Tuesday, November 04, 2014

We Suspect This Author is Not a New York Republican

Andrew W. Cuomo. All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life. New York: Harper. 2014.

Andrew Cuomo, son of New York Governor Mario Cuomo, ran his first political campaign at age 24. By the age of 30 he had founded and was leading the nation’s largest nonprofit organization serving the homeless. He hen became Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). At age 39, was Secretary of HUD. In 2002, he ran for New York Governor and lost the Democratic Primary to State Comptroller Carl McCall who then lost the general election to Governor George Pataki. It was Pataki who had defeated Mario Cuomo’s bid for a fourth term as Governor in 1994.

Cuomo had led McCall in the polls by 20 percentage points. Cuomo did not want to run negative ads stating the Democratic nominee should emerge strong to take on Pataki.

Andrew Cuomo notes his father regrets how his involvement in politics took away so much time from his family. His father mediated housing disputes. Cuomo notes from these he learned “both government’s pursuits and their implementation can go horribly wrong.”

Cuomo went to Albany Law School. In 1986, he formed the Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (HELP). He raised funds from developers, banks, and contractors to build new housing. He received $14 million in low interest bonds from the state Housing Finance Agency. Prefab panes cut costs yet brought union objections. He learned some resides also required drug detox assistance.

Cuomo married Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Senator Robert and Ethel Kennedy, in 1990. They later divorced.

Cuomo learned form his time at HELP about the “shallowness of the political debate and how hard it is to actually achieve a solution.”

Cuomo became Assistant HUD Secretary for Community Planning and Development. His office had a $10 billion budget. It was used to support local programs.

As HUD Secretary, he had to work long hours. He found many programs it supported were being mismanaged. He realigned the staffing to deal with staffing shortages. The union objected to this. He reduced HUD personnel by 3,000 and created new job descriptions. Fraud cases against landlords were brought. Congress increased HUD’s budget in 1999 after four years of denying it funding increases. 50,000 new housing vouchers were created.

Cuomo ran for Governor in 2001 because “New York state government had basically creased to function.” He lost.

Cuomo ran for Attorney General in 2006. He won the primary with 53% to 33% for Mark Green. He then defeatedd Jeanine Pirro in the general election and won with 58% to 39% for Pirro.

As Attorney General, he sued colleges for deceptive practices after accepting gifts from school loan insurers. He fought health insurers in the high rates. His office indicted and convicted State Sen. Pedro Espada for embezlement.

Cuomo ran for Governor and was elected. He sought an Emergency Fiscal Plan for resolving a $10 billion in budget deficits, sought to redesign Medicaid that involved the input of all stakeholders, and sought to reform the juvenile justice system where too many incarceration facilities that were not being used adequately were being built. He asked the teachers’ union to help in creating a teacher evaluation process. He supported gay marriage equality and lobbied the legislature to pass it. He sought a tough assault weapons ban along with other gun control measures that passed when he reached compromises with legislators. He reduced taxes.


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