The Democratic Rural Conference drew nearly all of New York State’s major Democratic elected officials to its 2018 annual meeting, with Governor Andrew Cuomo, Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, NYS Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand leading the elected attendees. Rep. Paul Tonko, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, NYS Senator Michael Gianaris, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and NYC Council Member and candidate for lieutenant governor Jumaane Williams also attended. The DRC is composed of Democrats from small counties who for the past 20 years have worked jointly to increase their impact in state politics.
Zephyr Teachout’s attempt to say hello to Andrew Cuomo at the Labor Day Parade on Saturday September 6th, drew a great deal of negative attention for Governor Cuomo. Cuomo later denied seeing Teachout or deliberately ignoring her, but in this newly published video Cuomo appears to notice Teachout and advise his chief aide of Teachout’s presence. Continue reading Teachout & Cuomo: The Prequel
Today Governor Andrew Cuomo brought his campaign to a close with three rallies across the state. He kicked off the day in Manhattan with a very large labor-driven rally at the edge of Times Square. The rally marked Cuomo’s first 2014 campaign appearance with both Comptroller Tom DiNapoli and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, each of whom are also up for reelection tomorrow. Kathy Hochul, multi-party candidate for lieutenant governor, was also part of the rally. Held out on 7th Avenue, the rally stretched at least two blocks (visible to me), with the Cuomo campaign reporting that the rally went for four blocks.
It was a strong showing in support of the four statewide candidates, with many of the leading names in New York’s labor movement speaking. Among them were George Gresham of SEIU 1199, Stuart Appelbaum of RWDSU, Gary LaBarbera of the Building & Construction Trades Council, Hector Figueroa of 32BJ and Peter Ward of the Hotel Trades Council.
Left unsaid by the labor leaders and candidates, however, was which party or ballot line they’re urging their supporters to choose in voting for all four candidates. All four are Democrats who also appear on the Working Families Party, Independence Party and Women’s Equality Party ballot lines. Cuomo has energetically pushed the “Women’s Equality Party”, a ballot line he created this year. Many see that effort as attempt to draw votes away from the Working Families Party, which counts many of the same unions appearing today as it’s core constituency.
With the rally held a stone’s throw from the theaters of Broadway, it seemed fitting that Hector Figueroa set part of his rally speech to music.
Update – Cuomo Speech:
Governor Cuomo gave a fiery speech today, harshly attacking Republicans who use “hate” to “try to divide us”. Our full analysis is here. Here’s his full speech:
Update #2 – Highlights:
Here’s our highlight reel:
For the second chapter of Clintons campaigning for Cuomo it was Bill Clinton, following in his wife’s footsteps, joining Andrew Cuomo Thursday evening for a campaign rally at SEIU 1199’s midtown headquarters. Many New York elected Democrats, including Charles Rangel, Jerrold Nadler, Scott Stringer, Tish James and Adriano Espaillat, joined them.
Cuomo gave a strong campaign speech, battering his Republican opponent and praising Clinton’s presidency. Clinton, speaking for more than 25 minutes, forcefully supported his former cabinet member but also meandered through other themes. He spoke of the broad consequences of the upcoming election, casting it primarily about the federal government and the changes that a Republican controlled senate could have. While engaging, his speech was not as solid an election battle cry as Cuomo’s speech.
Here are highlights of the speeches:
Among the Cuomo attacks on Astorino was an exaggerated claim based on the long-running HUD lawsuit against Westchester County. Dramatization and hyperbole are a standard element of campaign speeches, but Cuomo’s assertion that Astorino “won’t allow … minorities to live in his county” pushed the boundary. Another of Cuomo’s recent campaign rallies also had racially charged comments. Continue reading Clinton Campaigns for Cuomo; Chapter 2 (Updated)
We’ve asked each of the Democratic and Republican candidates for governor, comptroller and attorney general for their positions on the three November ballot propositions.
If approved by voters those propositions will: 1) Create a redistricting commission to draw the new state legislative and House of Representatives’ district lines every 10 years, with the commission members appointed by the state legislative leaders, 2) amend the current constitutional requirement of distributing paper versions of proposed bills to state legislators to allow for electronic distribution and 3) authorize New York State to borrow up to $2 billion for school funding, with a stated purpose of “improving learning and opportunity for public and nonpublic school students”, including the purchase of equipment, expanding school broadband access, building classrooms for pre-K and replacing trailers and installing “high-tech security features.”
Here’s what the candidates had to say:
When I asked Governor Cuomo for his positions, on October 13th, he said that he had yet to take a position on Prop 2. We’ve included his October 23rd response to another reporter in which he gives a position on Prop 2.
The “Women’s Equality Party” (“WEP”) has filed it’s first campaign finance report, the “11-Day Pre-General” election report. Under the Election Law, that report was due today.
WEP reported contributions of $69,500 and no money expended, but it reported $62,212.55 as expenses incurred but not yet paid. Here’s a detailed look. Continue reading Women’s Equality Party Money – Round 1 (Updated)
Multi-party candidate for lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul campaigned through the Hudson Valley Saturday, with a “Women’s Equality Party” bus tour stopping in Mt. Kisco, Poughkeepsie and Kingston. At each stop Hochul announced her (and running mate Andrew Cuomo’s) endorsement of the local Democratic state senate candidate; Justin Wagner in Mt. Kisco, incumbent Terry Gipson in Poughkeepsie and incumbent Cecilia Tkaczyk in Kingston.
These races are highly competitive and are expected to play a central part in determining control of the state senate. Wagner is seeking an open seat, currently held by Republican Greg Ball. Tkaczyk faces former state senator George Amedore, who she defeated in 2012 by 18 votes and Gipson faces a strong challenge from Republican Sue Serino. It’s notable that Cuomo is engaging in these races, although that engagement is tempered by the lack of appearing in person.
Hochul’s Poughkeepsie appearance at Marist College, spectacularly perched above the Hudson River, included Senator Gipson declaring “well that’s a surprise” immediately after Hochul announced the Cuomo/Hochul endorsement. It may not have been an immediate surprise, seeing as this was a planned campaign stop, but it is a marked longer-term turn of events. In 2012 Cuomo endorsed and campaigned for Republican and then-incumbent Senator Steve Saland against Gipson. Saland was one of four Republican senators voting in favor of marriage equality in June 2011, and Cuomo publicly supported all four.
When I asked Hochul about the change from opposing to supporting Gipson, she offered that she and Cuomo “feel very strongly that Senator Gipson will be the vote we need to get the full Women’s Equality Agenda through the legislature.”
We also spoke with Hochul about the three propositions on the November ballot – her views are here.
There are three ballot propositions on the November ballot. If approved by voters they will: 1) Create a redistricting commission to draw the new state legislative and House of Representatives’ district lines every 10 years, with the commission members appointed by the state legislative leaders, 2) amend the current constitutional requirement of distributing paper versions of proposed bills to state legislators to allow for electronic distribution and 3) authorize New York State to borrow up to $2 billion for school funding, with a stated purpose of “improving learning and opportunity for public and nonpublic school students”, including the purchase of equipment, expanding school broadband access, building classrooms for pre-K and replacing trailers and installing “high-tech security features.”
Kathy Hochul supports all three propositions. She’s the first of the five statewide candidates we’ve spoken with to do so. Her running mate, Governor Andrew Cuomo, supports the first and third propositions but stated that he has not taken a position on the second, which would allow the use of electronic bills in the legislature. We spoke with Hochul at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, her second of three stops today on a “Women’s Equality Express” bus tour.
Democrat Andrew Cuomo’s reelection campaign has so far focused on the self-created “Women’s Equality Party” ballot line and it’s “Women’s Equality Agenda.” Here’s our look at why Cuomo is campaigning this way.
Coverage of his recent “Women’s Equality Express” bus tour is here.
Governor Andrew Cuomo revved up his reelection campaign Saturday with a three city bus tour. Visits to Albany, Syracuse and Rochester included a rally and speech in each, followed by a gaggle, the somewhat informal press Q&As in which the press and the subject stand in a tight circle for their back and forth.
Today’s bus tour was billed as a “Women’s Equality Party” tour, with Governor Cuomo focused on his “Women’s Equality Act.” His reelection campaign has mostly been conducted through the Women’s Equality Party ballot line he’s created for November, with his focus on codifying, and thereby protecting, the right to an abortion.
To start our report, here is video of each of his three gaggles and speeches. Questions were primarily about the Women’s Equality Party and Women’s Equality Agenda and Cuomo’s comments on addressing sexual harassment throughout society. Among the other topics were Rob Astorino’s characterization of recent Cuomo comments as “race baiting”, the Vito Lopez matter and it’s handling by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, an Onondaga Lake construction project and the reports of travelers at Newark Airport who may have the Ebola virus (all in the Syracuse gaggle).
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:
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.
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.”
Here is his full press conference.