Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s trip last Wednesday to Washington, D.C., was all about making it clear to U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao that the Empire State has major infrastructure woes – particularly the lack of funding for the new Gateway rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey.
There was also his closed-door meeting with Democratic members of the New York congressional delegation to brief them on the state’s top infrastructure needs. But several bochincheros who were in the room told me that Cuomo was also grilled about the state Senate Independent Democratic Conference.
“(Cuomo) dished out a lot of what he's said to some back home,” said one bochinchero, referring to Cuomo’s lack of appetite to play mediator between the IDC and mainline state Senate Democrats.
There are a handful of members of New York’s congressional delegation who aren’t buying it. “He can't push (the) IDC off on the hatred between (state Sens. Michael) Gianaris and (Jeff) Klein,” the bochinchero said with audible irritation. “It was typical Cuomo, blaming someone else.” As many know, the renegade IDC is led by Klein and seven other members who vote with the Republicans on many issues; Gianaris is the deputy Democratic conference leader.
Another bochinchero added, “We know (Cuomo) could put an end to this IDC nonsense. It’s hurting Democrats.” The general consensus is that Cuomo needs to feel the pressure in order to act. Or, in the context of his national ambitions, Cuomo will eventually realize that if the IDC-Republican partnership is being talked about by the state’s congressional delegation, then other prominent Democrats across the country are surely taking notice. That's bad bochinche for Cuomo, who is angling for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020.
Some eyes on Somos
A report from their March Albany conference is still being pulled together (it’s like pulling teeth), and yet the members of the Assembly’s fiesta-oriented Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force are already putting some major touches on their upcoming fall conference from Nov. 8-12 at the Caribe Hilton in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“After 30 years of doing this, one would expect at least a summary a week or two after each conference,” one veteran bochinchero insider told B&B. In general, those that try to engage Somos leadership find that its Executive Director José Paulino – anointed by Assemblyman Marcos Crespo – usually has a “Which way do we go?” response. The harsh critique by the bochinchero stems from frustration regarding Crespo’s lack of success in making the changes he spoke about so articulately.
Yo, Marcos, where’s the report from your boy Paulino?
NEXT STORY: Winners & Losers 7/28/17