Gov. Andrew Cuomo today called the collection of lobbyists and special interests “the enemy” and a major roadblock to his agenda of overhauling state spending.
Cuomo, giving a version of his budget address in Amherst, Erie County, repeatedly called state government lobbyists a “permanent government” that dominates policy.
The son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, the young Cuomo recalled coming to Albany in his early 20s. He says not much has changed more than 25 years later.
“It’s same lobbyists, same special interests, same corporate interests, same people making the same point,” Cuomo said. :That’s what’s controlling Albany. That’s the enemy. It’s the permanent government that’s controlling Albany.”
But most of the speech was a repeat of what the governor said Tuesday — right down to the jokes about marriage and “change.” Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy are crisscrossing the state drumming up support for the budget proposal.
The Democratic governor once again decried what he believes is the hyper partisanship at the Capitol that’s mired down progress. And, as has become an interesting norm for Cuomo, he was introduced by two Republican legislators, Assemblyman James Hayes and Sen. Mike Ranzenhoffer.
“I’m working constantly to depoliticize the dialogue and depoliticize the debate,” Cuomo said. “Too much of Albany has become partisan and political. It’s not supposed to be about Democrats and Republicans. It’s supposed to be about the people of the state of New York.”
Cuomo’s $132.9 billion slashes spending from the current 2010-11 fiscal year by 2.7 percent and requires deep cuts in education and Medicaid in order to close a $10 billion budget deficit.