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Squeak, Squeak

October 15, 2014

If you drop a new squeaky toy on the floor in front of the dog, she might open her eyes or lift her head a bit or maybe say woof. But if you put that same squeaky toy under a blanket and move it a around and then squeak it, you are going to get a different reaction. Watch out for your hand.

This is a metaphor for politicians about the media. Do something that makes it appear like you’re hiding something and the dog will pounce.

There is a corollary to this metaphor and it goes like this: Place a squeaky toy under a blanket in front of several dogs and you will multiply the effect.

Andrew Cuomo knows this.  Nobody has placed more squeaky toys under blankets than him. More on this in a moment.

The issue at hand is why Cuomo doesn’t understand the appearance problem he creates for himself when he dicks around with reporters over FOILs and other requests for public information. (The word “dicks” is a legal term.)

We presume he has nothing to hide. We presume there’s nothing scandalous at all in the material that is being sought. So why does he invite negative coverage and further scrutiny?

Cuomo needs to be very careful here. That’s because – for the first time in his career as a statewide official in New York – he has a person like himself lurking in the background.

It isn’t Schneiderman. He closes his door for half the afternoon to do yoga and meditate.

It ain’t Dinapoli. Although he hired Joe Fisch’s top investigator and set up a public integrity unit, he’s simply too timid to act.

It’s not Dean Skelos.  He’s in charge of the Senate GAP – the Get Along Party.

Nope. It’s PB.

As you’re reading this sentence, PB’s staff is looking closely at the requests for information that Cuomo’s office has denied. He’s doing it because he can, which happens to be a favorite line of Cuomo.

How’s this for Albany algebra: PB is to AC as AC was to ES and DAP.

In this regard, despite what Cuomo asserts in his new book, all of his investigations were political. All involved behind-the-scenes dealings and carefully engineered outcomes. All made use of the media to undermine those who stood in his way in politics.

This might sound untoward, but you have to reason it out: Spitzer, Paterson and others didn’t deserve their positions if they were able to be toppled by Cuomo’s tactics. If they were smart and clean, things wouldn’t have happened the way they did.

That’s the reality and there’s a perverse elegance to it. If a politician is able to be tripped up and toppled, he will be – often by just a little squeak.

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