Few NYers Follow Probe Into Cuomo

NEW YORK -

Getting some positive news as he sets out for his maiden international trip Tuesday, a poll shows that most New Yorkers are unfamiliar with details of the probe into Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s shuttering his anti-corruption commission.

Some 67 percent of New Yorkers are not following the investigation by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara into Cuomo, a Siena College poll found. Eighty-one percent don’t even know who Bharara is.

An outspoken critic of Albany corruption, Bharara has taken the files of the Moreland Commission and subpoenaed papers and emails of commissioners themselves following a newspaper report the Cuomo administration interfered in the commission’s selection of investigative targets.

“Voters are focused on pocketbook issues,” said Siena pollster Steven Greenberg.

Asked about the most important issue for them in considering this fall’s election for governor, 28 percent said jobs, 21 percent taxes, 20 percent education, 17 percent said corruption and 2 percent said hydraulic fracturing. Only 1 percent said their top concern was the state’s gun-control law.

However, 47 percent said corruption in state government is a very serious problem and 39 percent say it’s somewhat serious. Meanwhile, 67 percent say they were unfamiliar with the Moreland Commission’s work.

In related news, Jewish groups praised Cuomo’s trip in solidarity with Israel as the Jewish state comes off from more than a month of being under siege by Hamas rockets.

Joining Cuomo, a Democrat who is up for reelection in the fall, are Senate co-leaders Dean Skelos, a Republican, and Jeff Klein, an Independent Democrat, along with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat.

“At a time when Israel’s right as a sovereign nation to defend itself against terror attacks by an enemy committed to its destruction has been challenged in so many quarters,” said Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel, executive vice president of Agudath Israel, “it is welcome news indeed that the very top political leadership of New York State will be undertaking a mission to personally affirm their support for Israel.”

“New York is home to the largest population of Jewish people outside of Israel,” said Jeff Leb, New York State Director for OU Advocacy. “As such, it has great meaning that the first international trip that Governor Cuomo will take since being elected governor will be to support Israel, which has been the target of thousands of rocket attacks.”

The travelers, who will leave on Tuesday and return Thursday, responded to an invitation from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu two weeks ago. It is unclear if Cuomo, who is believed to harbor presidential ambitions, will meet with Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, former Sen. Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican who won several presidential primary contests in the 2012 election, announced Friday he will travel to Israel next week. This comes as he indicated that he is interested in seeking the GOP nomination for 2016.