It Wasn’t the Day to Ask Cuomo About the Mood in Albany

ALBANY – Maybe it was just Monday. Maybe it’s the constant bad news regarding corruption surrounding the Capitol. Maybe it was just quitting time.

Whatever the cause, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo seemed just a touch punchy late Monday afternoon when asked by a reporter whether there was a climate of fear in Albany following a number of federal charges against lawmakers.

“Do you feel fear?” Mr. Cuomo retorted. “Are you afraid?”

The reporter, Zack Fink of NY1, said no. Mr. Cuomo said he was also not afraid.

“I think they’re afraid of you,” said the governor, smiling a little. “I think you strike fear into the hearts of men and women.”

Another reporter, Karen DeWitt, the Capitol bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, pressed the question, asking the governor whether the legislative session – due to end in late June – might be effectively over now. Was there any truth to that?

“No,” the governor responded. “Do you really want to discuss this?”

Mr. Cuomo then proceeded to say that he was hopeful for the rest of the session, which he said had already been “a phenomenal success,” citing a new gun-control law, an on-time budget and an increase in the minimum wage.

That said, he conceded that the indictments and corruption news had been “emotionally draining for some people” in the Legislature. But not for everyone, and certainly – his mood notwithstanding – not for the governor himself.

“I think it’s basically irrelevant,” he said, “unless you allow it to become relevant.”

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