Cuomo Endorses ‘Man Of Courage’ Addabbo (Updated)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo endorsed Democratic Sen. Joe Addabbo in New York City today, praising the lawmaker for his “courageous” vote on same-sex marriage in 2011.
“This is a man of courage, this is a man who stood up and did the right thing,” Cuomo said before marching in the Columbus Day parade. “This is a man who knew he was taking tough votes. He could have run. I applaud that type of political courage.”
Of course, there was no mention of Addabbo and the rest of his conference not casting a vote on one of the governor’s most hard-sought proposals this year: the Tier Six pension measure which scaled back benefits for new state hires. Still, Addabbo did back Cuomo’s proposals when it came to both budgets, rent control, an overhaul of teacher evaluations and changes to the state’s ethics laws.
Yet, Cuomo praised Addabbo and his colleagues for making “very difficult but correct votes that the Legislature has taken.
Update: Jessica Proud, a spokeswoman for Eric Ulrich’s campaign, released a carefully crafted statement that praised Cuomo and knocked Addabbo.
“Governor Cuomo is doing a good job and Joe Addabbo is lucky to have his support,” she said. “Its not surprising given the close family ties and years in politics that the Governor would back him. Eric has been a strong proponent of the Governor’s reform proposals and looks forward to working with him when elected. Today’s Siena poll shows Joe Addabbo’s campaign is in crisis mode and he’ll need all the help he can get.”
Cuomo added, “He has done great work. We have had a very productive past two years almost on anyone’s book in Albany.”
As Liz noted earlier in her rather prescient post on this endorsement, there’s a lot to unpack here.
Cuomo is backing one of the most vulnerable Senate Democratic incumbents in the state in a Queens district that is moderate-to-conservative for New York City.
The endorsement comes a week after the news that the state United Teachers union was dumping a $500,000 independent expenditure campaign on Addabbo’s behalf. Senate Republicans have sought to show that with NYSUT’s help, the Senate Democrats are truly at odds with Cuomo’s fiscal agenda, which included his signature 2 percent cap on property taxes, though most Democratic members backed the measure in 2011.
And there’s very much a “Cuomo to rescue” aspect to all of this, considering that today’s Siena College poll of the race shows that the contest is a dead heat.
Today’s endorsement in a battleground swing district proves to the Democratic faithful in New York state that Cuomo is not just a member of their party, but the leader of it, backing an incumbent lawmaker who made a tough but valuable vote at a critical time in the campaign.
The Senate Republican Campaign Committee has also spent heavily on Addabbo’s opponent, City Councilman Eric Ulrich, an up-and-coming candidate in New York City politics. Clearly Senate Republicans — who have only two members from the five boroughs — want to make Queens a new beachhead in keeping their majority.
There continues to be rampant speculation that Cuomo doesn’t really want Democrats to take over the Senate, considering the two years of not-ready-for-prime time that marred their majority between 2008 and 2010. The Democrats counter that there are different people there now with a clearer and smarter agenda.
Cuomo has so far not extended the same endorsement offer he made to Sen. Roy McDonald to Sens. Mark Grisanti and Stephen Saland, both of whom backed the same-sex marriage law and faced Republican primaries as a result.
Both Saland and McDonald have three-way races to contend with this November.
Still, Cuomo today continued to not do much to temper that speculation when asked if he’s supporting a full-bore Democratic takeover of the state Senate. Once again, Cuomo insisted that his endorsements would come on an individual basis and that he would pick candidates based on either tough votes they’ve taken and on their character and “personal background.”
“I’m going to make my decisions basically the way the people of the state make their decisions — on a case by case basis,” he said.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on October 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|