Category Archives: Rob Astorino

Astorino Election Night Speech



Rob Astorino conceded in the race for governor Tuesday night.  He gave his concession speech in a White Plains hotel, before an audience of 200-300 supporters.  He sounded themes he focused on during his campaign; a poor economic outlook for much of the state, Albany corruption and high property taxes among them.  He strongly suggested that he will seek a continuing role in statewide politics.

Here is his full concession speech:

Astorino Votes



Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, joined by his wife and three young children, voted this morning near his home in Hawthorne.

Press Q&A:

After Astorino and his wife voted he spoke with the press.  Among the question topics were his plans for the remainder of election day, what was most surprising in his campaign, public polls showing him substantially behind, whether his family is happy that the campaign is over and what he thinks voters care about most.

Astorino In Glendale



As the 2014 campaign heads toward completion, Republican Rob Astorino made several New York City campaign stops today.  We spoke with Astorino in Glendale and asked him about Democrats heavy focus on a remark by Republican Assembly Member, and Astorino supporter, Steve McLaughlin referring to New York City voters as too “lazy” to vote and about Governor Cuomo’s assertion that he will not let Republican “hate” divide New York.

Statewide Candidates on Ballot Propositions



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:

Governor:

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.

Continue reading Statewide Candidates on Ballot Propositions

Astorino in Rockaway



Rob Astorino returned to Rockaway today, touring Beach 116th Street on the two year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.  As his visit wrapped up, he spoke with reporters at the beach end of Beach 116th.

Q&A Excerpts:

Here are selected excerpts.  Among the question topics are transportation infrastructure, Governor Cuomo’s lack of appearances in Rockaway, what he would do differently concerning the state’s Sandy recovery efforts and whether he views Governor Cuomo’s heavy use of official events as “abusing the power of his office.”

Republican Electeds Support:

I asked Astorino about the limited support that he’s received from Republican elected officials.

Our coverage of Astorino’s prior visits to Rockaway are here and here.

Debate Performance Analysis



Tonight’s gubernatorial candidate debate was a net gain for Rob Astorino, and a modest net loss for Andrew Cuomo.  Held in Buffalo, the one hour debate among Andrew Cuomo, Rob Astorino, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Libertarian Party candidate Michael McDermott is the only scheduled debate between Cuomo and Astorino.

Dramatically behind in public polls and with little money, Astorino’s odds of winning on November 4th are extremely long.  Desperate for any positive movement, he needed a solid performance tonight and succeeded.  It’s unlikely to change the outcome of the election however, but it will give him a boost. Continue reading Debate Performance Analysis

Astorino on Grimm



Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino tonight expressed support for incumbent, and indicted, Congressman Michael Grimm.  Grimm, who represents Staten Island and a small section of Brooklyn, faces Democrat Dominic Recchia in the general election.  We spoke at the conclusion of a town hall Astorino held on Staten Island.

Jindal for Astorino



Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal joined New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino at a press conference this evening, denouncing President Obama’s and Governor Cuomo’s efforts at fighting the Ebola virus as weak and ineffective.  Although both are Democrats, Obama and Cuomo do not appear particularly close generally and they have not had a shared public presence to date in the fight against Ebola. They are, however, the respective political targets of Jindal and Astorino.

In their opening statements Astorino and Jindal also focused on a shared target – Common Core.  Astorino frequently criticizes Common Core and pledges to stop its implementation if elected.  Jindal, once a supporter, has significantly structured his putative presidential bid around his opposition.

Press questions were on two broad topics; Ebola and Chris Christie. I asked Astorino and Jindal about Governor Cuomo’s statement today that only the federal government can ban flights from West African countries, not the New York and New Jersey governors as Astorino and others have demanded, and Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye’s statement that no such direct flights arrive at Newark or JFK.  Astorino first called for such ban on October 7th.  As you can see (in the first question) those statements didn’t seem to alter Astorino or Jindal’s views or demands.  I also asked Jindal whether the Louisiana attorney general’s recent effort (supported by Jindal) to block the incinerated remains of possessions of Ebola victim Thomas Duncan from being disposed of in a Louisiana landfill was adding to growing hysteria.  Other questions included whether Jindal has spoken with Chris Christie, who heads the Republican Governors Association about his lack of support for Astorino, whether Jindal would, if he were still head of the RGA, use RGA resources to support Astorino, whether Jindal agrees with Senator Rand Paul that the federal government is being untruthful about the danger from Ebola and what Jindal thinks of Cuomo’s performance as governor.

Here is the full Q&A:

Astorino at Asphalt Green



Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino came to Manhattan’s Upper East Side Tuesday to protest the waste transfer station being built behind Asphalt Green, a popular sports and arts facility.  The waste transfer station has been a neighborhood flashpoint for the past few years, sparking litigation, protests and an ongoing effort to stop it.  Today Astorino called for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation to not renew  state-issued permits necessary for the project to continue.

The transfer station is part of the City’s Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, a large, complex plan which is more than a decade in the making. The SWMP grew out of the Giuliani-era closing of the Fresh Kills landfill, previously the destination for the City’s garbage, as the City has tried to develop a long term plan for waste transfer.

The 91st Street marine transfer station was a topic of discussion during the 2013 mayoral race, with candidates split on what they would do about it. For some background, here is a discussion from a Bronx mayoral forum in June and an appearance at Asphalt Green by Joe Lhota during the general election. It’s an issue that inflames many outside of Manhattan, who see it as an effort by a wealthy, well-connected neighborhood to avoid the same burdens that they face.

Here’s the full Q&A portion of Astorino’s press conference.  On topic questions included whether canceling the project would result in Manhattan not bearing it’s “fair share” of the burdens of waste removal, whether the plan is “too far in motion” to realistically cancel or pull back, his reaction to learning that Mario Cuomo opposes the project and  what effects a major storm might have on the site.  Other topics included whether he plans to read Andrew Cuomo’s book, released today, his view of Cuomo’s national media tour, Cuomo’s reported use of campaign funds to buy holiday gifts for state troopers protecting him and what Astorino plans for the three weeks until election day.

Ballot Propositions – Gubernatorial Candidate Views



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.”

I’ve asked gubernatorial candidates Andrew Cuomo and Rob Astorino for their positions on each of the propositions.  Cuomo supports the first and third propositions, the redistricting commission and school bond issue.  On allowing electronic bills in place of paper bills in the state legislature, Cuomo said “I haven’t taken a position yet.”  Astorino opposes the first and third propositions, the redistricting commission and school bond issue.  In our discussion he did not state a position on the second proposition, to allow electronic bills in place of paper bills in the state legislature.

I spoke with Cuomo today, just before the Columbus Day Parade, and with Astorino on September 26th following an appearance in Farmingdale.

Here’s NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli on the ballot propositions.

Update:  On October 23rd Cuomo revised his position, stating that he supports proposition #2.