2010 Gov Race
Mar 19th - 3:20 pm
The 145th AD special election has turned into a redux of sorts of the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, pitting a Democrat backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo against a fellow Democrat (running on the GOP line) supported by Cuomo’s defeated foe, Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino.
Paladino, who sat down with me at the GOP convention Friday for his first extended TV interview since his loss to Cuomo, is determined to keep his hand in NYS politics. While he’s not running himself, Paladino remainds mad as hell and hell bent on teaching his perceived enemies in Albany a lesson – including the four GOP senators who voted “yes” on same-sex marriage and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos.
Earlier today, I posted a robocall Cuomo recorded on behalf of Chris Fahey, an aide to Rep. Brian Higgins who is running for former Assemblyman Marc Schroeder’s seat in a special election tomorrow. A WNY source just sent me a dueling call Paladino recorded for his favorite in the race, Common Council Member Michael “Mickey” Kearns.
Here’s the script of the Paladino call, which was sent to 145 prime Republican and Conservative voters today:
“Hi, it’s Carl Paladino. If you’re fed up with the status quo, it’s important for you to vote for Mickey Kearns for the 145th Assembly District on Tuesday.”
“On Sheldon Silver’s watch, our state has fallen into tragic decline. With intimidation, illusion and theater, Silver has made a mockery of the Assembly, pandered to public employee unions and expanded entitlement programs, inviting every Tom, Dick and Harry to climb on the backs of our taxpayers, costing us jobs and higher taxes.”
“Silver is afraid that Mickey Kearns will disrupt the status quo in his caucus. And he’s doing everything he can to stop Mickey. Silver already bought Chris Fahey as his puppet with a $150,000 campaign contribution. Help us send Silver a clear message that his reign and Albany corruption will end.”
“Help us take back our state. Vote for Mickey Kearns.”
Nov 22nd - 9:27 am
CapCon’s Jimmy Vielkind has a fascinating article in today’s TU about a dispute between AG Eric Schneiderman and Gov. Andrew Cuomo over expanding the AG’s power to probe public corruption.
It pretty much boils down to this: Schneiderman, through intermediaries, reportedly tried to get Cuomo to use his executive power to issue a so-called “blanket referral” that would give the AG subpoena power in corruption cases.
That’s something Schneiderman does not currently have on his own, though he has teamed up with state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli (another Democrat with a tricky, and sometimes contentious, relationship with Cuomo) and can piggyback on his power in certain instances.
The Cuomo camp, which denies anyone connected to Schneiderman ever made such an ask, argues that even if the governor wanted to expand the power of the office he used to hold, he couldn’t do so because acting unilaterally through executive order would be illegal.
Cuomo’s former top aide, Steve Cohen, (to whom, incidentally, the Schneiderman appeal was reportedly made through the AG’s top aide, Neal Kwatra), argued the following in a Nov. 26, 2010 response to a NY Times OpEd calling for the governor to empower Schneiderman:
“(C)alling for Governor-elect Andrew M. Cuomo to immediately and unilaterally empower the attorney general to investigate the Legislature is, I believe, wrong on the law and misguided in approach.”
“…In truth, what New York needs is wholesale reform of its ethics laws, not a jerry-rigged solution. This state is more likely to get real reform if the governor-elect can build consensus with the Legislature, rather than attacking it on Day 1 with an illegal proposal. We should all know by now that steamrollers don’t work in Albany.”
“Also, the governor does not have the legal authority to broadly delegate prosecution of corruption in the Legislature to the attorney general. The governor does, however, have legal options if the Legislature fails to act by passing real reform. For example, under the Moreland Act the governor could appoint a commission to investigate corruption.”
(That “steamroller” reference is, of course, a swipe at former Gov. Eliot Spitzer).
Oct 27th - 3:03 pm
In a rather clever two-birds-with-one-stone move, the conservative Club for Growth just issued a statement that tweaks both Gov. Andrew Cuomo AND President Obama, urging the president to “take a page out of the tax playbook” of his fellow Democratic leader and end his call for increasing taxes on the rich.
“When even Democrats like Andrew Cuomo oppose raising taxes on millionaires, you know your class warfare rhetoric has failed to resonate,” said Club President Chris Chocola.
“Higher taxes like the ones proposed by President Obama will hurt the economy, not help it. We need to move towards a flatter, more pro-growth tax code and we need to encourage investment by cutting taxes on capital gains and dividends. I applaud Andrew Cuomo for recognizing that higher taxes are not the answer.”
Now, to be fair, Cuomo has opposed extending the so-called millionaire’s tax, which is set to expire at the end of December, or even support a “true” millionaire’s tax with a $1 million threshold, arguing that to do so would make New York less competitive with neighboring states.
He has refused to budge on this, despite widespread public support – even among Republicans – for taxing the state’s wealthiest residents at a higher rate. And he has even compared his unwillingness to do the politically popular thing to his father’s staunch opposition to reinstating the death penalty, which contributed to his loss to then-GOP Sen. George Pataki in 1994.
UPDATE: Club for Growth spokesman Barney Keller (who, incidentally, was the spokesman for former Rep. Rick Lazio’s unsuccessful campaign against Cuomo last fall), sent the following statement:
“What, exactly, would stop the rich or businesses to flee to different countries if a similar tax is passed on the federal level? Andrew Cuomo’s a smart guy, and he must know that if the wealthy can find their way to Connecticut, then they can find their way to Switzerland as well. A reasonable observer must conclude that Andrew Cuomo either smartly opposes raising taxes on the wealthy or he doesn’t – maybe he needs to clarify his stance.”
The Club for Growth also took the opportunity to revisit a bit of semi-ancient (in the digital age, anyway) history, calling Cuomo a “strong ally” of Obama, and offering as proof reports in 2009 that the White House had tried to clear the 2010 field for the then-AG by getting then-Gov. David Paterson to drop his plan to seek re-election.
That message was delivered to Paterson by former White House political director Patrick Gaspard, who is now at the DNC. Gaspard, a former 1199 political director, still has close ties to Cuomo and the governor reportedly would like to see him back in New York after the 2012 election.
As you’ll recall, Paterson refused to heed the Obama administration’s call for him to step aside for Cuomo, but ended up dropping out of the race less than a week after formally announcing he would run in hopes of keeping the job he inheritied from former Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
Oct 3rd - 12:43 pm
Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, the man best known for running (through an odd twist of fate/NYS Election Law) as Carl Paladino’s No. 2 in 2010, is now trying to change Albany from the outside, urging his local Legislature to reject the “sham” 2 percent property tax cap champhioned by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“The 2% property tax cap is nothing more than a campaign slogan meant to get them re-elected and give local leaders the pain for their failure to act,” Edwards wrote in his weekly “Monday Morning Memo” (#196). “Enough is enough.”
Edwards, who last week unveiled a 2012 budget proposal that called for a 12 percent property tax increase, said he wants the Legislature to debate refusing to fund state mandated programs like welfare and Medicaid beyond the 2 percent cap.
“When the money runs out, we stop delivering the programs and Albany can receive the telephone calls looking for services,” Edwards wrote.
The Republican country executive also suggested the Legislature support him in refusing to send “one more penny” of the approximately $600,000 a week Chautauqua must send to Albany as of Jan. 1, 2012 unless the state “immediately” take over the counties’ share of Medicaid costs, pass a law preventing the approval of future unfunded mandates and authorize counties to set their own sales tax rates.
If Edwards makes good on his threat, he won’t be the first county executive to withhold Medicaid funds from the state. Oneida County Executive Tony Picente has intermittently refused to pay his weekly Medicaid bill to Albany in retaliation for the state’s habit of delaying reimbursement.
Jul 5th - 3:00 pm
…We all know how this one ends – at least from the 2010 gubernatorial race standpoint, although the Rent is Too Damn High! founder/spokesman says he’s running for president as a Republican in 2012.
“It’s about what happens to someone who sees success overnight in the viral age, especially when the media latches on so quickly.”
Dec 27th - 5:13 pm
Surely you didn’t think you’d heard the last of the Rent Is Too Damn High party candidate, Jimmy McMillan.
Now, the fast-talking, mustachioed New Yorker is preparing to take on Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election.
He made the announcement last week and explained his decision in a Christmas Eve interview with Curtis Sliwa on AM 970 The Apple.
You can listen to a portion of the interview here: McMillan Explains Presidential Run – AM 970
Here are a few other gems from the interview…
On why he’s unofficially announcing his run for president:
“What I want to do is let the people know that I’m not playing. The President Barack Obama has made a sandwich, but he forgot to put the meat between the bread. And that’s what I’m here to do.”
On how he ran an “effective” campaign on just more than $16:
“I master-minded social media, marketing, advertising, the publicity and didn’t spend a dime to do it. No one in America has asked me. I’ve been invited to come to London, Australia, China, Egypt and places like that. But not one American college has invited me to talk to find out, what is it that you did? How did you do it?”
On his beard:
“I don’t know what made me do this, Curtis. I wanted to be different… I said I don’t want to look like nobody, but me. I want my own identity. So I let my beard grow… and then I began to shape it up.”
Nov 30th - 10:43 am
An analysis of Andrew Cuomo’s 27-day post-general election filing by NYPIRG’s Bill Mahoney found that while the Democratic governor-elect spent less overall on his successful campaign than previous gubernatorial contenders, he spent more in the final days of his bid than all but self-funding candidate Tom Golisano.
Cuomo’s filing is now on-line. It shows he has jsut under $5 million on hand ($4.98 million, to be exact).
That’s slightly more than the $4 million he said his report would show. The governor elect has pledged to use that cash – and whatever else he can raise – to do battle with the state worker unions next year.
Nov 29th - 6:08 pm
Failed GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino (remember him?) spent $3.9 million – mostly of his own money – in the final weeks of his general election battle against Democratic Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo and still owes some $6.1 million (mostly to himself).
But don’t cry too hard for the Buffalo businessman. The bulk of his spending was on TV ads, which went to Ellicott Advertising Company – the in-house firm he set up – and earned a cut from – specifically to handle his on-air spots.
UPDATE: Paladino’s campaign manager/spokesman Michael Caputo took issue with my suggestion that paladino made money off Ellicott Advertising, telling me:
“That was set up so Carl could avoid paying extra fees…He interviwed all these advertising firms, they talk about all these big percentage cuts. Instead of doing that, he paid a media placement firm a flat fee and saved a lot of money.”
Below you’ll find Paladino’s final post-general election filing. (Cuomo’s isn’t up yet, but he has said he has somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million left, and plans to spend it – and whatever he’s able to raise – to wage war against the public employee unions).
One thing of interest I spotted as I quickly breezed through this filing: Paladino returned a $2,500 campaign contribution to former AG Dennis Vacco, who is representing indicted GOP operative John Haggerty in the Mayor Bloomberg/state Independence Party case. Haggerty also worked on Paladino’s campaign.
Nov 11th - 9:01 am
Throughout most of his tenure at the top of state government, Gov. David Paterson has been a weekly guest on the John Gambling Show on WOR. He continued the tradition today, discussing the transition and the state’s financial woes.
Paterson described the hour-long meeting he had with his soon-to-be successor on Tuesday, saying Andrew Cuomo’s on the right track with the tradition and “raring to go.” He also reiterated his praise of the manner in which Cuomo campaigned, which he described as reflecting “the reality of this time.”
Paterson went to great lengths to point out that the economic message Cuomo campaigned on mirrors what he was saying two years ago. He also predicted greater success for Cuomo in gaining support for that message because he had the luxury delivering it in the context of a campaign.
“When I tried to point out where the economy was in 2008… if you read the remarks that legislators and others had made, it was like I had taken leave of my senses,” Paterson said.
Andrew Cuomo called into the radio show later in the hour for his own one-on-one interview.
Cuomo agreed with the notion that he has an advantage over Paterson to set a foundation for dealing with the economy because he was elected with a mandate to, as he put it, “make the numbers balance.”
Cuomo repeated the message he delivered in a three-minute web video released yesterday about the importance of New Yorkers getting involved in their government and holding their legislators accountable.
Gambling ask whether a Democratic or Republican-controlled Senate presents a better scenario for advancing his agenda. Cuomo responded by saying that he is a Democrat and supported a Democratic Senate, but insisted that more important than that is having a “functioning State Senate.”
Cuomo also touched briefly on some specific topics, saying he does not support the KSM trial being held in NYC and would do all he can to prevent it.
He said that he needs to review the facts before determining whether he supports drilling in the Marcellus Shale, but added that if it were safe and created jobs he would be supportive.
Nov 9th - 3:11 pm
Exactly one week after election day, outgoing Gov. David Paterson and incoming governor Andrew Cuomo had their first, official get-together to kick off the transition.
Paterson and Cuomo met privately today in the governor’s NYC office and then appeared together for a joint press conference followed, which YNN and NY1 telecast live.
The present and future governors emerged at 2:35 p.m. for the event scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Paterson began his remarks by referencing a “meeting” between the two six years ago that involved a water gun fight while rafting in the Adirondacks. Cuomo later said that was a story for another time, but that Paterson won the fight.
Paterson said the two talked at length today about the transition, evaluations and the issues facing the state – namely how to end the recession. He showered his soon-be-successor with praise, saying it is rare to see a candidate who is “so honest or so pragmatic about the future.”
Cuomo was equally effusive in his praise of Paterson, calling him a friend for many, many years.
The governor-elect said a major focus of the transition will deal with personnel. He said he would take recommendations from Paterson as to who to keep on board and will work to attract “the best and the brightest into state government.”
He also said he plans to kick-off a statewide facilities tour tomorrow to familiarize himself with state operations, including visits to Sing Sing Correctional Facility and the Manhattan Psychiatric Facility.
In terms of the state’s economic woes, Cuomo said there will have to be cuts to education, health care and state operations. He did not go into detail about how much would need to be cut, saying those figures will be hashed out during the budget process.
Cuomo also proved it isn’t just Paterson who can get a laugh at a press conference. He joked about Paterson’s plans to improve the state’s fiscal picture in the remainder of his term.
“The governor was extraordinarily gracious, saying that he not only would make sure that the current shortfall is covered, but would also identify another $9 billion and set it aside for the deficit next year. And I really thought that was more than just a friendship, because we’re friends, but that really exceeded the friendship to the tune of $9 billion and I want to thank him very much for that,” Cuomo said.
Today actually the second meeting between the two since election day.
Paterson and Cuomo met face-to-face yesterday in Puerto Rico where they had a conversation over breakfast before Cuomo addressed the room. The two may have also met behind closed doors yesterday, but they kept that information to themselves.