It wasn’t quite as compelling as yesterday, and things wrapped up just before lunch, but this morning it was the Teachout campaign’s turn to make it’s case, and prove she is a bonafide New Yorker. Teachout’s attorney, Lawrence Mandelker, called three witnesses – two friends and Teachout’s mother, who is a Superior Court judge in Vermont. They all gave very believable, straight forward testimony about Teachout’s various living arrangements over the past five years. Two friends recounted visiting Teachout in her multiple apartments for dinner parties, and her mom Mary explained that Teachout hadn’t lived with her in Vermont since she left for college.

Yesterday, The Cuomo campaign’s attorney made a strong case that Teachout’s status as a permanent resident of New York over the last five years is at least questionable. But here’s the thing…the Constitution simply states that a candidate for Governor needs to have lived here for five years prior to election day. It doesn’t say anything about needing Con Edison or Time Warner Cable bills in one’s name to prove it ( Teachout had scant evidence that she was the primary resident on any leases in those early days when she first claims to have moved to New York ).  And it might just be too much of a reach for a Judge to knock her off the ballot based on driver’s licenses and tax returns. More often than not these cases don’t amount to much.

I used to cover New Jersey and none of those guys from Jersey City, Newark or Paterson ever actually lived full time in whatever North Jersey city they were elected to represent. They all had shore houses where they spent the bulk of their time, particularly in the warm summer months. Every now and again the issue would get raised during a campaign, but judges rarely waded into the controversy ( probably because those judges had shore houses next door to the politicians they were being asked to rule on ).

So, in conclusion, Teachout had an early experience in the big city similar to many transient New Yorkers looking for affordable space. They crash with friends, jump from apartment to apartment and often don’t stay put for very long at a single address since the idea in this city is to always try and move up somewhere. We anticipate a ruling on Monday before 2pm. It will be sent out by email which is good because that means I don’t have to go back to court and have another huge fight with Court officer about whether we can shoot video.