FROM ALLIES TO RIVALS

May 01, 2018 at 4:30 am

It’s been a cutthroat and very public display, with New Yorkers caught in the middle. The Cuomo de Blasio feud will be remembered in the annals of New York politics as one of the city’s nastiest. We’re investigating this rivalry with New York Times Chief Metro Political Correspondent, Shane Goldmacher who has the details on how these allies became rivals.

Aired on April 30, 2018. 

Transcript Print

>> ONCE COLLEAGUES, POLITICAL
ALLIES AND EVEN FRIENDS, NEW
YORK'S GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO AND
MAYOR de BLASIO CLEARLY HATE
EACH OTHER'S GUTS.
IN THE WORDS OF "THE NEW YORK
TI
TIMES", THE TWO DEMOCRATS ARE
ENGAGED IN A FEUD SO NASTY,
PETTY AND PROLONGED THAT EVEN IN
THE CUT-THROAT POLITICS OF NEW
YORK, FEW CAN REMEMBER SEEING
ANYTHING QUITE LIKE IT.
WHAT SPARKED THIS POI TON NOUS
RIVALRY?
WHO STARTED IT?
WHAT ARE ITS CONSEQUENCES FOR
THE PEOPLE OF THE CITY AND IS
THERE ANY CHANCE IT WILL END ANY
TIME SOON?
JOINING US WITH ANSWERS IS "THE
NEW YORK TIMES" CHIEF METRO
POLITICAL CORRESPOND SHANE
GOALMARKER.
SHANE, WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
>> SHANE, OVER THE WEEKEND, THIS
FEUD YOU WROTE ABOUT LAST WEEK
FLARED UP AS IT TENDS TO DO.
>> ALMOST EVERY WEEK.
>> WE'LL GET TO THAT IN A
SECOND.
LET'S START AT THE BEGINNING.
THERE'S NO DISPUTE THAT THESE
TWO GUYS WERE COLLEAGUES.
CUOMO WHEN HE WAS HEAD OF HUD
HIRED BILL de BLASIO DURING THE
CLINTON ADMINISTRATION.
THEY WERE POLITICAL ALLIES.
de BLASIO HELPED CUOMO FOR HIS
FIRST RUN IN 2002.
THERE IS A DISPUTE AS TO WHETHER
THEY WERE REALLY FRIENDS.
SOME SAY YES, SOME SAY NO.
WHAT DID YOU DISCOVER?
>> THEY WERE CERTAINLY ALLIES OF
CONVENIENCE.
I'M NOT SURE THEY EVER KNOCKED
BACK DRINKS TOGETHER.
THEY TRAVELED IN THE SAME
POLITICAL CIRCLES AND WERE SEEN
AS A TEAM WHEN ANDREW CUOMO RAN
THE HOUSING DEPARTMENT IN THE
1990s, HE APPOINTED BILL de
BLASIO IN NEW YORK, THE STATE
WHERE HIS FATHER HAD BEEN
GOVERNOR, THE FACT WHERE
EVERYONE KNEW ANDREW CUOMO HAD
HIS OWN POLITICAL POSITIONS.
IT WAS A REALLY IMPORTANT JOB
FOR CUOMO.
THE PERSON HE PICKED, THE PERSON
HE TRUSTED WAS de BLASIO.
PEOPLE SAY HE TREATED HIM AS
STAFF, AS CUOMO HAS TREATED MOST
PEOPLE THAT WORKED FOR HIM.
AN IMPORTANT POLITICAL ALLY,
ABSOLUTELY.
>> WE TALKED TO A NUMBER OF
VETERAN REPORTERS, NEW YORK
REPORTERS AND POLLS, AND WE
OFTEN HEAR THAT FLUIDS BETWEEN
NEW YORK GOVERNORS AND NEW YORK
MAYORS, NOTHING NEW.
IT GOES BACK AT LEAST A CENTURY.
THIS THE RECENT EXAMPLES, THEY
CITE A ROCKEFELLER VERSUS
LINDSEY.
HOW IS THIS ONE DIFFERENT?
>> IT'S SIMILAR IN THAT REGARD.
THERE'S A STRUCTURAL PROBLEM IN
NEW YORK -- MAYBE NOT A PROBLEM,
BUT A STRUCTURAL ISSUE THAT
CREATES TENSION.
THE STATE OVERSEES WHAT THEY
WANT TO DO, GO ASK ALBANY FORMER
MISSION.
WHAT'S WORSE BETWEEN THESE TWO
GUYS IS A, THEY WERE ONCE
FRIENDS OR AT LEAST CLOSE
ALLIES.
THAT'S NOT THE CASE WITH MARIO
CUOMO AND ED KOCH, THEY RAN EACH
OTHER.
THEY HATED EACH OTHER LONG
BEFORE THIS DYNAMIC CAME IN.
THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO END THIS,
SUPPOSED TO WORK CLOSELY
TOGETHER.
THAT'S THE FIRST BIG DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THE TWO.
THE VISCERALNESS IN THIS, ONE OF
MY FAVORITE ANECDOTES THAT WE
TOLD, THERE'S A STORY LAST YEAR
THAT BILL de BLASIO MAY NAP ON
THE JOB.
ANDREW CUOMO WHO CAN BE
PRESS-AVERSED, DOESN'T TAKE
QUESTIONS.
GOT ON THE PHONE WITH "THE NEW
YORK TIMES" THE NEXT DAY AND
SAID, JUST TO BE CLEAR, I DON'T
NAP.
THIS LEVEL OF VITRIOL IS SO
PETTY.
>> LISTEN, WHO STARTED THIS AND
WHAT STARTED IT?
>> I DON'T KNOW THAT THERE'S A
WHO STARTED IT EXACTLY.
IT STARTED IN THE VERY BEGINNING
OF THE FIRST YEAR OF BILL de
BLASIO'S TERM WHEN HE WANTED TO
RAISE TAXES, HE HAD TO GO TO
ALBANY TO RAISE TAXES FOR PRE-K
EXPANSION.
ANDREW CUOMO SAID I'M NOT GOING
TO RAISE TAXES, REPUBLICANS RUN
THE STATE SENATE.
BILL de BLASIO PUSHED FOR IT
ANYWAY AND IT FRUSTRATED ANDREW
CUOMO.
HE SAID, HERE IS A GUY COMING TO
MY TURF, I'M TELLING HIM IT
CAN'T BE DONE AND HE'S NOT
TAKING NO FOR AN ANSWER.
AT THE END OF THE YEAR, THE
MAYOR'S TEAM POINTS TO A
DIFFERENT PART OF THAT SAME
FIRST YEAR WHEN THE POLICE
TURNED THEIR BACKS ON THE MAYOR.
>> AND THE GOVERNMENT DIDN'T
SUPPORT.
>> OR DIDN'T HELP THEM AT LEAST.
>> IT ALWAYS SEEMS -- BEFORE I
GET TO THAT, TELL US WHAT
HAPPENED THIS WEEKEND?
WHAT WAS THE FLARE-UP THIS WEEK
END?
>> THE BIGGEST FLASHPOINT
BETWEEN THESE TWO RIGHT NOW IS
ABOUT PUBLIC HOUSING IN NEW YORK
CITY.
THEY'VE BEEN FIGHTING OVER
WHETHER THE GOVERNOR SHOULD BE
GIVE Z MORE MONEY AND WHETHER
THE MAYOR IS MESSING UP.
IT SEEMS SOME FOLKS WERE TRYING
TO ORGANIZE A LETTER AND GO
AFTER THE GOVERNOR AND
ACCIDENTALLY SENT A COPY OF THE
DRAFT LETTER THAT WAS NOT
SUPPOSED TO COME FROM INSIDE THE
GOVERNMENT TO A REPORTER.
>> PEOPLE IN THE de BLASIO
ADMINISTRATION WERE DRAFTING A
LETTER THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE
SIGNED BY PASTORS, AND THEY
ACCIDENTALLY SENT IT TO "THE
DAILY NEWS."
>> YOU CAN SEND IT TO ME, CC
SHANE GOLD BALKER.
>> de BLASIO USUALLY GETS THE
WORST OF THIS FEUD.
IS IT BECAUSE HIS PEOPLE MAKE
MISTAKES LIKE THIS?
IS IT BECAUSE THE GOVERNOR HAS
SHARPER ELF BOWS OR IS IT
BECAUSE THE GOVERNORSHIP HAS
MORE POWER THAN THE OFFICE OF
THE MAYOR?
>> DEFINITELY BOTH.
THE GOVERNOR HAS SHARP ELBOWS,
FEUDED WITH LOTS OF OFFICIALS
BEFORE BILL de BLASIO AND OFTEN
GETS THE BEST OF THEM.
IT'S A STRUCTURAL ISSUE.
IT'S HOW MUCH POWER THE GOVERNOR
HAS COMPARED TO THE MAYOR.
IN OUR STORY, THE MAYOR'S PRESS
SECRETARY SAID, IF I DON'T LIKE
SOMETHING, I CAN'T APPOINT A
MONITOR, BUT THE GOVERNOR CAN DO
THAT FOR NEW YORK CITY AND HE
HAS.
>> WE HAVE 30 SECONDS.
HOW IS IT AFFECTING THE PEOPLE
OF NEW YORK CITY, THIS FEUD?
>> IT IS AFFECTING THEM.
ONE, THE GOVERNMENT IS NOT
WORKING WELL TOGETHER, VARIOUS
LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT.
THE ONE POTENTIAL PLUS SIDE,
THEY'RE GETTING AN INFUSION OF
MONEY BECAUSE CUOMO IS DOING IT
TO EXERT POWER AND PRESSURE OVER
NEW YORK CITY.
>> SHANE, IT WAS A GREAT ARTICLE
WHICH YOU WROTE WITH OUR GOOD
FRIEND, DAVID GOODMAN.
I HOPE PEOPLE READ IT.
THANKS FOR JOINING US.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019