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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo slightly stepped on New York Mayor Bill de Blasio again Wednesday, though the stakes were small this time.
De Blasio was in Albany along with officials of other local governments to receive superstorm Sandy recovery grants. All day, the mayor’s staff told the news media de Blasio was planning a news conference for right after the Sandy event. Meanwhile, Cuomo people were indicating a media availability by the governor was iffy.
The Sandy event ended; reporters and photographers were herded into a room just off the side of the state Convention Center to set up for the mayor. The podium was there, microphone stand, flags, everything. Then, Cuomo people rushed in, said the governor will speak to reporters in one minute in a different conference room, and that everyone must go there now. As reporters walked out, de Blasio was spotted headed to the presser but then wheeled about, headed to a holding room.
Cameras were pulled off their tripods as the media personnel headed to the other room. Everyone waited about 10 minutes for Cuomo -- not just 1. Finally, he arrived to take questions. Afterward, everyone headed back to de Blasio room. (The mayor kept folks waiting a bit too.)
Cuomo officials said later the governor had to go first because he needed to leave for an appointment in New York.
Cuomo and de Blasio have spoken often – including Wednesday on the Sandy stage – about their cordial, 20-year friendship. But the two have spent much of the mayor’s first four months in office clashing over de Blasio’s initiatives on prekindergarten, minimum wage and charter schools – with Cuomo trumping his friend on each issue.