open and transparent administration ever. Yet time after time he does not back up his talk on open government.
The latest example involves a Freedom of Information request by the Buffalo News seeking copies of communications regarding the negotiation of the Buffalo Bills stadium lease. Erie County to its credit released copies of documents including emails. A Buffalo News article contains the following quote regarding the Cuomo administrations cooperation with the News request:
"The Cuomo administration did not release, as requested by The News, any negotiating documents from 2012 to provide insight into the tentative deal that Cuomo announced in December".
State and County taxpayers are paying $95 million of the $130 million lease deal, and it is outrageous to me that the Cuomo administration can ignore a Freedom of Information request and outright refuse to provide documents as requested.
Governor Cuomo despite his talk in support of open government has established a bad pattern of not operating government in an open way. Check out these Cuomo moves:
- Cuomo and his top staff use an untraceable email service on their BlackBerries to communicate.
- Cuomo administration officials purged records from the state archives from Cuomo’s time as attorney general.
- Despite a Freedom of Information request from the New York Times, Cuomo has refused to release a ten-minute video he and his aides mocking their reputation for secrecy, that was played it at the Albany press corps’ annual gala.
- The details of Cuomo’s legislative items are often not publicly disclosed with enough time for public discussion and input.
- During his campaign, Governor Cuomo pledged to increase transparency in the governor’s office by posting his meetings on the internet, but his online schedule rarely contain more detail than a single sentence identifying the city where the governor will spend the day. As Attorney General Cuomo refused to provide a copy of his schedule, something that previous Attorney Generals did not have a problem with.
Cuomo acts like the Richard Nixon of Albany!
I am not calling Governor Cuomo a criminal when comparing him to Richard Nixon. All I am saying is that like Nixon, Cuomo has a paranoid, thin skinned, bully, secretive side that has been reported by others: