Cuomo Unleashes a Rockefeller on ‘Ultra-Conservative’ Astorino (Updated)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is out with another attack ad that casts his GOP opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, as an “ultra-conservative,” this time employing one of Astorino’s fellow Republicans – Laurence “Larry” Rockefeller – to deliver the message.
It would be fair to characterize Rockefeller as a moderate – or “Rocky” – Republican. He’s the son of Laurance S. Rockefeller, brother of former Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, and was an environmental lawyer who worked for 25 years with the Natural Resources Defense Council (supported by Rockefeller funds). He’s now a trustee of the organization, and also a conservationist whose grandfather donated 700 acres along the Hudson River to preserve the New Jersey Palisades.
Rockefeller is also one of the governor’s GOP donors (giving at least $50,000 from 1989 through this year) who attended a “Republicans for Cuomo” event hosted in March by John and Betty Levin at the Pierre hotel in Manhattan. Also, irony alert: Rockefeller ran a failed primary challenge in 1992 to US Sen. Alfonse D’Amato. He was forced out of the race because he failed to gather sufficient signatures on nominating petitions to withstand challenges from D’Amato’s campaign.
D’Amato played a big role in getting then-little known state Sen. George Pataki elected in 1994, ousting former Gov. Mario Cuomo – a turn of events Astorino often cites as a model for how he might come from behind to oust Cuomo-the-younger. Now, of course, D’Amato is a lobbyist and a major fundraiser and donor for Andrew Cuomo.
Also, Capital NY notes that during that 1992 campaign, Rockefeller pledged not to run political ads, saying the 30- and 60-second spots were “an affront to voters’ intelligence, an attempt to substitute emotion for reason.”
Astorino has been struggling to gain traction among his fellow Republicans – especially many top donors, who are already backing Cuomo. He has had particular problems with the Senate Republicans, who are cozying up to Cuomo to demonstrate their bipartisanship as they fight to win back the majority in this increasingly Democrat-dominated state.
This ad comes as Astorino made a pitch this morning at the ABNY breakfast (attended by the sort of business leaders and GOP donors that he desperately needs to win over) on what Year One of his agenda would look like if he manages an upset win in November. That includes: an across-the-board income tax cut, replacing the controversial Common Core standards and letting counties out of non-manadated Medicaid services.
UPDATE: The response from Astorino campaign spokeswoman Jessica Proud:
“In Andrew Cuomo’s New York, only a Rockefeller will be able to live here in four years. The rest of us are tapped. Mr. Rockefeller is about as Republican as Bill de Blasio; he’s been giving tens of thousands of dollars to New York Democrats and to radical groups like MoveOn.Org and the NRDC for years.”
Here’s the script for the ad, which is narrated by Rockfeller:
“I’m a lifelong Republican. But I cannot support the ultraconservative Rob Astorino. Mr. Astorino opposes marriage equality. He opposes a woman’s right to choose. He even opposes common-sense background checks that would stop the mentally ill from buying a gun. I’m supporting our mainstream Governor, Andrew Cuomo. I’m a Republican, but I’m a New Yorker first. We cannot afford to go backwards with Rob Astorino. Let’s keep moving forward with Andrew Cuomo.”
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on October 1, 2014 at 11:37 am, and is filed under Ads, Andrew Cuomo, Republicans, Rob Astorino. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|