1. ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

    Andrew Cuomo's Amazing Session

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacts after same sex marriage was legalized after a vote in the Senate Chamber at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Friday, June 24, 2011.

    Mike Groll / AP Photo

    It's only Gov. Andrew Cuomo's first legislative session, and he's perhaps already restored credibility to New York's government. He delivered an on-time budget that closed a $9 billion deficit. He gave New York its first-ever cap on local property taxes. He delivered on ethics reform. He extended and expanded the state's rent laws. And how did he pass the gay marriage bill? Cuomo got major Republican donors, some of whom have gay family members, to influence and insulate nervous GOP senators from any conservative and fundraising backlash if they supported the bill. Cuomo presented the issue as one of personal freedom, consistent with some donors' libertarian views.

    Read it at New York Daily News