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Cuomo Worked To Hurt New York City's Agenda in Albany, De Blasio Says

By Jeff Mays | June 30, 2015 9:17pm
 Mayor Bill de Blasio strongly criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday, saying that the governor was an obstruction to the city accomplishing its legislative agenda this session.
Mayor Bill de Blasio strongly criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday, saying that the governor was an obstruction to the city accomplishing its legislative agenda this session.
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DNAinfo/Nigel Chiwaya

NEW YORK CITY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo was an obstruction more focused on politics and revenge than helping advance the city's agenda during the recent legislative session, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

That session ended in defeat for de Blasio on several key issues. He asked for mayoral control of schools to become permanent — it was extended for just one year. He also asked for specific reforms to rent regulation laws, but didn't get them.

"It keeps playing out in ways that I think sometimes are about deal making, sometimes about revenge,” the mayor said Tuesday in an interview with reporters. “Each situation obviously is different. But it’s not about policy. It’s not about substance, it’s certainly not about the millions of people affected.”

De Blasio accused Cuomo of plotting revenge any time the mayor spoke out. He cited the last minute decision by the state to pull $100 million in NYCHA funding for repairs. The mayor also said the state began inspecting its homeless shelters with a "vigor" he had not seen after some other "perceived slight."

"I'm not going to be surprised if these statements lead to some attempts at revenge," de Blasio said. "We'll call them out because we are not going to play that way."

This isn't the first time the two men, who claim to be friends, have publicly feuded.

Cuomo and de Blasio have gone back and forth on issues ranging from affordable housing in Queens, raising the minimum wage and the mayor's efforts to implement universal pre-K.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal quoted a Cuomo administration official who described de Blasio as "bumbling and incompetent."

The governor didn't deny he was the source of the quote during a press conference last week.

"I said a lot of things yesterday," Cuomo said during an Albany press conference where he announced legislative deals that fell well short of much of de Blasio's agenda. " I don't know exactly which one you are referring to."

A spokeswoman for the governor told Business Insider that Cuomo was not admitting to being the anonymous source. Cuomo's office did not respond to a request for comment.

De Blasio, in an interview with NY1 that aired Tuesday night, said he had no problem going on record with his criticisms of Cuomo.

"And I want to hasten to say there was some interesting back and forth last week and some unnamed sources well-placed in the Cuomo administration had a few things to say. I’m here in front of you on record saying what I believe," de Blasio told NY1.

Evan Thies, a political consultant and president of Brooklyn Strategies, said it's not unusual for the mayor of New York City and the governor to have political run-ins. What's unusual is that they are of the same party and have the same base.

Thies said de Blasio is making a political calculation by blaming Cuomo for the poor performance of the city's agenda.

"New Yorkers saw what happened and did not happen in Albany and there's a lot of blame to go around," Thies said. "When voters are looking for a direction to point fingers the mayor wants to make sure its not at him because his election comes before the governor's."