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Cuomo - 220X165A lot of people said Andrew Cuomo created the Buffalo Billion because he didn’t win Erie County when he ran for his first term as governor. He wanted to win over the community. The strategy was successful, as he carried Erie County when he ran for his second term.

Is it Rochester’s turn?

Cuomo did not win Monroe County in the 2014 election. You can blame resentment over the Buffalo Billion, Safe Act, Common Core, a perception he’s a bit of a bully and the general feeling he doesn’t care about Rochester. Having a lieutenant governor from Rochester during his first term did absolutely nothing to shore up his popularity.

In 2015, Cuomo seems to have discovered Rochester exists.

Gannett wrote an article called “Rochester clearly in Cuomo’s focus now.” It reads in part:

Anti-poverty initiative. Photonics center. Capital for a day. Medical marijuana facility.

After losing Monroe County in November, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration are clearly paying more attention to the Rochester area.


In January, the Democratic governor appeared in Rochester to announce a $1.5 billion competition for upstate economic development aid. He spoke once here in February about his budget proposal, then twice in the county in March.


Cuomo could use the boost, too. His job-performance rating in May fell to 37 percent,the lowest point since he became governor in 2011.

I think it’s too soon to say Cuomo is all about Rochester. (And if he is – where was he before? Why now? Does this make the first four years of not being here go away?)

First, the state’s pledge of $250 million to the photonics institute was a no-brainer. The money, coupled with SUNY Polytechnic’s track record, helped Rochester win the Department of Defense’s award. But this was a pledge of money to a maybe. It was also a pledge of money that will undoubtedly be handed out over many years. In addition, Rochester is already a leader in photonics. The governor did nothing to make that happen. He’s supporting something that already exists.

Second, the Capital for a Day thing was a dog and pony show. Does he think Rochester felt special? It was actually kind of insulting to see a bunch of high-level state officials learning about our community over the course of a single day. They should already know Rochester. It shouldn’t take a highly-orchestrated public relations stunt and the sprinkling of pork to get these officials to come to town.

Third, the anti-poverty initiative is a giant unknown. The plan is there is no plan. The governor gave us $6 million and no one has any idea what it will be used for. So far, there have been some nice brainstorming sessions.

Fourth, the medical marijuana facility and its 195 promised jobs is very nice. But Rochester wasn’t the only place chosen for such a facility. Sure, politics could have played a role in the selection, but Columbia Care – as well as Eastman Business Park – may have won on their merits.

Fifth, Gannett thought it was a great thing for Rochester that Cuomo came here to announce another economic development competition. This “Hunger Games” announcement was panned by many.

Finally, trying to shore up Rochester’s economy will not be as tough as other places. We don’t have the same population loss or unemployment as say…the Southern Tier. Things are not great, but they’re worse in other parts of the state. Rochester also has the colleges, workforce and infrastructure for a great success story.

Cuomo could use Rochester to boost his struggling favorability and job performance ratings. The question to start thinking about is this: If Rochester’s economy improves, how much will be due to Cuomo?


Links of the Day:


– COMIDA: “Nearly a quarter of the projects projected no new jobs and 30 percent estimated creating one new job each.”

– Great history lesson: Why does Jeb Bush admire James Polk?

– The Millennial Commune: An expensive dorm for adults.

– Sweet story: A Syracuse man depended on his bike. When it was stolen, friends and coworkers stepped up.

– Try something new: At 64, Utica man launched second career — as a nude model.


Meet Pixie!






5 Responses to Cuomo Discovers Rochester

  1. August 2, 2015 at 10:38 pm Bill Pruitt responds:

    These comments about Cuomo are especially sharp. “Insulting” is a great word, and should be used more often to explain to people in power when they are being condescending. Capital for a day, really? Do we get extra thruway exits on that day?

  2. August 2, 2015 at 11:07 pm Dorothy Egan responds:

    This is the “same ole” “same ole” – Politicians have a habit of identifying the horse who is about to receive the “blue ribbon” and immediately “hook their wagon” – After all what a better way to receive an “unearned credit” and then take the political stand that it “all” was their doing – Great Article Rachel – Keep up with your insight

  3. Cuomo is big into photo ops.
    I wondered why after the prison break in Dannemora why he felt it was necessary to crawl through the escape route that Sweat and Matt did. Then it dawned on me that after the incidents with Skelos and Silver, maybe Cuomo was just doing homework and taking notes that he might be able to use later.

  4. The comments on the “Cuomo of the day” are right on the mark.

    First; The $250,000,000.00 grant was indeed a no brainer. Giving/granting that to anyone but the Rochester region would have been a direct political slam. Consider the colleges and universities that we are so fortunate to have here. Consider the quality of those institutions. Consider the imaging history. I do believe that Cuomo and his “committee for the political Cuomo future” looked at this in great detail. I’m sure they found, much to heir dismay, that making a decision to place that in some other location would have resulted in a set back. So, kudos to all those colleges and universities who are the back bone of this community and have kept Rochester and Monroe County at its current level despite all the industrial loss we have suffered over the past years.

    Second: Cuomo will say ANYTHING to further his long term goal of running for the presidency. He is a politician, period. He will calculate and execute. If you agree with him, it has been calculated that your view and those that are of the same thought, are in the “future vote” majority. You don’t get to be president by telling it like it is, you tell it in a way you get the vote. Ask the teachers who drank the “Kool-Aid” and are now, along with administrators and yes,….PARENTS, fighting with every fiber in their bodies to address this Common Core scourge.

    Third; The anti poverty initiative is not a giant unknown. I believe it to be an issue for the day. Something that has locally been addressed with the hiring of a director and staff. Their methodology of addressing poverty is a giant pot of money to be distributed annually. Unfortunately that pot will keep growing with that “thinking” and it will need to be fed with an unsustainable amount of dollars. You tackle the poverty issue with education. Urban education that is relevant, that provides a clear pathway to a profession and career. The experts cannot get that vision. Same old method expecting miraculous results.

    Fourth: Medical marijuana? Medically speaking, get er done. No comment on the general use other than, get used to it, its just around the corner. Personally, rolling up dollar bills and lighting them on fire is not my thing. I work way to hard for my dollar.

    Fifth: Gannett is a Democratic leaning (that’s putting it mildly) publication. A publication who will, at election time, let you know how you should vote with their analysis. And to top it off, they are in business to make money. Keep that in mind next time you read the paper. Keep that in mind the next time the endorsement edition comes out.

    To sum it up, well written, factual and to the point.

  5. When I read your pet was named Pixie, I did a big double-take when I saw the picture!!! A good example of books and covers! 🙂

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