Andrew Cuomo's Enviable Job

In the April issue of Governing, I'll have a story looking at attorneys general who run for governor -- whether AGs make good governors ...
by | March 17, 2009
 

In the April issue of Governing, I'll have a story looking at attorneys general who run for governor -- whether AGs make good governors and good gubernatorial candidates. One theme: AGs have an enviable perch from which to run for governor because, to a large extent, they get to pick and choose the issues on which they focus. Scoring political points is easy as an attorney general.

In that context, consider New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's crusade against A.I.G., as reported by the New York Times:

Seventy-three employees were paid more than $1 million in the latest bonuses at the insurance giant American International Group, according to the New York attorney general, Andrew M. Cuomo.

The attorney general provided some new details on Tuesday about some of the $165 million in bonuses that A.I.G. paid out last week in a letter sent to Representative Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services.

"A.I.G. made more than 73 millionaires in the unit which lost so much money that it brought the firm to its knees, forcing a taxpayer bailout," Mr. Cuomo wrote in the letter. "Something is deeply wrong with this outcome."

While Cuomo gets to take on the most unpopular company in America, Gov. David Paterson has to decide just what combination of tax increases and spending cuts he'll make to balance the state's budget. That, as much as anything else, explains why Cuomo is likely to win Paterson's job next year.

If he wins, though, doesn't it seem pretty likely that before too long Cuomo will be pining for the good ol' days when he was attorney general?

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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