Mayor Eric Adams’ decision to have dinner with disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a second time as Gov. Kathy Hochul tries to reach him through bail reform reform in Albany was an “alarming” and ” disrespectful slap in the face. Critics told the Post on Wednesday.
Adams had dinner with the scandal-stricken ex-government on Tuesday night as negotiations over New York’s overdue budget came to a head, Page Six exclusively reported. The Midtown tête-à-tête, held at French restaurant Le Pavillon, came after the Democrat couple dined for about two hours at Osteria La Baia in February and amid excitement that Cuomo was in the running for governor will enter against Hochul.
“Getting political advice from Andrew Cuomo is like getting fire prevention tips from an arsonist,” joked Rep. Ron Kim (D-Queens).
“Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams should focus on driving policies to address New York state’s jobs, housing and health crises, not earmarking billions for NFL football stadiums and dinners with failed governors at New York’s priciest restaurants plan cities.”
As the legislature and governor worked on the state budget for fiscal year 2023, Hochul’s budget included several state-level legislative priorities that Adams wanted, such as:
But as New York lawmakers and Hochul ironed out details about the more-than-$200 billion spending plan, Adams hung out with Cuomo — who recently indicated that with his nearly $20 million war chest, he could start a campaign to to oust the current chief executive officer of the state.
“Kathy is trying to do Eric’s bidding while Eric has dinner with the guy who’s trying to undermine her at every step,” a Democratic source from the Legislature said.
“Welcome to the utter confusion and dysfunction of New York’s Democrats,” New York State GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy said in a statement. “Hochul doesn’t get a budget deal and the legislature is rough on her, but the fact that the mayor is more interested in speaking to the former governor than the current one tells you everything you need to know about how useless and weak this governor and the administration are.”
A Democratic politician, who asked to remain anonymous to speak freely, called Tuesday night’s meeting “disrespectful” of the incumbent governor given the timing and because Hochul has championed Adams’ Albany agenda.
“It’s a big diss for Hochul, who has put a lot of work into building a relationship with the mayor and running around behind her back and meeting up with her [former] Governor Cuomo — especially at a time when he’s carrying his water on bail and trying to get past the mayor’s control,” the veteran communications professional said.
“The mayor has a whole host of priorities in Albany and for him to be running around with the former governor is a massive diss to them.”
Mayoral control will not be included in the budget, legislative sources told the Post last week. According to legislative sources, the issue has not been discussed at recent Senate or Assembly conferences. Members told the Post that despite the mayor’s March 8 press conference advocating a four-year extension of mayoral control that Hochul had promised, Adams had not contacted members to advocate for her.
The source added, “It’s very disrespectful of Hochul to be walking around with Cuomo at a time when she’s trying to prioritize him in Albany against a reluctant state legislature.”
“Adams doesn’t do anything without a reason,” the source explained. “There must be a reason for this, I just don’t know what it is.”
A former Cuomo employee countered that there was no clear purpose and was flabbergasted by the dinner.
“I do not understand that. It’s certainly not strategic. I don’t think there is any strategy at play here,” the source told The Post. “This guy only takes meetings, which is alarming for the mayor because there should be some filtering.”
The former aide posited that Adams has a soft spot for disgraced ex-politicians like Cuomo and ex-Senator Hiram Monserrate – who nefariously slashed a friend’s forehead with a drinking glass and was ousted from the legislature after the 2010 domestic incident became. (Adams publicly severed ties with the ex-con in February 2021, who pleaded guilty in 2012 to embezzling public funds while he was on the city council).
“It’s that kind of Eric’s streak, having sympathy for guys like Monserrate and Cuomo. They tell him someone canceled and he doesn’t want to obey,” they said. “He resents the term ‘abandonment culture’ and it is a symbol of the sympathy of people who have found themselves in such a situation.”
“It’s interesting for someone who describes himself as a criminal,” the source quipped of the retired NYPD captain.
Erica Vladimer, co-founder of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, expressed outrage that Adams is legitimizing a man with a documented history of sexually harassing 11 women.
“I don’t know why an elected official would want to hang out with a known serial sexual molester,” she fumed. “Cuomo has not made amends for his harassment.”
“Adams sends a message that it’s okay to meet with a serial molester who’s trying to find his way back into politics.”
Cuomo – whose February meal with Adams included “advice” and “creative ideas” from the former governor for reviving the Big Apple’s economy, according to the mayor – has recently re-entered the political sphere after months.
In February, the 64-year-old ex-cop began running TV ads claiming he had been acquitted of sexual harassment allegations.
Weeks later, Cuomo ran a second ad, touting his excellence and declaring, “I never stopped fighting for the New Yorkers, and I never will.”
In early March, Cuomo made his first public appearance since resigning from a church in Brooklyn, where he moaned about how “cancel culture” and “political sharks” drove him out of office. During his second public appearance since stepping down under threat of impeachment in August, Cuomo didn’t rule out a bid against Hochul — telling reporters he wasn’t “going anywhere” and saying “I’m open to all options” when asked if he would run in a Democratic primary against his former Lieutenant Governor.
Cuomo also recently had lunch with a former powerful union honcho when he considered launching a comeback bid — and with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
At dinner Tuesday, in a private hug from the ousted Democrat, a source previously told Page Six that Adams “went straight to the table where Cuomo was sitting and hugged Governor Cuomo and the other two men at the table.” Shortly thereafter, Adams and Cuomo ate in a private room with the mayor’s chief of staff, Frank Carone.
Longtime political adviser Hank Sheinkopf said Adam’s decision to dine with Cuomo a second time shows he’s independent – but questioned the wisdom of the statement.
“Is it the smartest thing? I’m not sure,” he said. “It’s a way of telling the people in Albany that he has all sorts of connections and that he will do as he pleases.” It’s a warning to everyone,” he added. “The message is, ‘I’m an independent man. Work with me or I could go to other places and I’m not afraid of you.’”
In response, a representative for Adams downplayed the meeting with Cuomo, citing his public statements that Cuomo should step down following the release of Attorney General Letitia James’ sexual harassment investigation.
“Mayor Adams is meeting with many former government officials to discuss governance, which is especially important during these unprecedented times, but the mayor is standing by his previous comments that the former governor should have resigned, as he did,” said the speaker, Fabien Levy.
Hochul officials declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Hochul and state legislators are poised to reach a budget agreement by the end of the week that will add about $4 billion to the governor’s record proposed $216 billion in additional spending — including what she wants more than $850 million in state and local taxpayer money for a new Buffalo Bills stadium, sources told The Post on Tuesday.
New York’s fiscal 2023 overdue budget could reach or exceed $220 billion, an $8 billion increase from fiscal 2022, sources close to the negotiations said earlier.
Negotiations on the budget, whose deadline was Friday by Hochul and the two chambers of legislatures, have focused in recent days on changes to controversial criminal justice reforms passed in 2019, legalizing more Big Apple casinos and public ones Funds to build a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills.
https://nypost.com/2022/04/06/eric-adams-2nd-dinner-with-andrew-cuomo-criticized-as-massive-diss-to-gov-hochul/ Eric Adams’ second dinner with Andrew Cuomo has been criticized as a “massive diss” towards Gov. Hochul