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On Second Thought

March 22, 2015

Allow us to amend something that we wrote in Friday’s post.  It concerns the controversy over Cuomo lifting Heastie off his feet in a bear hug. We thought initially that people were reading too much into this incident.  It was just a moment of exuberance, an inadvertent thing.  That’s what we said in our post.

But later in the day, we began to have second thoughts. That’s when we read what Cuomo had said about Heastie shortly after the bear hug incident. Cuomo basically said that Heastie was a puppet and that Silver was still in charge of the house.

It occurred to us that you don’t have good will towards a person one moment, wanting to hug him, and then turn around and belittle him the next.

The more we thought more about the incident, the more we thought it truly, truly odd. If you’re just getting to know someone on a professional basis, just establishing your working relationship, you don’t grab him and lift him off the ground and twirl him around in front of other people. And you don’t have your staff post photos of it on the internet.

It’s as if Cuomo was consciously or otherwise trying to show dominance over Heastie.

This realization made us quite uneasy about what we’d written. We felt worse when some people we respect called us to say that our attempt at humor wasn’t appreciated.

We had cited a silly scene from the movie Goldmember in an effort to shoot down the notion that there was some racial element to Cuomo’s action.  We still don’t think there was. We think instead that Cuomo’s bizarre action might have been related to something Silver has done – not Heastie. In this regard, we’ve heard that Silver has introduced a bill on private school tax credits. This bill complicates Cuomo’s already tense relationship with the Catholic church. Cuomo, in a fit of anger, might have been lashing out at Silver with the puppet comments – not Heastie. Maybe. Or maybe the Governor is just continuing his erratic run.

The main point here is that we were wrong in our Friday post to suggest that people of color in the Assembly were ok with what had happened. To the contrary, we’ve heard from African-American members of the Assembly who are quite upset with what Cuomo did and what he later said. They believe that Cuomo was incredibly disrespectful to Heastie.

We were wrong to suggest otherwise. Moreover, we shouldn’t have been such smart-asses in our commentary. We’ll try to work on that.

One Comment leave one →
  1. KFisher permalink
    March 22, 2015 1:10 PM

    I was at the Finance Committee breakfast where Cuomo allegedly made the Heastie remarks and he said no such thing, not even anything mentioning Heastie by name let alone Yates and the others, in his remarks to the group. Could he have said these things talking individually with people? I suppose so but that would have made the Post’s source easily identifiable to Cuomo. Perhaps the moral of the story is that single source stories should be repeated with skepticism.

    Privileged & Confidential as provided by law.


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