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Cuomo: Republicans bad, Republicans good

By Tom Precious

ALBANY -- Just a few days after calling for the ouster of Republicans from their power base in the State Senate, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday sought to characterize his relations with GOP lawmakers as vibrant and productive.

In Rochester, the governor was asked by a reporter if his call for a Democratic takeover of the Senate, done Saturday night to win the backing of the liberal Working Families Party, would make it hard to get things done in the Senate for the rest of the session.

“Oh, no. Look, we have a very good working relationship on both sides of the aisle,’’ Cuomo said. He noted that he invited Rochester Republican Sen. Joseph Robach to the public event he led on Wednesday. In contrast, at a similar economic development event Cuomo held in Buffalo after the Rochester event, no Buffalo-area Senate Republicans were visible, nor did Cuomo, as he did in Rochester, introduce any from the podium.

“We’ve reversed that partisanship that existed in Albany,’’ Cuomo said, adding his claim that gridlock has ended in Albany. “The lack of partisanship in Albany is something that I’m very proud of. Democrat, Republicans, we’re New Yorkers first and that’s how I govern and that’s what has turned this state around and we’re not going back,’’ he added.

The words were rather a sharp about-face from a video he sent to delegates at the Working Families Party Saturday night, when he said the Senate had been taken over by “ultra cons’’ from the Republican Party and that a Democratic takeover this fall is needed in the Senate.

The back-and-forth in Cuomo's words was not lost on his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino. "We now have two governors in Albany: Gov. Flip and Gov. Flop. They seem to rotate days,'' Astorino said.

Cuomo’s rhetorical dance Wednesday comes after Senate Democrats, upon returning to the Capitol this week, publicly welcomed the governor’s newfound political help; he has been a major helper for the Republicans for four years, including letting them draw their own district lines a couple years ago to favor GOP candidates. Senate Republicans, meanwhile, called Cuomo’s threat everything from “desperate’’ to “hollow.’’

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Andrew Cuomo | Rob Astorino
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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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