Cuomo Concludes; Chapter 1 (Updated)

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.

Musical Adaptation:

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:

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.

de Blasio & Bratton Battle the Post

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton held an unusual Sunday afternoon press conference to denounce a New York Post report that de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, was deeply angry at Bratton over NYPD Chief of Department’s Philip Banks’ sudden retirement and that de Blasio had “summoned Bratton to City Hall, blasting him face to face for not catering to Banks”.  The Post quoted McCray as saying “I told you we can’t trust him”, in reference to Bratton, to de Blasio.

de Blasio profusely praised both the NYPD and Bratton, and then denounced “unnamed sources who make up entire conversations in their heads and tell flat-out lies.”  Bratton in turn praised the mayor and condemned the “falsehoods” and “fabrications” as “nothing short of outrageous” that were “intentionally intended to harm.”

de Blasio Opening Statement:

Here is Mayor de Blasio’s full opening statement:

Bratton Opening Statement:

Here is Commissioner Bratton’s full opening statement:


Here is the full Q&A:

Cuomo on NTSB Report Criticizing MTA

When asked for his reaction to a recent series of reports by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) harshly criticizing the MTA, Governor Cuomo said only that he has “not gone through it in detail” and that his “team is looking at it”.  As governor Cuomo effectively controls the MTA, although other elected officials also appoint MTA board members.

On Tuesday the NTSB released reports on five MTA accidents, with the NTSB chairman issuing a statement that “[s]eeing this pattern of safety issues in a single railroad is troubling.  The NTSB has made numerous recommendations to the railroad and the regulator that could have prevented or mitigated these accidents. But recommendations can only make a difference if the recipients of our recommendations act on them.”  Senator Charles Schumer is reported as saying that the NTSB “report represents a horror house of negligence.”

Bi-Borough Cuomo Gaggling: The South Bronx & Harlem Edition (Updated)

Governor Andrew Cuomo campaigned energetically today, with four New York City rallies.  At events in the South Bronx, Central Harlem and East Harlem*, Cuomo touted his record, aggressively attacked Republican opponent Rob Astorino and urged his supporters to turn out on election day.  Cuomo twice spoke separately with the press, in the South Bronx and East Harlem.

During the South Bronx rally Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia-Padilla made an amusing reference to wardrobe planning confusion which resulted in Governor Cuomo appearing in a navy blazer and Governor Garcia-Padilla in a leather jacket.  Both gaggles began with a reference to that moment.

South Bronx:

Question topics at a post-rally gaggle included whether Governor Cuomo is confident that his margin of victory will come from black and latino neighborhoods, his reaction to a recent National Transportation Safety Board report that harshly criticized the MTA, whether the 1st offense penalty in the newly-effective driving-while-texting law is too harsh, the principal of a bio-hazard cleanup company sued by then-Attorney General Cuomo, the necessity of political fundraising, his recent reference to the Working Families Party as a “fringe party” and whether he has any advice for the Governor of Puerto Rico concerning marriage equality.

East Harlem:

Question topics included whether there are similarities between past defenses of states banning interracial marriage and current defenses of states banning same-sex marriages, his reaction to NYPD Chief of Department Philip Banks’s resignation, whether campaign contribution limits are too high and what Cuomo intends to seek as campaign finance reforms if reelected, whether he’s going to the Somo el Futuro conference in Puerto Rico next week, whether he’s worried that “minorities” will not turn out on election day and how his recent references to recent New York Republicans as being “moderates” reconciles with his past statements about “ultraconservatives” in the state senate.

Continue reading Bi-Borough Cuomo Gaggling: The South Bronx & Harlem Edition (Updated)