5:48 a.m. | Dec. 18, 2014 in Capital
ALBANY—Wednesday brought two legacy-defining actions for Governor Andrew Cuomo, who would have the public believe he had nothing to do with either.
The governor, a Democrat, wasn't even present when a five-person panel recommended casinos be built in Schenectady, Sullivan County and the Finger Lakes community of Tyre. And he sat impassively at an open cabinet meeting as two of his appointees—acting health commissioner Howard Zucker and Department of Environmental Conservation commissioner Joe Martens—recommended that the state not allow natural gas hydrofracking, citing public health “red flags” and a lack of scientific data supporting its safety.
Each decision was contentious, and will have major statewide implications. They will also have political implications. And rather than own them, Cuomo—the self-acknowledged "control freak"—is at pains to demonstrate that in these cases, he exerted no influence at all.
At the end of the two-hour Cabinet meeting announcing the state's fracking course, Cuomo turned to Zucker and Martens.
“So this is self-executing between you two gentlemen—I have nothing to do with...