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Politics

Cuomo Takes Christie-Like Stand On Budget

February 3, 2011

"New York State voters recognize the importance of addressing the state's deficit and are confident in Gov. Cuomo's ability to do just that," said poll director Dr. Lee Miringoff.

The newly-elected governor's fiscal agenda has received support from surprising places. Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long offered him support back in November. And on Tuesday, state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R) praised Cuomo for "keeping his commitments to reduce spending and to not raise taxes."

Meanwhile, Cuomo's 2010 opponent Carl Paladino's (R) campaign manager, Michael Caputo, a quirky consultant with a long history in Republican politics, sent a release on Monday to Paladino's supporters that backed Cuomo's fiscal plan.

"At the risk of a localized lightning strike," Caputo wrote, "I must admit the governor's early fiscal moves are conservative, responsible and absolutely necessary."

Though he wrote that he is "still angry" about Cuomo's "dirty campaign" against Paladino, Caputo said Wednesday that Cuomo was on track for making "systemic reforms," particular in regards to Medicaid financing and tax caps. Caputo hinged his support on Cuomo's pledge to not raise taxes or fees without any increased borrowing.

"If he can actually make those changes," Caputo told Hotline On Call, "he will have done a great service for the people of New York." However, he added, "if any of those three things (no new taxes, fees, and borrowing) change, we'll pull our support immediately. But I don't think they're going to."

Caputo said Paladino gave him his "blessing" to send out the Monday e-mail. Paladino himself prefers to "wait until he sees the project before he makes any public commentary," according to Caputo.

As for turning Paladino's supporters in favor of Cuomo's fiscal agenda, Caputo said, "It's hard for me to define for your street-level, Tea Party activist how Andrew Cuomo is acting [out] a goodly portion of Carl Paladino's platform. They just can't believe it. Their kneejerk reaction is, 'It's just not possible. You're kidding me. You're lying!' One of the first questions I'm getting from some of the more far-right members of the Tea Party is 'How much is Andrew paying you?'"

"There's no way on the planet Andrew Cuomo is ever going to give me the time of day," added Caputo. "Why not do this? Because here's the bottom line: if you are a truly conservative activist and you don't stand up for truly conservative fiscal policy, then you have no credibility to complain about a liberal policy in the future."

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