New York’s top two democratic leaders are feuding again. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Governor Andrew Cuomo entered in a public war of words last Thursday, as reported by the NY Post. The Mayor drew first blood on the morning news, fuming that Gov. Cuomo’s plan to unite the warring democrats in the State Senate is “a charade.” “It’s very convenient for him now, as he apparently is running for president, to be in good graces with the Democratic Party,” said de Blasio. “So now he’s going to move heaven and earth to have a Democratic Senate, and he wants to elect Democratic Congress members in these swing districts and not see them redistricted against the interests of Democratic candidates.” The mayor accused the governor of not being dedicated to the goal of achieving unity, recounting that he could have done so in 2014, but “We saw that commitment broken”.
The comments sparked backlash from Cuomo, whose spokesperson brought up the issue of de Blasio’s 2014 fund-raising scandal. “The only commitment in the 2014 election cycle that we did not fulfill was breaking campaign-finance laws, and the mayor is right: We didn’t participate with him in that,” Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever said. Lever continued, pointing at de Blasio’s upcoming December trip to Iowa, home to the political caucuses, saying the Mayor is the one who has aspirations. “It’s funny that the mayor would say the governor is running for president when the governor is in New York doing his job and the mayor is walking around Iowa,” she wrote in a statement.
Spokesman for de Blasio then took a turn in the duel, noting how two of Cuomo’s top former advisors are awaiting trial for alleged bid rigging and bribery schemes. “The mayor didn’t create the Republican state Senate, and the mayor has never had aides charged with corruption,” press secretary Eric Phillips wrote in a statement. “Whether the governor is in New York or on the presidential campaign trail, Andrew Cuomo can’t say the same thing.”
The public sprawl was “not accidental in timing”, commented Veteran Democratic consultant George Arzt. He said the Mayor may have initiated the spat, in time for the governor’s 2018 re-election campaign.
By: Hadassa Kalatizadeh