First, there was Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities.
Then, Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos said Monday, there was the Tale of Two Shellys (as detailed in the New York Times).
Now, Skelos says there’s another two-sided tale: the Tale of Two Cuomos.
“Now we have Governor (Andrew) Cuomo, who on one hand (has) commercials saying how great it is Republicans and Democrats are working together — four on-time budgets, cutting taxes, creating jobs,” Skelos told reporters. “And then you have another Andrew Cuomo — maybe it’s a different middle initial — who is basically kowtowing to the most extreme liberal Working Families Party, saying that bipartisanship doesn’t work in Albany and we should go back to the days of dysfunction, deficits, overspending, overtaxation.”
The “kowtowing” Skelos is referring to is Cuomo’s efforts to win the backing of the state Working Families Party on Saturday, which included a pledge that he would work to dismantle the state Senate’s current leadership structure and put it back solely in Democratic hands. As it stands, Skelos’ Republicans share control of the chamber with five breakaway Democrats.
Cuomo’s Senate shift will likely have a major impact on the final days of the state’s legislative session, which runs through June 19. Skelos said Cuomo’s call for new leadership will “make things more challenging” over the next three weeks.
“I would say that we always continue discussions, but I would say most of the more controversial things will be brought up next year when we have a majority of 34 or 35,” Skelos said.
Skelos said Cuomo will have to decide whether he backs a message of bipartisanship or “extreme liberal” policies.
“He’s really going to have to figure out which Andrew Cuomo he wants to be,” Skelos said.
UPDATE: Here’s much of Skelos’ exchange with reporters: