We don't mean to beat a dead horse here, as most people in our community are probably familiar now with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's abysmal record on economic issues, including cutting taxes for millionaires while demanding cuts to middle class workers and essential services.
But today the Governor -- who last month arrested Occupy Albany protestors for defying a curfew he established to stop them from "calling him "Governor One Percent"-- has sunk to a new low.
In a radio interview this morning with the only reporter in the state he gives interviews to, conservative Fred Dicker, Cuomo dismissed "demonstrators" and "advocates" as part of a "culture of corruption" who are "paid for by special interests." He also called them "spokespeople for special interests... quoted as if they are champions of democracy."
Read on for details.
The efforts of Governor 1 Percent to end New York's millionaire's tax, and to shut down the Occupy movement that has protested his policies has been well documented.
But the Governor just escalated this war on the 99 percent to a new level.
Governor "1 Percent" Andrew Cuomo, who tried to shut down Occupy Albany this week and has fought to end a millionaire's tax in New York state at the same time he cuts health care and education, and threatens layoffs of public workers, received thunderous praise today from a Washington institution.
Who was it that "applauded" the economic policy of the man who wants to be the Democratic nominee for President in 2016?
It's been well documented here and elsewhere that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has governed as a conservative along the lines of Chris Christie and Scott Walker on many economic and social issues (notwithstanding his support for gay marriage, which was actually encouraged by the business community in NY).
As discussed, Cuomo has fought to end a millionaire's tax in New York that currently exists (and therefore would not even be a new tax), while at the same time cutting basic things like health care for public middle-class workers like crossing guards making $20,000, and enacting a property tax-cap for wealthy suburbanites so that funding for schools and programs for the elderly are slashed.
His political calculus is easy to understand: As New York's top Democrat, he won't often get criticized by Democrats in his state (or the State Democratic Party he controls), and if he governs as a conservative, the Murdoch-owned New York Post and Zuckerman-owned Daily News, will sing his praises. So a New York Governor who has no one loudly criticizing him will naturally have high approval ratings, and that's just what happened.
But something once-in-a-generation has happened to undermine Cuomo's "sure thing."
Clearly, the worst-case scenario for progressives in New York's 9th congressional district is the currently most likely one: Republican Bob Turner wins the special election today for the seat previously held by Anthony Weiner.
But, unfortunately, even if Democrat David Weprin does manage to pull it off, it may be a sigh of relief for the party, but it won't be a victory for progressives.
For reasons I cannot comprehend, I am on the Tea Party e-mail list.
Take a gander at the interesting little message I received this weekend from TheTeaParty.net (excerpts below).
If there's one campaign "event" that exemplifies nearly every absurdity of American presidential campaigns and how they're covered, it's the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa slated for Saturday.
Inevitably, news organizations treat this completely meaningless gathering (its results count for nothing) as a major development in the campaign, devoting more resources to covering it than they usually do looking into, say, a candidate's performance in his or her previous jobs (ie, things that might help voters make informed choices).
Moreover, the poll brings out several bad practices that continually infect the way campaigns are waged and covered in America (after the squiggle):
In spite of the fact that their coverage of Mitt Romney's fundraising (specifically his false claim that he raised $10 million in one day) has been proven wrong (in fact Romney raised less than 1/4 that amount), not a single reporter or news outlet that printed this lie has issued a retraction, correction, or even admitted it was false.
The good news is that yesterday's diary about this topic elicited a strong response, and that several of the news organizations that engaged in erroneous reporting have ombudsmen or public editors. Which means, we can engage in a little organizing campaign with these officials to get them to admit that their organizations' reports that "Mitt Romney raised $10 million in one day" (a report that dramatically shifted the narrative of the campaign) were wrong and should be corrected.
Yesterday, this DailyKos post reported that while Mitt Romney claimed on May 16 to have raised $10.25 million in a single day (a claim he persuaded Politico, Washington Post, and others to report as fact), new FEC data revealed that he had only raised less than 1/4 that amount on that day.
The story (also cross-posted at a blog I contribute to) got picked up by several outlets, including CNN and the Boston Globe, and the DNC took a swipe at Romney over it, later in the day.
But while the Romney campaign might feel chagrined for getting caught lying , it's really gotta be embarrassing for the "reporters" who fell for the Romney lie, who rather than wait to see the campaign finance reports, simply reported as "fact" what the Romney camp falsely spoon-fed them.
And right on cue, one of them is striking back, with pushback that digs an even deeper hole for himself.
Remember that day when Mitt Romney's campaign claimed that it raised more than $10 million in just one day?
Well, the the campaign fundraising reports were submitted to the Federal Elections Commission on Friday, and it turns out: Not so much.
In fact, Romney's presidential campaign raised less than a quarter of the $10.25 it falsely told reporters it raised on May 16.
It is undeniable that the faltering economy and high unemployment have imposed some difficult messaging challenges for Democratic strategists and press secretaries.
However, the party has also been given some good material to work with in recent weeks, that it has largely failed to exploit.
With campaign fundraising reports (rather than the press releases on the reports) being released shortly, brace yourself for some of the least informed, least useful pundit analysis of the entire campaign.
Rather than use the filings to to see which corporate and wealthy interests the candidates are indebted to (and discern potential conflicts and loyalties they might have if elected), we all know that most reporters will view these reports only as sports scores designed to show who’s “ahead” or “behind.”
And because the press uses these reports to indicate “momentum” and ascribe "credibility" to candidacies, the campaigns therefore play all sorts of games to manipulate their numbers, and mislead the media and the public about them.
To help wade through the misinformation, what follows are some humble tips (from a reformed campaign aide who has seen the ugly side of this process) of what to really look for as these reports come out.