It's teacher hunting season!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

No E-Mail Accountability for Cuomo, Man of Transparency

No E-Mail Accountability for Cuomo, Man of Transparency

His government is very busy hiding some things. (For the latter, scroll down to Perdido Street blog, for the link.)
July 31, 2012 UPDATES from the New York Times, via Perdido Street blog. Scroll down.

The man that is touting himself as a promoter of transparency (a while back, called open government) is actually being quite secretive with his handling of his e-mails. In an effort to seep them away from being on the record.

In the New York Times:

"Despite Cuomo’s Vow of Sunlight, a Bid to Keep Aides’ E-Mail in the Dark"

By THOMAS KAPLAN, Published: July 16, 2012
ALBANY — Aides communicate with untraceable messages sent from BlackBerry to BlackBerry. Nothing delicate is shared using e-mail. And in-boxes are regularly wiped clean.

When he ran for office, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vowed to operate the most transparent administration in New York State history. And his aides argue that he has: they say that their communication methods differ little from those of other elected officials, and that Mr. Cuomo will preserve more documents than any of his recent predecessors.

But while Mr. Cuomo has taken steps to improve citizen access to the State Capitol, literally as well as digitally, he and his aides have also set up an executive chamber that prides itself on leaving few footprints.

“It communicates a culture of — I don’t know if paranoia is the right word; maybe it’s control,” said Bill Samuels, a Democratic activist and the founder of the New Roosevelt Initiative, a government-reform group. “But it’s not healthy long-term.”

The Cuomo administration’s sensitivity to sunlight is well known. Aides in the governor’s office have been warned about discussing work matters at Albany haunts. On one occasion, Mr. Cuomo’s spokesman worried publicly that someone was rummaging through the office’s trash. And the administration has been aggressive in redacting documents before sharing them with the public; in June, when it turned over months of Mr. Cuomo’s schedules to The New York Times, even the daily weather forecast was blacked out. (The office has since pledged to release the forecasts.)

Click here for the full original article.

Huffington Post's reportage on the issue.

* * *

We go back to the issue of accountability, an issue for teachers, but not for the police, not for the governor's praetorian guard or Governor Cuomo himself.

He is not only circumventing e-mail. He is removing some archives from public view. Go to Perdido Street School blog. I will not make the pretense of improving on what she or he wrote. Therefore, I will include just the beginning.

July 24, 2012, "What's Cuomo Hiding? (Continued): Another day, another story about Cuomo hiding something from the past:" [typo corrected]

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration, already drawing attention for its focus on secrecy, has now begun editing his record as New York attorney general, sending aides to the state archives to remove key documents from public view.

The aides have declared off limits all of Mr. Cuomo’s files related to a 2007 inquiry into the use of the State Police for political purposes, which was one of the most prominent public corruption investigations he oversaw as attorney general. And, in a change of practice, the administration is also pre-emptively reviewing all documents sent by the governor to the archives and removing anything it deems sensitive from public view.

The review of the archived material comes at a time when Mr. Cuomo is being much discussed as a 2016 presidential candidate. Many public figures with national ambitions have been concerned about being tripped up by old documents; when Mitt Romney left the governorship in Massachusetts, his administration wiped all e-mail from the government server and allowed his top aides to buy their work hard drives, so no electronic record remained.

Mr. Cuomo’s office defended its conduct, saying that the archives mistakenly made public documents that should have been private, and that it has simply been correcting those errors. It said that the documents related to the police inquiry — known as Troopergate — were exempt from public disclosure because they were “work product,” or protected by attorney-client privilege, and that researchers could find some of the documents through the files of other agencies, like the Albany district attorney.

And then we get what sounds an awful lot like Cuomo's people specifically trying to cover something up:
Go to Perdido Street School blog for the full article.

The latest, July 31, 2012, from the New York Times: "Cuomo Bullied Witnesses, Is Now Covering Up How He Handled Trooper Case" or "Cuomo Said to Dissuade Lawyer Use by Witnesses."


  1. What's he hiding? I really want to know. He'll get away with this for now, but I believe this will come back to haunt him. You can't try and hide all the bodies the way he's doing and run as some "Good Gov't" model without somebody calling you on it.

    But we'll see - I never would have thought his approval would be near 70& this far into his term, so what the hell do I know???

    1. We will see. That near 70% approval rate may yet be his peak.