Unpopular Andy

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been unpopular with conservative New Yorkers for quite some time. The Governor’s gun-grabbing SAFE Act, his successful push for the redefinition of marriage, his full-throated advocacy of abortion expansion, and his 2014 declaration that so-called “extreme” conservatives have “no place” in the State of New York have alienated him from the conservative community.

However, Gov. Cuomo’s recent actions have made him unpopular with many others—including members of both major parties.

Over the past several years, Gov. Cuomo and Senate Republicans have worked together quite closely, and the Governor has been perceived as tacitly supportive of a Republican Senate majority. (To conservatives, the relationship has seemed to be much too close for comfort.) However, that state of affairs changed this year, when Gov. Cuomo endorsed and fundraised for Democratic challengers to vulnerable Republican state senators on Long Island. Gov. Cuomo’s efforts backfired; his chosen candidates lost, the Republicans maintained their majority, and Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan was not amused.

Gov. Cuomo alienated Assembly Democrats and other legislators in recent months by questioning whether Albany lawmakers had made a compelling case for a pay raise. Assembly Democrats—many of whom reside in New York City, where the cost of living is much higher than it is in upstate New York—were particularly displeased with the Governor’s stance. Some members of the Legislature were further irked by the Governor’s efforts to pressure them into passing other legislation in exchange for a pay raise.

At least one commentator believes that Gov. Cuomo’s damaged relationships with the Legislature will limit the amount of legislation that will be passed this year. Given how ill-advised and unnecessary most New York laws are, we can only hope and pray that this belief will turn out to be correct.