Teachout & Cuomo: The Prequel



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

Cuomo, Klein, Republicans

As the state senate Republican conference holds its first post-election meeting, incoming majority leader Dean Skelos announced that he anticipates another cooperative agreement with Jeff Klein and his Independent Democratic Conference.  Here’s a brief flashback to a long-ago (pre-primary) Klein campaign rally featuring Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Full coverage of that September 7th rally is here.

de Blasio Press Q&A: The Melting ICE Edition

Mayor Bill de Blasio today signed two laws which markedly reduce the City’s cooperation with the federal government’s efforts at deporting people unlawfully in the United States.  At a ceremony on the steps of Our Lady of Sorrows in Corona, the mayor signed bills which prohibit the presence of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency at Rikers Island and other City facilities and which provide that the City corrections and police departments “will no longer honor requests by ICE to detain an individual for up to 48 hours beyond their scheduled release unless (1) ICE provides a judicial warrant as to probable cause, and (2) the individual in question has been convicted of a violent or serious felony within the last five years, or is a possible match on the terrorist watch list.”

Press Q&A:

Following opening remarks and a signing ceremony, the mayor answered questions from the press.  On-topic questions included the timing of the effectiveness of the laws signed today and when ICE will close it’s office on Rikers Island, how many people currently on Rikers Island will be covered by these laws, details of Carlos Rodriguez (who was held on Rikers Island for eight months on an ICE detainer) path to this country and his thoughts during his eight month detention, what Mayor de Blasio would like to see the federal government do about immigration and what he will do absent such action, what he would tell Republicans who think his approach is a dangerous precedent, de Blasio and Melissa Mark-Viverito’s positions on municipal IDs and voting rights for non-citizens, the number of people arrested on misdemeanors and then subject to ICE detainers and whether persons arrested on felony charges must first go through the justice system before being subject to an ICE detainer.

Off-topic questions included efforts at combating sex trafficking on Roosevelt Avenue, reports of criminal charges against a defunct arm of the Working Families Party, whether the mayor will veto proposed bills criminalizing police use of chokeholds and requiring police to advise people of a right to refuse before asking to search them, whether the mayor plans to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when they visit New York, whether his message is getting lost in critical news coverage and his view of the Astoria Cove development deal.

de Blasio Press Q&A: The Veterans Day Parade Edition (Updated x 2)

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke with the press this afternoon, following his march up Fifth Avenue in the Veterans Day Parade.  After an opening statement on his own family’s experience in dealing with his father’s physical and emotional wounds from World War II combat and the broader shortfalls in government aid for veterans, de Blasio answered questions.  Question topics included why he agreed to a $41 million settlement in the Central Park 5 case, whether he would like the state legislature to have a special session in November or December, what he spoke about today with Ray Kelly, whether he would like to see state laws concerning marijuana possession changed, the release from quarantine of Ebola patient Dr. Craig Spencer and whether Governor Cuomo was invited to the press conference this morning as Dr. Spencer was released from Bellevue, whether he supports a proposed City Council bill which would ban cell phone use while biking and his recent conversation with and view of IDC leader Sen. Jeff Klein.

Update – Jeff Klein:

I asked the mayor about his recent conversation with IDC leader Sen. Jeff Klein.  de Blasio emphasized Klein’s interest in addressing a “very serious agenda” which includes a minimum wage increase, the Dream Act, campaign finance reform and the Women’s Equality Act.  When I asked whether he’s disappointed by Klein’s reported readiness to again align his Independent Democratic Conference with the senate Republican Conference, de Blasio responded “I don’t like to speak in terms of joy or disappointment or personalities … I care about the outcome.”

Update #2 – Central Park 5 Settlement:

Mayor de Blasio was asked about the Central Park 5 settlement and news reports that City lawyers objected to the $41 million settlement amount.

de Blasio Press Q&A: The 25 Grams Or Less Edition

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner today announced a significant change in the NYPD’s handling of people possessing small amounts of marijuana.  Possession of 25 grams or less will now be generally handled by the NYPD issuing a summons, rather than arresting the possessor.

Q&A:

de Blasio and Bratton had a lengthy Q&A, with it almost entirely focused on their announcement.  Here’s their full on-topic Q&A:

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:

Cuomo Votes

Governor and multi-party candidate for reelection Andrew Cuomo and girlfriend Sandra Lee voted today near their home in Mount Kisco.  They arrived to a loud welcome from a large contingent of visitors, about 20 anti-fracking protestors and about 75-100 pro-Cuomo demonstrators.  The pro-Cuomo demonstrators appeared to mostly be union members, from 1199 SEIU and the Hotel Trades Council.

After they voted under the watchful eyes of a media swarm, Cuomo spoke with the press. Cuomo and Lee then added an extra item to their voting stop; walking down and greeting their supporters.

Press Q&A:

Question topics included what he’ll say to Rob Astorino if he bumps into him locally, what he has to say to the anti-fracking protestors, what was most surprising in the campaign, whether he’ll be disappointed if he wins by 10 points rather the 20 points that public polls predict, for whom and on what line he and Lee voted, what he’ll do to affect the state senate leadership should there not be any single majority conference, what he’ll do in a second term concerning state mandates to local governments and what effect Republican control of the United States Senate will have on New York and his administration in a second term.

After this Q&A Cuomo went to talk with a large crowd gathered outside – watch.

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.

Cuomo’s Astorino Attacks Evolve



Here’s an analytical look at Governor Cuomo’s campaign speech today and a recent evolution in his attacks against Republican opponent Rob Astorino.  (Our full coverage of today’s Cuomo campaign rally in Times Square is here.)

Governor Cuomo gave a fiery speech today at his Times Square rally, attacking Republicans and what he described as the “hate” used by Republicans to “try to divide us.”  His speech differed from his usual stump speech, however, largely omitting discussion of his record in office.  He briefly mentioned marriage equality and raising the minimum wage, but otherwise omitted discussing his record.  There was no mention of passing on-time budgets, taming Albany dysfunction or hopes of passing the Dream Act, topics that are a big part of his stump speech.  He did discuss the “Women’s Bill of Rights,” usually referred to as the “Women’s Equality Agenda”, but gave that shorter attention than usual.  Cuomo instead focused on what he described as the importing of “hate” used by Washington, D.C. Republicans to New York.  On this his speech also reflected a recent evolution, as he’s more forcefully adopted that attack line of equating Astorino with the more angry and hateful Republican national voices. Continue reading