NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new poll has raised questions about just how the Tappan Zee Bridge came to be renamed, and also raised other questions about the actions of several area elected officials.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, voters who live near the Tappan Zee Bridge said Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature pulled a fast one by renaming the span for Cuomo’s late father, Gov. Mario Cuomo in a late-night scheme that was literally rushed through in the dark of night.
A new poll by Reclaim New York shows that nearly 54 percent of respondents disapproved of the move, while 33 percent approved.
But the number of naysayers skyrockets to 77 percent when voters are told the particulars of how it was done.
“Folks are fed up with Albany’s processes; fed up with being cut out of those decisions,” said Doug Kellogg of Reclaim New York. “Sounds like a political favor.”
The bridge controversy is just one example of the type of behavior that is being seen from elected officials.
In addition to Cuomo and the bridge, Gov. Chris Christie has also taken some heat lately for sunning himself on a beach that was closed to everyone else during a government shutdown.
Political science professor Jeanne Zaino said all three officials are sending a terrible, terrible message to their constituents. She is especially critical of de Blasio, accusing him of “going to Germany right after this horrific assassination, joining with anarchists.”
Of Christie’s beach day, she said, “Who in their right mind does that?”
Christie was even slammed on Tuesday when he was guest hosting on WFAN in an audition to replace sports talk host Mike Francesa.
“Governor, the next time you want to sit on a beach that is closed to the entire world except you, you put your fat ass in a car and go to one that is open to all your constituents,” a caller said.
Zaino said the actions by Cuomo, Christie and de Blasio all basically convey to voters, “I don’t care.”
“It just contributes to a narrative that these people are thinking more about themselves than they are about their communities,” she said.
“It’s an attitude that they’re above the consequences,” added Kellogg.
Everyday New Yorkers were not pleased with any of the politicians’ actions.
“I’m not impressed by any of them,” one person said.
“Pretty selfish – that’s it,” another said.
“I guess they have to take care of their own business,” a third said.
“They’re all corrupt,” a fourth said.
The big question is whether there will be any political consequences. Christie is term-limited, but de Blasio is facing reelection this year and Cuomo next year.
Respondents in the Tappan Zee Bridge poll said they were less likely to vote for Cuomo and the legislature because of how the vote was handled.
A Cuomo spokesman said, “As a policy, we don’t comment on polls.”