The New York Post is reporting that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo paid state workers to attend a global warming event where he would be giving a speech:
The workers said they left their jobs in the middle of the day Thursday and were paid their full salaries to hear Cuomo at Columbia University announce the state was joining a global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“I’d rather be at the park,” said one of the workers, who is employed by the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and who has no connection to climate issues.
He explained that he went because his boss “asked me to make some time available in my schedule.”
The worker confessed that he didn’t know what the event was about before he agreed to go.
He said attendance is not required, but is viewed favorably, and that the practice is common throughout state government to support Cuomo.
“They often ask,” he said, referring to supervisors. “We get emails, and they’ll ask us if we want to go.”
The worker said he would not have volunteered if he were not getting paid his regular salary. “It’s better be on the clock,” he said.
The 2:30 p.m. event, which lasted about an hour and included speeches from former Vice President Al Gore as well as Columbia President Lee Bollinger, focused on Cuomo’s plan to have state agencies work with other states and cities worldwide to reduce carbon emissions.
This probably has less to do with the Governor’s office feigning support for manmade global warming and more to do with feigning support for the Governor. As one of the attendees told the Post, they’re often asked to attend events to show support for Cuomo. Not just events having to do with global warming, but anything featuring Cuomo.
This is nothing more than politics and optics. When the media cover an event where a high-profile politician will be featured, large crowds look good on camera. They give viewers the idea that the politician is popular. It makes him look good.
The state workers who were asked to attend don’t have to know anything about the event or care anything about it to go. All they care about is making sure they get their paycheck. They don’t realize (or maybe it’s just that they don’t care) that they’re being used by the Governor’s office to puff up his image and make it look like everyone loves him.
Of course, it’ll have the same effect on people’s perception of manmade global warming. Whether you accept the junk science or not, seeing a huge crowd of people at the event will give the impression that it’s a popular theory, when in reality, people just attended the event, because they got paid to take a break from work.