There is plenty to do in Albany these days with the legislative session about to end and major laws due to expire without some action. Yet, Governor Andrew Cuomo thought the state’s interests would be best served by traveling to a maximum security prison on the Canadian border with a photographer in tow.
The prison, of course, is the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora where two convicted murderers used power tools to cut through steel walls in their cells and then steel pipes to emerge from a manhole cover in the town. That’s right, a maximum security prison where murderers were able to use power tools to cut through steel.
Cuomo has a history of being drawn to emergency situations like a moth to a flame – or Chuck Schumer to a TV camera. In the case of a natural disaster such as a hurricane or a flood, that makes some sense. Hopefully, this will not turn out to be a disaster, but the cause of this one is obvious mismanagement in a government agency for which one Andrew Cuomo is ultimately responsible.
Yet another unusual aspect of this is that it is the second time in recent days that Cuomo has been photographed in a jail. Doesn’t he have any advisors with the temerity to suggest that such photo ops – with a federal prosecutor breathing down his neck – may not be the best idea?
The photographs taken by Cuomo’s camera crew are, indeed, interesting and have been relentlessly publicized by his office. While it is refreshing that the “most transparent governor in history” is, for once, being transparent, his motivation for this latest stunt is not clear. One suspects that the law enforcement officials responsible for catching the killers could do without the circus that necessarily accompanies a governor on a road show, particularly one who seems to require devoted attention.
Perhaps the least edifying sight of Andrew’s excellent adventure was the video of his taunting an inmate in his cell about whether he heard the noise from the power tools cutting through steel. It is a question more appropriately asked of the people he pays to run a maximum security prison.