Here come my fearless predictions for the year 2014. Some of these are things I do not want to see happen so I predict them to put the secret whammy on the idea. Some of these are things I do want to see happen, so I’m going for the “self-fulfilling prophesy.” Finally, some are things I really think will happen. You have to figure out which is which.
At the last moment, Governor Andrew Cuomo will open a door to the presidency. Someone will say, “Is the man nuts? This is just what he did with Carl McCall so many years ago in the gubernatorial race. Doesn’t he ever learn?” Of course he won’t run.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey will have a huge fight with Cuomo over the actions of the Port Authority of NY and NJ. Cuomo and Christie will come close to a fistfight in a rare public display of hubris.
Two biographies of Governor Cuomo will appear. Steve Cohen, the governor’s top unofficial advisor and the ghost writer of his autobiography will slip a line into his book that will have a lot of tongues wagging. Cuomo will say that he hadn’t read entirely his own autobiography. Cohen, you will remember, once uttered the famous dictum, “We operate on two speeds — get along and kill.” My absolute favorite of all time.
A furious New York Post columnist who had a contract to publish a Cuomo book will write a hate tome accusing Cuomo of betraying the people of New York by sponsoring the “NY SAFE Act” which heroically tried to implement gun control. Other than the usual ultra conservative Fox crowd, no one will have a good thing to say about the book.
Speaker Sheldon Silver will be overwhelmingly reelected to another term by his Democratic colleagues. His house will continue to pass progressive legislation like a campaign financing bill, secure in the knowledge that Senate leader Dean Skelos and his collaborator, Democrat Jeff Klein, will oppose it. Cuomo will continue to offer hints that maybe he isn’t really in favor of the idea.
The anti-fracking folks in New York State will give Cuomo an award for holding the line against what they call, “…this potential health scourge.” The Hulk and the widow of a famous singer will use their immense popularity to get Cuomo reelected.
The Legislature will reorganize the New York State Board of Elections. Cuomo will be given the power to appoint one of the commissioners.
Billy Joel will give another concert for the governor. The top seats will go for a hundred grand. The governor will call for campaign finance reform.
Ken Lovett of the Daily News will receive the highest award of the Legislative Correspondents Association for breaking the story that the Cuomo people were trying to call in the plays to the governor’s Moreland Act Commission. He’ll deserve the award.
A radio host will be voted “The most invisible person in Albany.”
Ben Lawsky, an aggressive functionary in the governor’s office, will try to wrest power away from the excellent State Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli. It will be the beginning of an epic battle to diminish DiNapoli’s stewardship over the state’s pension fund. Cuomo’s people will argue that no one should have sole control over the pension fund as DiNapoli does but all the inside hands will see it for the naked power play that it is. One wag will say, “Sure, Cuomo will appoint a board who will do exactly what the governor tells them to.” The state’s top unions will support DiNapoli, as will Speaker Silver in the Assembly. The unions will tell Cuomo, “Keep your hands off our pensions.” The governor’s people will argue that they can do it by regulation. The whole thing will end up in court.
Two assemblymen and two state senators will be arrested and sent to prison.
Senator Liz Krueger will be elected head of the Democrats in the state Senate.
All of you, dear readers, will have a safe, happy and healthy New Year.
Originally published in the Legislative Gazette, 12-16-13