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.
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.”
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.
Many elected officials participated in todays Little Neck Douglaston Memorial Day Parade, among them Governor Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Public Advocate Tish James, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Update – Electeds on Parade:
We look at the Mayor’s, and other elected officials, reception:
de Blasio & Cuomo Remarks:
In what could be titled “a tale of two proclamations”, the Mayor and Governor each made brief remarks at the start of the parade and each presented their own proclamation to the parade organizers. Neither took questions. de Blasio invoked his father’s World War II service and injury, and subsequent struggles, in urging the audience to “never let their memories go” of service members injured or killed. Cuomo described himself as a “Queens boy” for whom it is a “pleasure to be back on [his] home turf.” H e declared it “a day to remember that freedom is not free”, noting that “we still have boys in harm’s way.” Their full remarks are here:
Steve & Teddy:
Congressman Steve Israel, chair of the DCCC, met a historic figure. Every parade needs a little goofiness after all.
In July, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman joined with Governor Cuomo in appointing a “Commission to Investigate Public Corruption” under the Moreland Act and Executive Law section 63(8), with Attorney General Schneiderman deputizing each of the commission members as a deputy attorney general. Doing so gave the commission a broader legal reach, as well adding the attorney general’s imprimatur to the governor’s effort.
In recent weeks, news reports have chronicled efforts by the governor’s staff to stop the issuance of subpoenas to entities viewed as friendly to the governor. At a press conference yesterday I asked Attorney General Schneiderman when he became aware of such efforts by the governor’s staff and what his reaction was. He largely avoided answering, describing his role as limited to deputizing the commissioners and “to provide whatever support the co-chairs ask for.” Schneiderman noted that “I’m not involved in this on a day to day basis” and concluded by saying that “as far as I can tell they’re doing their job.” (Schneiderman spoke at a press conference with New York City Public Advocate, and mayoral candidate, Bill de Blasio pushing for theft-deterring “kill switches” in smart phones.)
Today Joe Lhota responded to reporters’ questions about the federal government shutdown by condemning the shutdown and the House Republicans, describing the shutdown as “flat out wrong.” Lhota also more broadly condemned the Tea Party and it’s influence on the Republican Party.
When I asked about the paradox of condemning the Tea Party but receiving large amounts of money from one of the Tea Party’s most prominent financial backers, David Koch, Lhota responded strongly. He noted Koch’s many philanthropic endeavors and said that he, like Koch and Bill de Blasio, believes in abortion rights and marriage equality. Lhota also pointed to Andrew Cuomo having received (according to Lhota) $81,000 from Koch and his wife, asserting that taking Koch’s money did not make Lhota any more of a tea party supporter than doing so made Andrew Cuomo a tea party supporter.
Today at City Hall, Bill Thompson conceded in his race for mayor, declaring his support for Bill de Blasio.. Although it is still possible that a runoff will be held, Thompson will not seek to have one by challenging ballots during the counting process or campaigning should a runoff occur.
Mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis and Governor Andrew Cuomo have a long relationship, with Catsimatidis, his wife and his companies contributing more than $200,000 to Andrew Cuomo’s campaigns over the past 12 years. Catsimatidis has asserted that a significant reason that he “would make a good mayor” is his “ability to call up and talk to the governor and come up with common sense solutions.” As part of that argument, Catsimatidis has described being called upon by Governor Cuomo to assist in getting Republican votes in the U.S. Senate for the Hurricane Sandy relief bills (here and here).
In our “5 Minutes With …“ feature we spend 5* interesting minutes with leading government officials and policy leaders. In this “5 Minutes With …” segment we speak with Benjamin Lawsky, New York State Superintendent of Financial Services.
According to recent news reports, Governor Cuomo is considering seeking changes in New York’s campaign finance laws. In anticipation of the governor’s proposal, which has not yet been publicly revealed, here are a few observations on Andrew Cuomo 2014, Inc.’s most recent campaign finance disclosure statement and the campaign finance reform issues which it frames. Continue reading Andrew Cuomo & Campaign Finance Reform→
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