Governor Andrew Cuomo takes a tour of the suburbs talking about the achievements of the latest legislative session. Our Nick Reisman has more on his big popularity among voters in these areas.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Andrew Cuomo is touting his newly minted property-tax cap as a sign of a new fiscal austerity coming from Albany. He's traveling around to suburban communities near Buffalo and New York City where voters give his first six months high marks. And the suburban strategy may be paying off.
"Interestingly although voters around the state like him, it's the voters in the suburbs who have the most favorable reaction to the governor at this point and in the suburbs more than any place else they see him as a political moderate and I think that is what the Cuomo strategy is all about," said Lee Miringoff with Marist College.
Cuomo, a Queens native who now lives in Westchester County, made the popular tax cap a cornerstone of his first-year agenda. Cuomo was able to convince lawmakers in both the Assembly and Senate to go along with the cap, despite reservations from local governments and school districts. It's criticism that Cuomo rejects.
"When you're increasing property taxes at 8 percent, where is the homeowner supposed to get that 8 percent? Their income is not going up at 8 percent, their home values are not going up at 8 percent, their savings account is not going up at 8 percent. So government keeps saying we need more money; the taxpayer is saying we have no more money," the governor.
Meanwhile, the Democratic governor was also able to convince the Republican-led Senate to vote on the same-sex marriage bill. The measure passed with four GOP lawmakers voting for it. It was a victory that may have been crucial for Cuomo to keep the progressive wing of his party together.
"These are all part of a package that's been very effective for him," said Miringoff.
And Cuomo's fiscal conservative street cred has fueled speculation he would run for president in 2016 or be picked to become President Obama's running mate in 2012. Cuomo on Monday called the talk silliness.
"Oh no, that's just political chatter and silliness and we want to continue to focus to do the good work of the people of the state," said Cuomo.
So far Cuomo has kept his agenda for the next six months close to the vest. But still left to do is the rollout of his regional economic development councils. No word on when those will be introduced.