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CREW: Worst Governors in America: Andrew Cuomo - New York

CREW: Worst Governors in America: Andrew Cuomo - New York

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Published by CREW
Worst Governors in America
Worst Governors in America

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Published by: CREW on Jul 17, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/23/2014

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GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY)
was elected in 2010.
TRANSPARENCY
Gov. Cuomo has been criticized as having “a transparency problem”stemming from efforts to block access to records from his time as governor and as New York’sattorney general.
1
The governor does not use e-mail to conduct state business.
2
His aides do notregularly discuss substantive issues over e-mail, and some routinely delete their electronicinboxes and sent messages.
3
Instead, Gov. Cuomo and his aides tend to communicate by phoneor through the BlackBerry PIN-to-PIN message system which, unlike e-mail, does not passthrough a server and cannot be recovered once deleted.
4
Gov. Cuomo adopted a previous NewYork state archives policy concluding many e-mails are “not records and are therefore suitablefor immediate destruction” and expanded it to include “all electronic communications, whether  by e-mail, text, or BlackBerry pin.”
5
Since Gov. Cuomo took office, his aides have sought towithhold documents from his time as attorney general from public review, going so far as toremove records that had already been made public from the New York state archives.
6
 In addition, Gov. Cuomo encouraged the formation of a tax-exempt group, the Committee toSave New York (CSNY), which spent millions received from mostly anonymous donors tosupport the governor’s agenda with television ads.
7
The group received $2 million fromgambling interests shortly before Gov. Cuomo began explicitly advocating for expanded gambling, including in his State of the State address.
8
In 2011, Gov. Cuomo signed ethicslegislation requiring the disclosure of donors to lobbying organizations like the CSNY.
9
 Donations to the CSNY dried up after the new disclosure law was implemented.
10
Theorganization declined to engage in fights over Gov. Cuomo’s 2013 budget, partially out of concern that the new lobbying law would bring public scrutiny to donors.
11
 
1
Governor Cuomo at the Controls,
 New York Times
, July 28, 2012.
2
Records Indicate Gov. Cuomo Doesn’t Use State Email Despite Transparency Promise,
CBS New York/Associated Press
, July 16, 2012.
3
Thomas Kaplan, Despite Cuomo’s Vow of Sunlight, a Bid to Keep Aides’ E-Mail in the Dark,
 New York Times
,July 16, 2012.
4
Kenneth Lovett, Gov. Cuomo Uses BlackBerry Pin-to-Pin Messaging System When They Can’t Talk on thePhone,
 New York Daily News
, July 15, 2012.
5
State of New York Executive Chamber, Records Retention and Disposition Schedule, July 2, 2012,
available at 
 http://www.scribd.com/doc/98902430/Cuomo-Records-Retention-Schedule;http://www.archives.nysed.gov/a/records/mr_pub_genschedule_accessible.html. The policy says messages or attachments otherwise considered records should be maintained and instructs agency staff to use “sound judgmentand apply consistent criteria” when determining whether something is a record.
6
Danny Hakim, Cuomo’s Archive as Attorney General, Self-Edited,
 New York Times
, July 23, 2012; JimmyVielkind and James M. Odato, Cuomo Control of Information Includes Screening, Redaction of Records at StateArchives,
 Albany Times Union
, July 23, 2012.
7
Nicholas Confessore and Thomas Kaplan, $12 Million to Help Cuomo Came from Just 20 Donors,
 New York Times
, May 11, 2012; Erica Orden and Laura Nahmias, Powerful Ally to Governor Sits Out Fight,
Wall Street  Journal
, February 25, 2013.
8
Nicholas Confessore, Danny Hakim, and Charles V. Bagli, Gambling Group Gave $2 Million to Cuomo Ally,
 NewYork Times
, June 4, 2012.
9
NY Governor Signs Government Ethics Law,
 Associated Press
, August 15, 2011; Without Secrecy, DonationsStop for NY Cuomo Group,
 Associated Press
, May 10, 2013.
10
 
 Id 
.
11
Orden and Nahmias,
Wall Street Journal
, Feb. 25, 2013.

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