Was it really more of a way to twist arms than to root out corruption?
I'm no fly on the wall,
I haven't any insider information.
But after reading and hearing so much as of late about Governor Cuomo's Moorland Commission, I think it's only natural to attempt to sift through all the rhetoric and smokescreens, and draw some conclusions.
I have some ideas.
Perhaps you do too.
Here's what I think could have happened.
A while back, Governor Cuomo, who pledged to "clean up Albany", proposed a series of reforms to that end to state legislators.
Those state legislators, uncomfortable with the concept of business as usual ending, essentially told the governor to pound salt. They weren't going to pass them.
The Governor's response was to form a commission, to look into things he thought needed looking into.
Therefore, he empanelled the commission, probably against the wishes of those legislators, and this group of "independent" investigators eagerly set to its task.
Along the way however, as recently revealed by the New York Times, the commission began exploring areas and groups close to the governor, which his aides realized might reflect badly on him.
I think it's pretty clear they were told (despite what the Governor declared publicly) that the Governor and his associates were "off limits" and the panel, under the direct control of the Governor, began getting interference from aides to the Governor, and orders to back off on examining those parties.
However, all the while, they were encouraged to keep probing those lawmakers so resistant to their work.
I think eventually what happened was that the Governor's commission was able to dig up enough on individual lawmakers, that he (or his operatives) began contacting them.
The conversation (probably) went something like this.
"Why,…looky here, Senator Whoozelfritz (or, Maziarz)….look what we found out about you?"
The effected lawmakers then got around to uttering those four words that all things political eventually come down to.
"What do you want?"
Perhaps the Governor (or his operatives) replied (paraphrasing) "how about you vote for those reforms we proposed last year?"
With the specter of exposure (or the inference of same) facing them, perhaps those lawmakers rolled over, saying (paraphrasing) "If I do, then will you call off the dogs?"
"Done" was the reply.
And, lo and behold, the reforms were passed.
And the commission was disbanded.
A commission, that now perhaps appears, was not set up so much with the intent of rooting out corruption…as it was as a means by the governor to twist arms to get what he wanted.
Such is the way in the blood sport of politics.
The commission's work was done, the Governor would proclaim, in explaining why he suddenly disbanded it.
It was indeed.
It was a master stroke by (as one of Cuomo's staunchest local critics grudgingly refers to him) a "master politician".
Except for something, which the master politician didn't count on.
A "someone" actually.
A U.S. Attorney.
A federal prosecutor, not beholden to the Governor, and over whom he has no power or control.
Who then uttered the six words neither side wanted to hear.
"Hold on, fellas. Not so fast."
Now, interestingly, so far as any of those deals that may have been made….Well, it seems those deals are off, with neither party who made them actually having broken them.
And the Governor himself is under scrutiny.
Funny the way things sometimes work out, isn't it?
I dunno….that's just what I think may have happened.
What do you think?