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)
Kathy Hochul, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, was joined at an Upper West Side rally today by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and a group of Manhattan Democratic elected officials that included Congressman Charles B. Rangel, Assembly Members Keith Wright and Linda Rosenthal, Council Members Dan Garodnick and Inez Dickens and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.
The rally promoted the “Women’s Equality Party”, a ballot line created by Governor Cuomo and which asserts that its purpose is to “promote issues that are critical to women and our communities.”
Update – Hochul:
What’s lacking in the Democratic Party that leads you to create a new ballot line? I asked Hochul:
Here is Hochul’s full, albeit brief, speech. She begins by thanking House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for attending, noting that in Hochul’s 2011 special election “I hadn’t met you yet, but according to all the TV ads by the Koch brothers and Karl Rove you would have thought we were shopping buddies.” David Koch, one of those same Koch brothers, is a substantial contributor to Hochul’s running mate, Governor Andrew Cuomo. David Koch and his his wife Julia have given Andrew Cuomo a combined $87,000 according to state Board of Elections records. (Here’s a flashback to Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota discussing David Koch’s contributions to Andrew Cuomo.)
Charles B. Rangel:
Congressman Rangel attended, giving a speech in support of Hochul. He gave a particularly memorable performance afterwards, however. From quizzing a New York Observer reporter as to whether he really works for the NY Post to reacting with playful shock at the sight of another reporter who extensively covered Rangel’s recent congressional primary, Rangel parried, attacked and laughed, all while defending Andrew Cuomo. Here’s his full press availability:
Numerous New York elected officials joined a press conference/rally today at City Hall to express support for Israel as it retaliates against Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza. Organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council, the press conference/rally featured five members of the House of Representatives, at least ten state legislators including Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and at least six members of the City Council. It also featured some uninvited guests; counter-demonstrators who showered the press conference with chants and shouts.
Here are excerpts of Congressman Charles B. Rangel’s press Q&A at his last primary campaign stop, at Tracey Towers in the Bronx:
Rangel on the Press & Campaign Conclusion:
Rangel commented on the campaign press coverage and shared his thoughts on the campaign’s conclusion:
Dancing to Victory:
In this brief clip, Council Member Andy King and Public Advocate Tish James dance while standing on a Rangel sound truck:
Congressman Charles B. Rangel held court this afternoon, hosting a press conference in Washington Heights. Perhaps coincidentally, State Senator Adriano Espaillat held a press conference 3 blocks away shortly before Rangel arrived.
Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, an enthusiastic supporter of Espaillat, held his own mini press conference just a few feet away from Rangel. Here’s what happened when Rangel spotted Rodriguez:
(Update #3) I asked Rodriguez about his confrontation with Rangel, at a campaign stop Monday evening at 116th Street/Lexington Avenue:
Update – The Prequel:
Shortly before Espaillat supporter Ydanis Rodriguez appeared, Espaillat’s campaign manager and a Rodriguez staffer listened to the press conference. Here’s what happened when the campaign manager’s presence was pointed out to Rangel:
Update #2 – Charlie 360:
Rangel gave quite a performance to the press. Surrounded by a large circle of his supporters and press, he spoke first to his supporters and then pivoted to face the press. Cracking himself up repeatedly, Rangel dismissed questions about his opponent but introduced himself to Espaillat’s campaign manager, who was listening to the press conference. Here’s the full press Q&A:
Congressman Charles B. Rangel hosted a “flash mob” outside the Harlem Shake restaurant on Lenox Avenue Saturday afternoon. Headed into the campaign’s final 72 hours, he was joined by George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU, Public Advocate Tish James, Council Member Inez Dickens, former rival and former assembly member Adam Clayton Powell IV.
1199SEIU, with it’s president George Gresham, is a major political force. Among it’s victories is it’s mayoral campaign-saving endorsement of Bill de Blasio, and it’s endorsed Charles Rangel in the 13th Congressional District primary. We spoke with George Gresham at the Harlem Shake. I began by asking him about 1199’s plans for primary day:
Here’s an excerpt from Rangel’s remarks. He meanders for a bit, discussing El Barrio and his own experience and good fortune, but doesn’t mention his primary opponents:
Yesterday we drove, today we walked. On Thursday Congressman Charles Rangel led a caravan from Harlem to Inwood. Today we accompanied Rangel as he walked across Harlem’s 125th Street, from St. Nicholas Avenue to Lexington Avenue. He received a good welcome, greeted warmly by many as he strolled through his home turf.
Rangel, a Frederick Douglass High School graduate, encountered a group of Frederick Douglass Academy students and promptly launched into what appeared to a school song.
Update – Walking:
Here’s a look at Rangel’s reception, with a post-walk conversation with Rangel.
Congressman Charles B. Rangel rolled through upper Manhattan in a honking cacophony today, leading a caravan of Green Cabs and livery cars from Central Harlem to Inwood. We rode along.
Update – Rolling With Rangel:
We look at Rangel’s ride uptown and his comments to the participants afterwards.
NY Times Endorsement:
We spoke with Congressman Rangel at the conclusion of the caravan. I asked him for his reaction to the New York Times endorsement of Adriano Espaillat, published in today’s print edition.
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Congressman Charles B. Rangel faces his electorate one week from today, in a heated June 24th Democratic primary. Winning on June 24th will mean virtually certain reelection in November to what he says will be his final term, while losing will end his 44 years in Congress. There are four candidates next Tuesday but it’s mostly about Rangel, with the two biggest campaign moments coming straight from his lips. Here’s a close look at the race, featuring our extensive coverage at NYTrue.com: Continue reading Rangel Roundup – An Overview of the Approaching CD13 Primary
Congressman Charles B. Rangel, State Senator Adriano Espaillat and the Rev. Michael Walrond slugged it out tonight in their fourth debate. Held at Lehman College in the Bronx, and hosted by NY1, the debate featured sharp exchanges as the electoral clock ticks louder.
All three candidates spoke with the press afterwards, continuing some of the debate themes and addressing some additional questions.
Rangel’s time with the press was quite a performance. Intensity, flashes of wit and indignation at questions he regarded as flawed in their premise demonstrated his political skill. Topics included his discussion of Espaillat’s 2012 “traitor” memo and comments last weekend by the Rev. Al Sharpton, whether Espaillat is hedging his electoral chances by preparing to run for re-election to the state senate should he lose this race, Rangel’s health, Eric Cantor and the Tea Party, the importance of local v. federal issues for a member of congress, deportation and Rangel’s description of Espaillat as a “trainee.”
Update – Espaillat:
Espaillat remained focused, attacking Rangel’s support of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, which repealed Glass-Steagal, and a recent amendment of Dodd-Frank and asserting that Rangel “lied on the record.” Other topics included Rangel’s reference to Espaillat as a “trainee”, whether he will petition for re-election to the state senate, why he believes he could accomplish anything in a tea party-dominated House and a recent uptick in marijuana arrests.
Update #2 – Walrond:
For a first time candidate and political outsider, Michael Walrond appears to have a pretty firm grasp of the basics of running, promoting yourself and attacking your opponent. Topics included Rangel’s record, his congressional censure, whether Walrond should attack more in debates, whether he’s a spoiler, what he thinks he could accomplish in a tea party-dominated House, his work in Harlem, lessons from the defeat of Eric Cantor and whether he’ll be a “loyal Democrat” if elected.
We asked Congressman Charles B. Rangel and State Senator Adriano Espaillat for their views on Puerto Rico’s status. Puerto Rico is, of course, a commonwealth of the United States, although many Puerto Ricans prefer statehood or independence. A substantial portion of the voters in the 13th Congressional District are of Puerto Rican descent, with particularly heavy concentrations in East Harlem and Jerome Park and Norwood in the Bronx, and many maintain a strong attachment to the island.
This morning Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference at The Sugar Hill Project, an affordable housing project under construction on West 155th Street in Sugar Hill. Congressional District 13 primary rivals Congressman Charles B. Rangel and New York State Senator Adriano Espaillat were among the many elected officials joining the mayor. The Sugar Hill Project is in the 13th Congressional District.
Update #2 – Congressional District 13:
We look at the 13th Congressional District primary-related portions of the press conference, including my question to Mayor de Blasio of whether he plans to endorse a candidate in the race:
We spoke separately, and exclusively, with Congressman Rangel and Senator Espaillat.
I began by asking Congressman Rangel how the race, with barely two weeks remaining, is shaping up:
I began by asking Senator Espaillat whether he expects the controversy over Congressman Rangel’s comment to continue: