Andrew Cuomo Cheerleader Fred Dicker's Open To Suggestions On How To Stop Puckering Up For Gov's Rump

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www.charlierose.com
Fred Dicker's apparently open to suggestions on how to best avoid kissing Andrew Cuomo's ass.
New York Post state capital bureau chief/captain of the Andrew Cuomo cheerleading squad Fred Dicker asked us earlier this week what "tough questions" he should ask his pal Cuomo about the gov's new budget, which -- as Dicker swoons -- is expected to be on time for the second year in a row.

Dicker was responding to our question, which asked if he ever planned on lobbing anything but softballs at his pal Cuomo, as he's done so consistently in the past.

Well, we have a few suggestions for the long-time Albany journo, for starters -- and we realize this isn't exactly a question -- he might be a bit more cautious when congratulating someone for doing his job.

Dicker's radio show, as expected, was the first stop for the governor this week in his media blitz boasting his on-time budget. Dicker opened the segment by congratulating the governor on the budget. After about 20 minutes of what more resembled a Cuomo campaign ad than an interview with a seasoned reporter, Dicker then ended the show by congratulating the governor on the budget.

Granted, we're not looking at a copy of the New York State Constitution at the moment, but last time we checked, it's the governor's job to get a budget done on time -- that's why he gets paid.

We're not sure what it's like over at the Post, but here at the Voice we don't get a pat on the back every time we simply do the job we're getting paid to do.

Historically, reaching a budget agreement by the April 1, deadline has been challenging for New York governors -- and we realize it's no easy task. But it's still just part of the job taxpayers pay him to do.

As for some questions Dicker may have hurled at his BFF, the radio host asked Cuomo if member items (legislative "pork") were over in New York for good. Cuomo, as politically savvy as he is, told Dicker that he's no fan of member items and he'd like to see them come to an end -- "in terms of any new ones."

The governor's self-serving response to the question was where Dicker's inquiries about member items came to an end.

Had Dicker read the budget -- as his NewsCore colleagues at the Wall Street Journal (not to mention his direct colleagues at the Post) apparently have -- he'd know that tucked into Cuomo's $132 billion budget is about $40 million in what's called "bullet aid," which is basically "pork" in disguise.

"Bullet aid" is designated for Cuomo and legislative leaders to, as the WSJ puts it, "hand out to school districts and nonprofits of their choosing outside the regular funding process."

The Post -- Dicker's own paper -- goes further, noting that "hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development grants being sprinkled around the state by Cuomo's administration amount to Cuomo-controlled pork."

Cuomo's millions may not be called a "member item," but if it looks like a pig, and spends like a pig, it's probably "pork." Dicker didn't ask him about any of that, though.

In the midst of Dicker's gushing over Cuomo's on-time budget, he asked the governor "why would it require all night sessions to get a budget passed?"

What are you new, Fred? All night sessions are why budgets get passed in New York state at all.

As anyone familiar with New York's budget process will tell you, these late-night (closed-door) negotiations are when secretive, backroom deals between the governor and the Legislature get ironed out -- and the souls of elected officials are often bought and sold. Perhaps a better question Dicker could have asked the governor is "what the hell went on during these closed-door negotiations that allowed for you and legislative leaders to come to an agreement."

Dicker didn't ask that, though -- he, it seems, was more interested in a lesson in governmental procedure.

During the interview, Dicker only briefly touched on groups that aren't thrilled with Cuomo's budget, mentioning only one -- the CSEA -- by name. He failed to mention that there are a few teachers unions that also aren't as in awe of the gov's budget as he is -- teachers unions Cuomo has attempted to bully in the press.

As we reported last week, Cuomo and New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg decided to take the pissing match between the governor and two teachers unions public by putting out a press release announcing that the leaders were donating $72,000 to a Hispanic advocacy group to replace the donation the unions yanked from the organization in protest of Cuomo's pension reform bill.

Read all about it here.

When asked about the governor's taking the dispute public -- in the form of a press release from the Executive Chamber -- a representative from one of the teachers unions told the Voice "there's actually a press release? From the governor's office? Oh, for Pete's sake!"

We argued that the governor's press release was little more than a publicity stunt to cast the unions in a negative light (under the facade of announcing his and Bloomberg's donation to the group). Had we been granted total access to the governor, like Dicker, we might have asked him something about that -- in the form of a "tough" question.

Those are just a few of our suggestions for the long-time member of Albany's fourth estate. Feel free to leave your own suggestions for Dicker in the comment section of this post. 
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Benedictine
Benedictine

Maybe someone could find out what happened to the two people with the same surname who each got hit by the Governor's security detail in separate incidents while walking in the road near Mount Kisco? Seriously. This was reported by several media outlets, so I'm assuming it really happened. What happened to the people who got hit? Are they okay? I'm also assuming that they were poor people because they were on foot. Isn't this similar to what set off the French revolution?

Loammo2bl
Loammo2bl

Elderly and physically and egregiously abused and threatened to surrender with substantiate by the Judge Ervin f/f as face to face empiricalyI complained about Adult Foster Care "Listening Ear Crisis Center Corporation See SLAPP strategic lawsuits against public participation - think Corporation What's the point? Community Mental Health Director George Rouman replacement, fiduciary comptroller of AFC - LECC Al Kaufmann's wife Director Linda Kaufmann did 1) abolished permanently Recipient Rights Officer Kris Stableford 2) Criminalized and constructionally arrested Mr. and Mrs. Peter Reale (dob 1924) for having reported [think Geraldo Reviri sic documentary NYC Staten Island retarded starving and purposefully injecting hepatic liver to you disease experminting - think Tuskeegee syphilis disease on black men] their autistic son dob 1961, adopted at three months from Michigan Children's Aid Society who said "if'n we'da told ya you wou'n' atook him;" he lost 70 lbs in six weeks quit being fed is fed through stomach at time of eviction from 2599 S. Isabella Road and threatened by Linda Kaufmann that we surrender guardianship with the Judge face to face f/f listening by commission demanded the surrender Why? Says the Judge I don't tell corporations what to do, Parents brutally egregious unconscionably elderly abuse by the criminalization because Director Kaufmann and her husband Allie Kaufmann is program manager State of Michigan Isabella County Department of Human Services (DHS) Criminalized as in not the plaintiff but the defendant but worse the attorney who at no time was committed to the Reale orchestrated the "surrender" because "you incited a riot - you compromized the best interest of your son Raymond just because he starved and embarrassed the State of Michigan further by reporting to the State of Michigan Attorney General and the Governor and the New York Times: either you "recant or fuck you you little bastard. This is all your fault" says Tom Weiss whom the judge would not permit me to fire him, "you are your own worst enemy says Judge Ervin Signed Peter Anthony Reale 1942-1945 U.S. States 20th CBs Battalion S - S-w Pacific- Okinawa - Saipan where I too met my cousin Nickie and my brother Carl and Don Morrissey my gymnast friend fro Long Island City High School - Had Mayor La Guardia not put apparatus, horizental bars parallel bars in empty lots in Astoria L.I., NY I would never had been able to keep my son fifty years Peter Anthony Reale

Cpebob
Cpebob

How about what is the Gov gonna do to control Medicaid spending? What is going to do to spur economic development upstate? What is he going to do to make NY business friendly? What is he going to do to control the proliferation of costly and ineffective regulations?

Bteam
Bteam

And my frustration manifests itself by misspelling words. 

Bteam
Bteam

You are 100% right about Fred Dicker. But your questions are simplistic too! I think everybody covering Albany should have to take a practical test before writing. You're not alone in your lack of depth -- which is way Dicker is allowed to continue his hackish ways. I have a headache.

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