Andrew Cuomo is playing hunger games and using Trojan horses to empty out Upstate as he seeks to further increase his personal control over the Empire State.
Andrew Cuomo said, “I’ve done more for Upstate economic development than any governor in the history of the state of New York”. With friends like Cuomo, who needs enemies?
In reality, upstate New York job growth has been less than a quarter of the national average with an outright loss of manufacturing jobs. Cuomo’s “Hunger Games” awards have mostly wasted over $3 billion supporting such economic development projects as bike trails and empty film studios.
Some might ask; what went wrong? But the better question is; was it ever intended to succeed? To answer why Cuomo’s upstate economic development policies were never meant to succeed, it is necessary to first understand the political situation in New York.
In the two legislative bodies that control New York State government, the leaders of the majority party in the legislatures (the Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader) are extremely powerful and little gets done without their personal approval. Cuomo’s party controls the New York Assembly with 106 of 150 seats, about 75 of which are New York City area Democrats, so there is no real hope of change there.