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February 19, 2017 / 23 Shevat, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Cuomo’

Everything Old Is New Again With Gov. Cuomo

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined his legislative agenda this month as part of his State of the State message with a twist that roiled many state lawmakers and some local officials. With advance word that state lawmakers would heckle him and even boycott the speech, Cuomo took his show on the road and opted not to have one major address near the Capitol as has been his tradition the past six years of his tenure.

“What is the State of the State – what is the answer to the question what is the State of the State as the essential bottom line?” Cuomo asked. “The ship of state is doing better than it has in many, many decades and is stronger than it’s been in decades. The economic and social progress is up all across the board.”

Cuomo chose six locations to deliver carefully crafted speeches customized for each region. Four of the six – Farmingdale, Purchase, Albany, and Buffalo were SUNY campuses where Cuomo touted his plans for tuition-free college and explained how many individuals in the region would benefit from the plan.

“The way we pay for high school we should say the day has come that we will now pay for college and let New York have the most educated workforce in the country,” Cuomo said during his kickoff speech at the Freedom Tower in Manhattan. “We should have tuition-free college in New York state for families who are making $125,000 or less because that is the future.

Cuomo also announced a role for Timothy Cardinal Dolan and leaders of the Jewish community “to organize interfaith religious leaders and congregations to share and educate New Yorkers about the commonalities in our different faiths because religious freedom and individual liberty are New York hallmarks and we need to focus on religious commonalities and similar foundations as opposed to artificial distinctions.”

Cuomo did not specify which Jewish leaders would be chosen for this task but if it is any indication, Rabbi Scott Shpeen, spiritual leader of the Reform-based Congregation Beth Emeth of Albany, provided the opening prayer at the UAlbany State of the State speech. Shpeen also provided the opening prayer for the Electoral College gathering in the State Senate Chamber in December.

Cuomo also pushed his support for ridesharing during his upstate speeches calling for safe rides home from a night of drinking.

“On jobs and infrastructure it’s all about embracing the new innovation economy embracing ridesharing. Ridesharing is creating thousands of jobs, its promoting safety for passengers, its making transportation less expensive. It’s actually safer from a drunk driving point of view, it makes total sense.”

Included in his pitch for ridesharing was a shot at state lawmakers who essentially boycotted all his speeches: “You tell your state legislators, pass ridesharing or don’t come home unless you’re in an Uber of Lyft car.”

As expected, the ridesharing proposal is being hailed as the right move by all groups except the taxi industry.

If ridesharing is not your thing, then maybe walking, biking, and the great outdoors has a better ring to it. Cuomo wants to pave a trail from Buffalo to Albany and from New York City to Plattsburgh.

“It’ll be the largest multi-use trail in the nation, called the ‘Empire State Trail,’ ” Cuomo said. “I believe this trailway could be an international magnet to bring people here. It could be a history tour, it could be a geography tour, it could be a natural resources tour, it could be just a fantastic outing.”

To help combat hate crimes, the governor is proposing a new State Police and Department of Human Rights Education and Enforcement Task Force.

“The number of hate crimes that has erupted recently in New York is disturbing,” said the governor. “KKK flyers, swastikas, white supremacist and anti-Semitic rants. Happening all across the state. It is as disgusting as it is ignorant and anti-American. Hate and discrimination have no home in New York and no infraction will be tolerated, period. There’s no doubt that this tension and this anger the middle class feels is destructive to this country and it is repugnant of the values of the state of New York.”

Cuomo also announced a six-point plan to combat drug abuse.

The governor outlined 36 proposals in a 400-page document that will be handed out to state lawmakers. This method dates back to the way the speech was presented prior to 1919.

Almost a century ago, in 1919, Governor Al Smith, who served as Assembly Speaker in 1913, gave the first verbal presentation of the State of the State as a speech in the Assembly Chamber. Cuomo said that when he became governor in 2011, he “wanted to get out of the Capitol and get out of the Chamber because I wanted to break the model that I’m there just talking to politicians. It’s about talking to people now. This is not a government from 100 years ago.”

While this is not a government from a century ago, the means of communications are considerably more advanced. Whereas Smith could only reach the audience he was speaking to at the time, Cuomo’s speeches are available from wherever you are as the audience.

The difference is that by moving the speech out of the Capitol, Cuomo reduced the chances that hecklers would interrupt his speech. Cuomo was heckled on a couple of occasions this year. In the past five years one state lawmaker or another stood up to publicly berate the governor. He avoided that embarrassment this year by scheduling his speeches on days when lawmakers were in session and could not get to their home districts to hear the governor speak.

While the governor’s method this year took longer – three days – Cuomo began his final lecture at the UAlbany campus noting that “I’ve spoken for nine hours to 6,500 attendees, traveled 1,300 miles, made 35 announcements, spoke to 300 projects, and did 1,000 PowerPoint slides.”

Republican State Committee Chairman Ed Cox followed the governor to each of his stops, dubbing the road trip a “Magical Media Tour.”

Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D – Utica) was annoyed that Cuomo missed the Mohawk Valley on his tour. Cuomo also missed the North Country, Finger Lakes, the Catskills, and the Southern Tier regions of the state.

Finally, a pair of Capital District lawmakers proposed a measure mandating all future State of the State speeches be held in the Assembly Chamber.

Sometimes it’s tough for people to break with a century-old tradition.

Marc Gronich

Gov. Cuomo Blacklists Foreign BDS Supporters

Saturday, December 3rd, 2016

The State of New York has created a blacklist of a foreign companies supporting the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel, The NY Post reported Friday.

Back in June, Gov. Cuomo told reporters–just before going out to lead the annual Celebrate Israel Parade: “Today, I’m going to sign an Executive Order that says very clearly, we are against the BDS movement, and it’s very simple. If you boycott against Israel, New York will boycott you. If you divert revenues from Israel, New York will divert revenues from you. If you sanction Israel, New York will sanction you, period. Thank you.”

“We are against the BDS movement in every way,” the governor reiterated. “We are against companies that do it. We are against the promotion of it by companies and by entities. I am very proud to be the first governor in the United States of America to sign this Executive Order, and I encourage every governor in this country to sign such an Executive Order.”

The governor presented his vehement anti-BDS position from a staunchly liberal perspective. “One of the great capacities of New York, is New York can lead by example and when New York does something, it’s a fair question for every elected official across the country, ‘Why don’t you do what New York did?’” he noted, continuing, “That was true historically when we led all sorts of reforms, the women’s movement, the environmental rights movement, human rights movement. It was true when we passed marriage equality a few years ago, and I signed that bill, and the next week they went to every elected official across the country and said, ‘Well, New York, Governor Cuomo signed the Marriage Equality bill, would you?’ They went to the Vice President and the President – the next week literally.”

“New York signs this Executive Order today,” Gov. Cuomo concluded, “It’s a fair question for every elected official. Why don’t you sign the same Executive Order? Why don’t you stand up for Israel? We want to know where you are, who you are and actions speak louder than words. Sign the Executive Order.”

JNi.Media

The Bombings, Part II: De Blasio, Obama, And Cuomo: A Study In Contrasts

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

The reactions of New York mayor Bill de Blasio, New York governor Andrew Cuomo, and President Obama are also revealing. The president and the mayor, as true progressives, strove mightily to avoid using the “terror“ word – no doubt fearing that someone might, Heaven forbid, make a Muslim connection.

The identity and background of the arrested suspect show just how off the mark their approach was. To his credit, Gov. Cuomo told it like it was right out of the box.

“A bomb exploding in New York is obviously an act of terrorism,” the governor said soon after the news broke of the Manhattan attack.

And while Mr. Cuomo initially hesitated to speculate on a foreign connection, once the identity of the suspect was made known, he was quick to say that “today’s information suggests it may be foreign related.”

(In retrospect, how could it have been otherwise? After all, it was immediately known that explosives were placed in a pressure cooker with shrapnel and that there had been an earlier bombing in New Jersey.)

But Mayor de Blasio was not having any of that, and instead refused to acknowledge what everyone knew to be the case: that terrorism was in play. He said:

 

Here is what we know: it was intentional, it was a violent act, it was certainly a criminal act, it was a bombing – that’s what we know…. To understand there were any specific motivations, political motivations, and connection to an organization – that’s what we don’t know.

 

But nobody asked him to ascribe specific motivations. Surely he had a duty to assure New Yorkers that he had some handle on the scope of the dangers they faced. And to what would he ascribe the explosions – run of the mill vandalism? Yet it wasn’t until Monday, after the identity of a prime suspect went viral, that the mayor first broached the notion that the bombings may indeed have been terrorist acts.

As for the progressive-in-chief, 72 hours after the Saturday bombings President Obama had yet to utter the word “terrorist” in reference to them – despite the Islamist allegiance of the alleged perpetrator.

Indeed, as if to underscore his refusal to accept, even now, any overarching Muslim connection, the president, who arrived in New York on Sunday for the annual UN General Assembly, declined to accord any special significance to the bombings by passing without stopping at the site of the Chelsea bombing.

At least we can say kudos to Gov. Cuomo.

Editorial Board

U.S. Midterm Elections 2014: How Will Obama’s Behavior Impact Today’s Scores?

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

U.S. citizens are going to the polls today (Tuesday November 4) to cast their ballots in midterm elections for Congress, with candidates being chosen in races where seats in the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and a number of gubernatorial races are up for grabs.

Thanks to Democratic President Barack Obama and probably the most dominant GOP Congress since 1929, it is likely that when the dust settles, America will wake up to find the first Republican majority in the Senate in years. Analysts are predicting that the House could see its largest Republican majority, in fact, in 65 years.

In New York State, however, incumbent Governor Andrew M. Cuomo — who is endorsed by The Jewish Press print edition — is not likely to lose his position.

A Democrat like his father, former Governor Mario M. Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo appears likely to win today’s re-election by a comfortable margin. The 56-year-old governor headed a bipartisan delegation this summer to show solidarity in a 3-day visit to Israel during the counter terror Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

A former housing secretary during the administration of former President Bill Clinton, Cuomo is seen as a shoo-in over Republican challenger Rob Astorino, the executive of Westchester County due to his efforts to cap property taxes and help New Yorkers recover from Hurricane Sandy. People interviewed by The New York Times also cited his strong support on equal wages for women and similar issues in its own pre-election coverage.

Also in New York, general state elections are taking place as well, with residents casting their ballots for representatives to the State Assembly, the State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

In Maryland, the race for governor that originally was considered an easy win for Democrats now looks to be a toss-up.

Democratic candidate Anthony G. Brown, currently the state’s Lieutenant Governor, has had a difficult time in the past month convincing voters his term will look different from that of his boss, Governor Martin O’Malley. With Maryland facing hard times and a struggling economy, people along the Chesapeake Bay are looking for the “change” long promised by another man of color in his first term of office, incumbent Democrat President Barack H. Obama.

Republican candidate Larry Hogan has attacked O’Malley’s tax increases, slammed the fading finances and says he can bring more jobs to the state. He says, simply, that Marylanders just ‘can do better’ and he can make that happen.

The message has been heard and the race is now a tight one, with the two men showing only a single-digit difference between them in the polls as they enter Election Day.

Hana Levi Julian

Cuomo Takes a Tunnel Terror Tour

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wrapped up his quickie pre-election tour of Israel Thursday with an armored car escort of tunnels Hamas terrorists had dug with the aim of mass slaughter of Jews at a kibbutz near the Gaza border.

Cuomo has enjoyed five-star hospitality from Israel in appreciation of his solidarity trip. He said that Hamas is an enemy of New York just like it is of Israel.

Like most Americans who see Israel thought the lens of CNN or the photos in The New York Times showing IDF soldiers and dead Gazans, the governor and his delegation really didn’t understand the extent of the sophistication of the tunnels.

“Reading media accounts back home, you’d think these were a few yards of dirt you could crawl through,” said State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos. “These are sophisticated tunnels intended to kill.”

Terrorists intended to use the tunnel at Kibbutz Eini HaShlosha to kill and kidnap residents of the community. The delegation saw the electric wiring that lined the tunnel, built with cement, a “dual-purpose) material that the world has assumed was used for housing people and not for rockets and terrorists.

One of the tunnels that the delegation toured was 130 feet below ground, while another one was only 14 feet underground.

“You see those tunnels and you are reminded of how aggressive and tenacious the enemy is,” Cuomo said. “There are miles and miles of tunnels. These are concrete reinforced … The tunnels are an entirely new development and a frightening one.”

Cuomo met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday and told him, “You are going through a very difficult time. That is precisely why we wanted to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel. We pray for peace. We stand with you in defense.”

The governor also toured Christian sites but not the Muslim Dome of the Rock, and explained that there simply was not enough time.

“You can’t make every gesture on every trip. We are using every available moment,” he said. “Everyone does have a role in peace and the Muslim community has … a role at the table.”

Even if really wanted to visit, it is not certain that police would have allowed him to do so considering the daily mobs of Muslims who harass and chase away Jews. A visit by non-Jew who solidly supports Israel would be waving a red flag at the Temple Mount.

On the other hand, it’s too bad he couldn’t see for himself what would happen if he dared to bring an Israel flag or carrying a Bible while ascending the Temple Mount.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Gov. Cuomo in Solidarity Tour in Israel, Rejects Abbas’ Invitation

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo started out his top-billed solidarity in Israel Wednesday with a visit to President Reuven Rivlin and a rejection of an invitation to take a side trip to Ramallah.

“Our message is simple and it is clear: We stand with Israel and we support Israel,” he said. “Everyone wants the killing to stop, but at the same time, Israel must have the right to defend itself. That is the message we will convey.”

With 81 percent of the state’s Jews having expressed preference for Cuomo in the 2010 pre-election polls, he is going for broke in the re-election campaign and does not seem too worried about the Arab vote.

“I think that the governor is choosing to be reflective of only one constituency in this conflict,” Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York, told The Wall Street Journal.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian Authority’s ambassador to the United Nations, where it is a permanent observer, was ambassador to the U.N. of Palestinian’s permanent observer mission, wrote a letter protesting the solidarity trip. “The responsible action would be to visit the Palestinian people and their leadership too and to see firsthand the wider context of this conflict,” he wrote.

Thanks, but no thanks. The governor’s officials deftly explained that the invitation was received too late to allow for a change in his schedule.

Quick thinking.

He would have a hard time explaining to Jews his “solidarity trip” by visiting Ramallah and would have an equally hard trip explaining to Mahmoud Abbas how much he supports Israel.

The governor did not directly reject the Palestinian Authority invitation but stated, “This trip is to show solidarity with Israel, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Republican State Sen. Dean G. Skelos, who also is on the tour, was more direct and declared, “Why would I want to go there and give any credibility to Hamas?”

Cuomo stated after the trip was announced, “New York has always had a special relationship with Israel. As Hamas and other terrorist organizations continue to threaten Israel, now is the time to deliver that message of solidarity in person.”

He has visited Israel three times, once as U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and he met with Yasser Arafat.

That was then.

The governor and senior New York legislators set up a photo-op, complete with American, New York and Israeli flags before he left the El Al terminal at JFK Tuesday night.

The itinerary for the governor’s trip includes the usual – a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and a visit to the Western Wall.

Cuomo also will visit with Israelis who were under bombardment from Gaza missiles in the war.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

McLaughlin Sorry for Cuomo-Hitler Analogy (Video)

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Republican Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin compared Gov. Andrew Cuomo with Hitler and Mussolini at a press conference Wednesday, drawing harsh condemnation from Jewish leaders and others.

Referring to the gun control bill that was approved by the Senate two hours after being unveiled, McLaughlin charged, “If that’s not dictatorial, I don’t know what is. Hitler would be proud. Mussolini would be proud of what we did here. Moscow would be proud. That’s not democracy.”

Although he was big enough to apologize, his regrets were not immediate. When a reporter asked him if his comments were appropriate, McLaughlin insisted, “How does Putin act over in Russia? Same thing. Dictate to the legislature what they’re going to do. They’re rubber-stamping it. I’m not calling the governor a dictator; I’m saying that this was the dictatorial thing to do.”

The Albany Times-Union noted that more than 20 Republican colleagues were silent and seen “nodding along” at the news conference.

McLaughlin profusely apologized several hours later, saying he is only human and it was an “honest mistake” made in the heat of representing his constituents, who live in parts of Albany, Columbia, Greene and Rensselaer counties.

“I made an analogy that I should not have made,” said McLaughlin. “I am very, very sorry about that. I apologize to the governor and to all of you. It was the wrong analogy to make.”

Jewish leaders called the remarks “inappropriate,” a view shared by both Democrat and Republican leaders in the legislature.

The gun-control bill was pushed through quickly by including the “message of necessity” waiver, which gets around the usual three-day period between the introduction of a bill and a vote on it. Republicans argued the waiver robbed them of an opportunity to veto the bill, which Republican Senator Greg Ball said has so many holes it looks like “Swiss cheese.”

Gov. Cuomo has used  the “message of necessity” waiver as a “message of political expediency,” charged Glenville Assemblyman Jim Tedisco.

A spokesman for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said that messages are only used when “appropriate,” and Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos admitted the gun control bill was passed in some “haste” although it messages of necessity can be “necessary.”

McLaughlin, a native of Massachusetts and a former airline pilot and banker, was elected two years ago to represent the 107th district.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/mclaughlin-sorry-for-cuomo-hitler-analogy-video/2013/02/06/

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