Opening prosecution arguments within the Joe Percoco trial naturally centered on corruption, however the drama additionally spotlights the awkward undeniable fact that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “job creation” applications appear to supply extra scandals than jobs.
Not that any quantity of malfeasance or coverage malpractice will immediate a Cuomo course change: His funds plan requires $300 million extra for a fund to (supposedly) promote high-tech funding and jobs.
Percoco, whom Cuomo has described as a brother, stands accused of taking bribes from firms searching for contracts below the gov’s signature applications. The trial, as Widespread Trigger New York’s Susan Lerner places it, “raises pay-to-play questions” in addition to ones about using “actually billions” in state financial growth funds.
Cue the governor’s ask for a $300 million “Excessive Know-how Innovation and Financial Growth Infrastructure Program.” Huh? Cuomo’s earlier high-tech efforts have been melting down ever because the supposed wizard behind them, Alain Kaloyeros, was pressured out as prez of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute.
Compelled out as a result of he’s caught up in the identical pay-to-play scandal. (Kaloyeros’ personal trial begins later this yr.)
Certainly, the language in Cuomo’s request is so obscure, some marvel if it’s actually a bailout for SUNY-Poly — on prime of the $208 million Albany has already needed to put aside.
Cuomo’s funds director, Bob Mujica, doesn’t deny that the money may go to SUNY, Politico studies, however insists it might have a broader purpose: “It might be used for any of the financial growth tasks.”
Whether or not it’s a bailout or a brand new run on the identical windmills, lawmakers ought to balk at shelling out one other $300 mil. Ditto for the $750 million Cuomo desires for regional “financial growth” awards.
Don’t waste a whole bunch of thousands and thousands extra on a failed coverage confirmed to foster corruption.