A different take on Mario Cuomo
Jan 21, 2015 | 12394 views | 0 0 comments | 505 505 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

There is more to the recent passing of former Governor Mario Cuomo.

Cuomo was never above using class warfare as an issue to divide and conquer. Remember his reference to Republican gubernatorial candidate Lew Lehrman's expensive watch during a debate in 1982? Lehrman was a self-made millionaire and founder of Rite Aid.

One of Cuomo's claims to fame was being a great orator and debater. In 1986, Cuomo followed the infamous Rose Garden strategy in his race for a second term.

His opponent was unknown and under financed. The late Republican Westchester County Executive Andrew O'Rourke had to carry a cardboard cutout of Cuomo to debate. In the end, Cuomo agreed to one token debate at the 11th hour.

In 1992, Mario had no problem signing off on the reapportionment plan for new Assembly and State Senate district lines based upon the 1990 census. This bill preserved and expanded the Democrats control of the Assembly, along with preserving the Republican majority in the State Senate by gerrymandering district boundaries.

Cuomo increased the level of state spending and long-term debt, hiding it in state authorities rather than the general budget.

We all mourn for the loss of anyone, but Cuomo is not worthy of sainthood. He was a mere mortal like the rest of us.


Larry Penner

Great Neck

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