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Day Four: Cuomo v. Miner

By Tom Precious

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s second in command today sought to calm the dispute between the Democratic governor and the party’s co-chair that has caught the eyes of party insiders across the state.

At issue is the criticism from Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner over Cuomo’s new budget plan that the mayor has suggested short-changes municipalities struggling to keep their finances afloat.

Criticism by most state politicians of the governor, who is not shy about defending himself from any barbs, has been remarkably rare over the past two years. At a time when Cuomo has been trying to rally Democrats statewide to embrace his fiscal plans, Miner’s criticism – played out this week in various media interviews – has been more than noteworthy since she is Cuomo’s handpicked co-chair of the New York State Democratic Committee that he controls.

In Buffalo today, Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, who has been the public face of the administration in pushing back against Miner’s criticisms, was asked if the Syracuse Democrat is being disloyal to the Democratic governor.

"I’ve heard nothing come up in any conversation I’ve had or any conversation I’ve heard that would indicate that," Duffy told a Buffalo News reporter.

Asked if she should resign as party co-chair, he said, "That has not been discussed."

Duffy, a former mayor of Rochester, earlier this week told Syracuse reporters that a control board – which could essentially take over the financial decision-making for that city – could be an option for Syracuse if Miner did not like the governor’s budget solutions, which include a controversial borrowing-type plan for localities to use against future savings from the state’s pension fund.

"I’m aware of Mayor Miner’s comments. I was in Syracuse following them. And one of the things I said is this governor has spent more time investing in upstate and upstate cities. I said this twice in the last week, and if I were still a mayor and still in office I would be absolutely thrilled to have this governor doing what he’s doing," Duffy said this morning.

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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