It remains a one-sided debate. The media and citizen groups demanding more openness in state government. YNN's Bill Carey says the leader of the state may be at the heart of the debate, but seems to be brushing most criticism aside.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- For a Governor, traveling the state to boost accomplishments of his administration, it is a distraction he'd prefer to avoid. A simmering debate over the issue of transparency.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “Transparency means the ability for the public to basically observe government. How transparent the government is.”
Again and again in recent weeks, reporters and citizen's groups have raised questions about actions and policies which they claim have kept many of the workings of state government behind closed doors.
Cuomo, for now, is not admitting to any mistakes or promising any changes in his administration's policies.
“Can you always do more? Yes. And will I always strive to do more? Yes. But, ultimately, the people of this state will decide whether or not they feel that my administration is communicating with them, or not,” Cuomo said.
And it is hard to see any groundswell of public outrage over the issue. Most surveys continue to show Cuomo's popularity remains strong.
But even for a Governor riding high in the polls, there is a danger that perception can become reality in the minds of voters. Especially as reports continue to circulate about alleged secrecy in his administration.
Cuomo said, “I understand what some reporters in Albany think. But I think people are pretty smart in this state. And people have a sense of how we're doing in Albany and how the government is doing and how we're communicating.”
The governor says it will not be advocacy groups or the media that have the final say.
“The people of the state elected me. I work for the people of the state. And I'm in charge of a state government that is doing its best to deliver for the people of the state,” said Cuomo.