Cuomo Discusses Security & Port Authority Review (Updated)

Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to conduct, together with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a review of the Port Authority’s security procedures.  Cuomo announced his planned review this afternoon during a speech at the World Trade Center site, and then discussed it briefly afterwards.

Here’s what Cuomo had to say in a brief post-speech discussion.  The discussion began with a question (from Zack Fink of NY1) of what Cuomo expects to do in his joint effort with Christie:

Update – Speech:

After leading a 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride from the West 43rd Street quarters of FDNY’s Rescue Company to the World Trade Center, Governor Cuomo spoke at a commemoration ceremony.  With the World Trade Center behind him, Cuomo spoke about the site itself and the accelerated construction there, as well as current security threats and dangers.  He also announced a planned review, with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, of the Port Authority’s security procedures.  Here is his full speech:

Update #2 – P.O. Huczko:

As Governor Cuomo mingled with the crowd, shaking hands and posing for pictures after his speech, he encountered newly graduated Port Authority Police Officer Liam Huczko.  Huczko, who just joined the department after graduating from the Port Authority police academy, is the son of Stephen Huczko, a Port Authority police officer lost on 9/11.  It was a memorable moment, with loss, hope and potential combined in a few seconds.

Teachout & Wu Conclude (Updated x 3)

Tuesday brought the Democratic primaries for governor and lieutenant governor to a close.  Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu, defeated by Andrew Cuomo and Kathy Hochul, hosted their supporters at an election night party in Hell’s Kitchen.

We spoke with each them after their speeches.


I began by asking Teachout whether she had spoken with Andrew Cuomo and whether she plans to endorse or support him in the general election.


I began by asking Wu for any overriding or impression from the campaign, as well as any disappointments.  I also asked whether he had called Kathy Hochul to concede.

(Continue reading for full speeches by Zephyr Teachout, Tim Wu and Bertha Lewis.) Continue reading Teachout & Wu Conclude (Updated x 3)

Cuomo Campaign Concludes (Updated x 2)

Governor Andrew Cuomo brought his brief primary campaign to a close today, voting near his home in New Castle.  Together with Sandra Lee, he appeared at his designated polling place midmorning.  There were few other voters around, five anti-fracking protestors standing in the parking lot being the only noticeable activity.

Update #2 – Election Night Plans:

Governor Cuomo on his election night plans:

Update – Anti-fracking Protestors:

Anti-fracking protestors are a regular element of events for Governor Cuomo.  Here’s a look at how the Governor and the protestors did today.

Press Q&A:

After voting, Cuomo spoke with the press for just under ten minutes.  He began with a brief statement urging people to vote, saying that there are “a lot of important issues on the ballot” and asserting that “[t]his is a very difficult time.  Not just in this state … [but also] internationally.”  Question topics included where he will be tonight after the polls close, how the “passion” of Zephyr Teachout’s supporters may affect the outcome and what he said to the anti-fracking protestors outside as he arrived.  Here’s his full press availability:

Cuomo Campaign Continues (Updated)

For the third time in three days Governor Andrew Cuomo made a campaign appearance and spoke briefly with the press.  Today he attended a GOTV rally held by the Hotel Trades Council at it’s midtown headquarters, joined by Kathy Hochul, his designated candidate for lieutenant governor, and Adriano Espaillat, a state senator endorsed by the HTC in his reelection campaign.  Cuomo has attended few, if any, campaign events since the State Democratic Party convention in May.  After marching in Saturday’s Labor Day Parade he attended a Flushing rally in support State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and yesterday he attended a Bronx rally in support of State Senator Jeff Klein.

Update – Cuomo Speech:

In his third, and penultimate, primary campaign speech Governor Cuomo gave a barnburner, rousing his audience with calls of economic growth, defeating Albany dysfunction, women’s rights, encouraging immigration and more.  Here’s his full speech:

Press Gaggle:

Accompanied by Kathy Hochul and Adriano Espaillat, Governor Cuomo spoke with the press immediately following the rally.  After a light hearted beginning, question topics included his expectations concerning Kathy Hochul’s separate primary, where he expects votes to come from, his “position” in the John Liu/Tony Avella senate primary, reports of pressure from Cuomo’s staff and allies on Democrats to refrain from endorsing Zephyr Teachout, Teachout’s comment that her qualifications include “not under federal investigation”, whether Teachout is qualified to be governor, whether votes for Teachout are an anti-Cuomo protest, his encounter with Teachout at the Labor Day Parade and Tim Wu’s related comment that Cuomo “failed a basic test of decency and civility”.  Kathy Hochul was asked about her recent statement that the Moreland Commission deserves credit for its accomplishments and her statement condemning NFL player Ray Rice.  As he exited and headed for a campaign appearance in Buffalo, Cuomo was asked about his election night plans.  That appeared to squelch a “shuffling off to Buffalo” departure line.

Cuomo & Klein, Hochul Too (Updated)

Governor Andrew Cuomo gave a strong speech in support of State Senator Jeff Klein this afternoon, joining a GOTV rally in the Bronx.  Klein, leader of the breakaway “Independent Democratic Conference” which controls the state senate in cooperation with the Republican minority, faces Oliver Koppell in a Democratic primary on Tuesday.

Post-rally Press Conference:

Cuomo, joined by his lieutenant governor running mate Kathy Hochul and Klein, spoke with the press following the rally.  After a statement touting Hochul and Klein’s candidacies, he answered press questions.  Topics included his encounter with Zephyr Teachout at the Labor Day Parade Saturday, Hochul’s candidacy, his engagement with the IDC and Republicans, whether he’s “advanced progressive ideals” and his “ethics agenda”.  The press conference concluded with an attempt to ask Hochul about being referred to during the rally as a “young lady.”


Update – Speech Highlights:

Speakers included Governor Cuomo, Hochul, Assembly Member Jeff Dinowitz, Assembly Member and Bronx County Democratic Chair Carl Heastie, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr and Klein.

As you’ll see in our highlight reel, the speeches displayed much of what Team Cuomo has going for it; four years in office with some significant legislative accomplishments, nearly universal support from elected Democrats and their political organizations, enormous amounts of state money spent over the past four years which, whether well spent or not produces support from recipients, and a powerful speaker at the top of the ticket.  There’s humor, a few exaggerations and basic politicking mixed with some contortions around the fact that Klein and his IDC have kept the Senate Republicans in shared power and the fact that governor has embraced many of those same Republicans.  Among the contortions, Dinowitz’s statement that “Jeff Klein has never supported a Republican.  Not once, not ever, not one itty bitty time.”  Klein ran on the Republican line in 2012, getting 15,000 of his 80,000 votes on that line.

Cuomo Campaigns & Holds Press Conference

This afternoon Governor Andrew Cuomo campaigned and held a press conference.  Accompanied by Kathy Hochul, his designated candidate for lieutenant governor, Cuomo spoke at a Flushing rally held in support of State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky,

Immediately after the rally Cuomo spoke with press, beginning with short statements in support of Stavisky and Hochul.  (Under New York election law, candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, even if they’re informally allied as Cuomo and Hochul are, run in separate primaries.)  The press conference was brief, running about six minutes in total, but included some interesting questions and answers.

When asked why he is not doing many campaign events (despite having a primary on Tuesday Governor Cuomo has done virtually no campaign events since the state party convention in May), Cuomo responded “I campaign by doing my job.”  When asked how his “run in” with rival Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout was at this morning’s Labor Day parade, Cuomo replied “I didn’t get a chance to talk to her.”  (Watch their encounter, in which Cuomo appears to assiduously avoid acknowledging her, here.)  Cuomo spoke about why he offers few endorsements of political candidates, despite being the most powerful political figure in the state.  He was also asked about his refusal to debate Teachout, and specifically about his recent comment that  “I’ve been in many debates that I think were a disservice to democracy.”

Here is his full press conference.

Labor Day Parade, 2014 (Updated x 4)

Today’s Labor Day Parade featured many elected officials and candidates.

Teachout & Cuomo:

Among those attending, gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout.  She tried to say hello to her opponent, Governor Andrew Cuomo, as the parade was about to begin.  Here’s what happened:

Update – Cuomo Description:

Governor Cuomo was asked (by Newsday’s Matthew Chayes) about his parade “run in … with Teachout” at an afternoon press conference.  Here’s how he described their encounter:

Watch his full press conference here.

Update #2 – Wu & Cuomo:

Lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wu, allied with Zephyr Teachout, also went over to Governor Cuomo at the start of the parade.  Here’s what happened, along with Wu’s post-encounter recap:

Wu appeared at a Hochul campaign stop on Friday evening to say hello to his opponent. Watch.

Update #3 – Cuomo Responses:

Governor Cuomo has held three press conferences since leaving the parade on Saturday morning, and he’s been asked about his Teachout encounter each time.  We’ve included each of his responses in this updated edition of the parade video.

Update #4 – Did Cuomo See Teachout?:

An extended clip, showing Cuomo appearing to notice Teachout before she approached him and advising his campaign manager, is here.

Hi Kathy, I’m Tim (Updated x 2)

This evening Kathy Hochul continued a full day of campaigning with an Upper West Side subway stop appearance.  Accompanied by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Congressman Jerry Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and State Senator Brad Hoylman, Hochul greeted commuters at the 96th & Broadway subway station.

Shortly after they got underway came a surprise, as Tim Wu appeared.  Here’s what happened:

Update – Israel:

The candidates’ views on Israel have received attention recently.  Yesterday Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and other elected officials, seemingly at the behest of Governor Cuomo, held a press conference to denounce what they see as insufficient support for Israel from Tim Wu and running mate Zephyr Teachout.  In this clip Wu discusses his general views on Israel.  (Wu is responding to a question from the New York Observer’s Will Bredderman).  We spoke with Kathy Hochul about Israel this afternoon, available here.

Update #2 – Eric Schneiderman:

Here’s what happened when Conor Skelding (of Capital NY) and I asked NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman a few questions.  Schneiderman represented the Upper West Side as a state senator.

Hochul Returns to UWS

Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul returned to the Upper West Side of Manhattan today, visiting the Goddard Riverside Senior Center.  After speaking to a lunchtime crowd, she spoke with the press.


In the past 24 hours, Cuomo/Hochul supporters have heavily criticized Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu for their reluctance to discuss their views on Israel and the ongoing Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  I asked Hochul for her views on the United States’ diplomatic engagement in the region and whether she believes the Obama administration is handling the conflict correctly.

(Update – We spoke about Israel with Hochul’s opponent Tim Wu Friday evening, available here.)
Full Q&A:

Here’s her full Q&A, which began after a seemingly light-hearted pitch to start with a “tennis lob.”

Ruffalo, Teachout & Wu

On Wednesday Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout and lieutenant governor candidate Tim Wu held a press conference featuring actor Mark Ruffalo.  Standing on the steps of Manhattan’s Tweed Courthouse Ruffalo endorsed both candidates, emphasizing their opposition to fracking.  Their press conference preceded by one hour a Bill de Blasio press conference just around the corner, on the steps of City Hall, endorsing Wu’s primary opponent Kathy Hochul.

Here is their Q&A, which includes both press questions and some questions from supporters.

de Blasio Press Conference; Round 2

Mayor Bill de Blasio held a second press conference this afternoon, focused on his universal pre-kindergarten program.  Shortly before this press conference, de Blasio, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and 20 other members of the City Council held a press conference endorsing Kathy Hochul for lieutenant governor.

de Blasio spoke about the pre-K effort, which launches tomorrow, lauding it’s potential and discussing bumps in the implementation.  The bumps consist of nine sites which the City has decided to not use and 36 sites where a need for further preparation have forced a delayed start.  Most of the press questions also focused on the pre-K roll-out, although two questions covered the decision by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee to admit an LGBT group.

Here is the full press conference:

Hochul & Hizzoner (Updated)

In an outdoor City Hall press conference Mayor Bill de Blasio today publicly endorsed Kathy Hochul, Andrew Cuomo’s selected candidate, for lieutenant governor.  Although the Democratic Party’s nominees for governor and lieutenant governor will run as a combined ticket in the November general election, they’re selected in separate primaries.  The primaries, scheduled for Tuesday September 9th, have Cuomo aligned with Hochul and Zephyr Teachout aligned with Tim Wu.  Wu is widely seen as having a greater (albeit still slim) chance at victory than Teachout.

For the past six weeks or so Hochul has engaged in low profile, but active, campaigning.  She visits often with local Democratic office holders in the City, on little or no advance public notice, tweeting and publishing pictures post-visit.  It’s a shrewd strategy, raising her limited name recognition among Democratic clubs and organizations while mostly avoiding answering questions from the press.  (Here’s our report on one such Hochul appearance.)  As the primary nears, however, Teachout and Wu have garnered a number of endorsements and favorable press coverage, with Wu endorsed by the New York Times.  These developments appear to worry the Cuomo/Hochul campaign, producing a very public endorsement press conference today, featuring the mayor, City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and 20 other members of the City Council.

Hochul’s Exit:

Following the press conference Hochul headed back toward City Hall.  She was engaged first by a woman asking about her stance on fracking.  After separating from her, Hochul was surrounded by reporters, with Juan Manuel Benitez of NY1 asking whether she would support allowing New York City’s expected municipal IDs to be used to enter state government buildings and access state government services.  She spoke briefly, deflecting the question and arguing that her widely-noted opposition to then-Governor Eliot Spitzer’s 2007 proposal to issue drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants was rooted in terrorism-related concerns.

Here’s how it went:

Update – Q&A:

His Honor and Hochul answered questions from the press.  Among the questions: why would it be bad (in the mayor’s view) for Tim Wu, who is to the left of Kathy Hochul, to be LG, how does the mayor square City safety concerns with Hochul’s past stances on guns, whether as a past New York City Public Advocate de Blasio supports Tim Wu’s idea that the lieutenant governor should act as a statewide public advocate, Hochul’s current views on drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, whether Hochul supports NYC’s municipal ID program and why Hochul and Andrew Cuomo have refused to debate their primary opponents.

Wu Likes Liu, Not Hochul

Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Tim Wu today condemned rival candidate Kathy Hochul’s record on immigration issues, while sua sponte endorsing John Liu in his state senate primary.

Liu Endorsement:

Former City Council member John Liu, who faces State Senator Tony Avella in a Democratic primary, did not ask Wu for his endorsement and press reports quote Liu as emphatically rejecting it.  Here’s video of Wu’s endorsement, beginning with his statement and his response when I asked whether he’s spoken with Liu and Liu’s reaction.  We’ve also included a clip from a second segment of the press conference in which Capital New York’s Conor Skelding asked Wu about Liu’s recent appearance with Kathy Hochul.

Acknowledging that Liu had not shown any interest in receiving his endorsement, Wu spoke of a “Cuomo fear factor” and what he sees as Liu’s “active fear of reprisal”.  He offered that “I imagine he’s been nervous to communicate with our campaign because of Cuomo.”

Lieutenant Governor Role Model:

I asked Wu whether he views any prior New York governor or lieutenant governor as a role model: