Cuomo Fighting de Blasio over NYC Council Speaker

Image: Cuomo Fighting de Blasio over NYC Council Speaker Gov. Andrew Cuomo, left, and New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio

Monday, 30 Dec 2013 08:54 AM

By Lisa Barron

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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has apparently picked his first fight with Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's by trying to stop his liberal pick for City Council speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito.

The Democratic governor has been trying to drum up support instead for Councilman Dan Garodnick, Councilwoman Mark-Viverito's opponent in the race for the city's second most powerful position,the New York Post reported Monday.

"It's certainly not in Cuomo's political interest to have another left-wing activist along with de Blasio running the city," a Democratic city leader told the Post of Cuomo's effort to upset de Blasio's endorsement of Mark-Viverito. "The sense is that Cuomo wants to see de Blasio defeated on this one, so that he'll start off as mayor weaker and not stronger, relative to the governor."

Cuomo, first elected in 2010, has recently launched his 2014 re-election campaign, presenting himself as an economic moderate.

"The governor, who wants to run for president, doesn't want to see the city turned into a People's Republic of New York at the same time as he's trying to make the state at least look like it's business friendly," a political observer told the Post, referring to .

De Blasio, who has called for higher taxes on the wealthy, endorsed Mark-Viverito, one of his strongest supporters in the mayoral election, for speaker earlier this month.

"The mayoral meddling in Council business was unsurprising but unseemly, especially from someone who used to accuse Speaker Christine Quinn of being too close to Mayor Michael Bloomberg," wrote the New York Times Editorial Board on Sunday.

"Now we're about to get a speaker with an enormous debt to the mayor, leading a legislative body that is supposed to be an independent counterweight to the executive."

The Times editorial continued, "Meanwhile, there are 50 others in the council who need to remember that electing speaker is their decision, not any party boss's or mayor's. It is their institution whose role and reputation they are bound to protect."

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