Gianaris ‘Comfortable’ With Cuomo Endorsement Policy
Sen. Mike Gianaris, the leader of the Senate Democrats fundraising efforts, told Liz last night on the show that he was “comfortable” with Gov. Andrew Cuomo telling reporters earlier this week would endorse candidates this year on a “case-by-case basis.”
“The fact is, the governor has made it clear he’ll make his decisions on his timetable he has his criteria for making them and I don’t really think it’s that newsworthy for the governor to say that he’s going to identify the best candidates for him to support and win,” the Queens Democratic lawmaker said. “Now, that being said, I’m pretty comfortable with what he said because I’m confident that we have those best candidates.”
Gianaris noted that when it comes to causes the governor approves of — womens reproductive rights, the environment, increasing the minimum wage — he’s firmly in the Senate Democratic camp.
“If we’re going to evaluate which party’s candidates are the best ones to receive the governor’s endorsements, I’m pretty confident those are going to be our candidates at the end of the day,” Gianaris said.
But Cuomo isn’t just saying he would endorse the very best candidates. He hinted in a news conference that he would consider endorsing non-Democrats, including Republicans, sometime this year.
The relationship saga between Cuomo and the Senate Democrats over the last six months has featured the governor signing off on a state legislative redistricting plan that is favorable to the majority Republicans in the chamber and repeatedly refusing to say whether he supports a Democratic takeover of the chamber.
“I want to see the best people in the state Senate that we can attract,” Cuomo said when asked this week if he supported a Democratic takeover.
In an earlier interview with Karen DeWitt of New York Public Radio, the governor said the brief two-year term of Democratic control of the Senate did not work out well.
While he has held fundraisers for the Assembly Democrats and tonight will hold one for the New York Democratic Party, Cuomo is yet to do a similar kindness of the minority conference.
Cuomo has worked well with the Senate Republican majority, one of the few levers of power the New York GOP controls in the Democratic-dominated state.
Even if the popular governor sits on his hands this fall in the Senate, Republicans will still face tough electoral climate in a presidential election year, in which Democratic voters tend to turn out in droves.
Cuomo may also be playing a more coy legislative game with his endorsement plan, given that lawmakers may yet return this year to take up a number of his agenda items.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on July 12, 2012 at 10:58 am, and is filed under Democrats, State Senate. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|