Feld Defends Faso (Updated)
Former Larchmont Mayor Liz Feld called me this morning to denounce AG Andrew Cuomo for his subpoena of 2006 GOP gubernatorial nominee John Faso in connection with the ongoing pay-to-play state pension fund probe, saying the timing of this move “stinks to high heaven.”
Feld is the spokeswoman of New Yorkers for Growth, the conservative PAC co-founded by Faso and state GOP Chairman Ed Cox. But she insisted she hadn’t spoken to Faso prior to calling me and said she felt compelled to defend him as a “friend,” not on the PAC’s behalf.
Feld, a Republican who ran an unsuccessful campaign for state Senate (against Democratic Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer) in 2008 and briefly mulled a challenge to US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand this fall, said she believes Cuomo’s probe is “outrageous” and politically motivated.
“I think we should get some sort of independent investigation immediately into the timing of this,” Feld said.
“It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to connect the dots between the timing of an ad we ran urging the attorney general to investigate the Working Families Party and the subpoenas.”
Feld was referring to the “Prince Andrew” ad that New Yorkers for Growth ran in early March, which slammed the AG for refusing to heed its call to investigate the labor-backed party.
According today’s DN story by Capitol Bureau Chief Ken Lovett, the subpoenas from the AG’s office to Faso and his firm, Manatt Phelps, seeking documents and e-mails were issued in late April – well over a month after the New Yorkers for Growth ad ran.
UPDATE: A source close to Cuomo said there were actually TWO rounds of subpoenas: One that went out some six months before the “Prince Andrew” ad and one, as reported by Lovett, that came out afterwards. That undercuts Feld’s timing argument somewhat.
New Yorkers for Growth has targeted the WFP for some time (Feld referred to the party as a “criminal enterprise,” noting its for-profit arm, Data & Field Services, is under investigation by the US attorney’s office), and has been calling for the AG not only to sever his ties to the party, but to investigate it.
The DN and the Post have both called on Cuomo not to accept the WFP’s line, which he reportedly is poised to do. If Cuomo rejects the WFP line, the party could be in serious trouble, as it needs to attract at least 50,000 votes for its gubernatorial candidate in order to maintain its ballot status.
Even if the WFP managed to eke out 50,000 for a non-Cuomo candidate, it might end up getting bumped from its perch on Row E if other minor party candidates received significantly more than that.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on May 20, 2010 at 10:41 am, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, John Faso, Republicans. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|