Bernadette Hogan

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Nixon Campaign Releases Video, Criticizes Cuomo-Buffalo Billion Ties

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s political adversaries are wasting no time on Friday making sure the public is keeping tabs on New York corruption trials.

Cynthia Nixon’s campaign released a video Friday morning starring the four defendants found guilty on all corruption charges in yesterday’s close of the Buffalo Billion trial. The video depicts a close relationship between Cuomo and the convicted men–Joseph Girardi, Steven Aiello, Louis Ciminelli and notably, former SUNY Polytechnic president Alain Kaloyeros.

“Governor Cuomo will say that he had no knowledge of Kaloyeros’ activity, just like he said he knew nothing about the crimes his top aide Joe Percoco was committing in his own office. We’re supposed to believe that Andrew Cuomo, a notorious micromanager, had no idea what his right-hand man was doing right under his nose?”

Kaloyeros was indicted for his hand in unfairly securing economic development contracts for upstate developers favoring those who had donated to Cuomo’s campaign in the past.

Cuomo on Friday defended his administration’s response to the initial indictments of Kaloyeros and the developers, noting the contracting changes his office made to economic development spending in the wake of the charges.

At the same time, Cuomo said he would be open to new oversight measures as long as they would be effective in combating wrongdoing.

The video released by Nixon’s campaign harkens back to the March 2018 trial of ex Cuomo aide Joe Percoco, who was convicted on multiple charges of bribery, then lambasts the Governor’s abrupt dismantling of the Moreland Commission in 2014:

“This left us with just JCOPE, a puppet body controlled by the Governor, with zero credibility to take on corruption,” Cynthia continued. “If the governor truly wants to restore the people’s trust, he’ll allow for a thorough, independent investigation — one he can’t control and can’t shut down.”

U.S. Attorney General Preet Bharara’s investigated the circumstances surrounding the shuttering the Moreland Commission, but the investigation ultimately ended due to lack of sufficient evidence.

Nixon hasn’t been shy about criticizing Cuomo for what she sees is a lapse in ethical practices, and attention on this trail of corruption trials is proving to be an obvious area of discomfort for the Governor.

“We can’t clean up Albany until we clean out the governor’s mansion. Nothing is going to change until we change who’s in charge,” said Cynthia. “When I’m governor, I will convene a new, independent Moreland Commission on day one to investigate and clean up the rampant corruption in Albany.”

Nixon has pledged to “get big money out of politics and close the LLC loophole,” seeking to put distance between her campaign’s fundraising efforts and that of Cuomo.

Though the developers found guilty in the Buffalo Billion case were Cuomo donors, the donations to the governor’s campaign were not at issue during the trial.

Meanwhile, a day after the trial ended, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul issued statements knocking both Nixon for not releasing previous tax returns. Nixon has released one year of returns so far.

“Cynthia Nixon’s failure to release her tax returns proves again that there’s a difference between reading from a script and real life governing,” Hochul said. “She can’t even live up to her anti-choice running mate Jumaane William’s resolution calling for Presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns. Instead, Ms. Nixon and Mr. Williams have followed the reality TV show Trump standard and failed to do even that. Ms. Nixon released only one year of returns after being publicly shamed for weeks.”

NY-19: Delgado Releases TV Ad, Showcases Roots

The Delgado for Congress campaign released a new digital ad this morning, taking voters down memory lane with Antonio Delgado, the Democrat running to unseat freshman Republican John Faso for New York’s 19th congressional district.

The video is narrated by Delgado, beginning:

“I live in Rhinebeck, but my story beings in Schenectady. We lived here in a rented apartment, working class. Everything we had we earned. The rules were simple: go to church, listen to your teachers, stay out of trouble.”

He says through hard work and employment at General Electric, his parents elevated the family from working to middle class, eventually moving from a rented apartment to building their own home. Delgado links his commitment to family values, fighting for affordable healthcare and good jobs to this upbringing, “The values my parents instilled in me growing up here are the same values that drive me to run for Congress — honesty, hard work and service. I believe that when you make a promise, you keep it.”

“My story is grounded in the set of values that I was raised on. Here’s the truth: for too long our leaders in Washington have been putting politics over people, have been putting dollars over democracy.”

Delgado is an attorney with degrees from Colgate University and Harvard Law School. This is his first bid for public office.

NY-19: Faso Asks, Delgado Answers

The battle over the future of ICE has come to NY-19.

Republican Rep. John Faso’s campaign manager Tom Szymanski posted a statement earlier this week on Faso’s Facebook page asking if the congressman’s Democratic challenger, Antonio Delgado, supports the call by his fellow Democrats for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency to be abolished.

Several high profile New York Democrats have already jumped on board calling for the agency’s end, most recently, Queens Democrat Sen. Mike Gianaris.

The Republicans, led by President Donald Trump, have leapt to ICE’s defense, with some predicting that this issue will help the GOP preserve its control of Congress in the upcoming midterm elections.

“The service that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement provides in keeping our communities safe is invaluable, and it is disturbing to hear elected Democrats and Democratic candidates for office calling to abolish ICE,” Szymanski wrote.

Szymanski singled out a number of prominent Democrats, including NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, and recently victorious NY-14 candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as “other fellow-Progressives on the loony left by wishing to abolish ICE,” adding: “Voters deserve to know whether Mr. Delgado will work to abolish the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

This morning, Delgado responded with a statement of his own, and suggested that in the future, Faso contact him directly and not resort to using an intermediary to handle his inquiries.

“Congressman Faso should feel free to contact me directly with his inquiries about my positions,” Delgado said. “I would be happy to exchange cell phone numbers so that he does not need his staffer to send out statements written by (House Speaker) Paul Ryan. I am eager to discuss our country’s immigration policies and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with the Congressman.”

He added: “Spoiler alert: I do not support abolishing ICE.”

Delgado also took the opportunity to criticize Faso’s voting record on healthcare, and noted his relationship with Ryan, who is not seeking re-election this fall.

Faso has received fundraising assistance from the Congressional Leadership Fund. Protecting the freshman congressman in the battle for NY-19, which has changed political hands several times in recent election cycles, is of particular interest to Republicans as they try to maintain their majority.

Ryan has also appeared at past fundraisers in support of Faso, who is seeking a second term.

Ticket Consumer Protections Signed Into Law

Ticket consumers scored a win on Sunday after Governor Cuomo signed legislation into law that safeguards ticket purchasers against price gauging and misrepresentation of ticket resale.

The Governor’s okay of S8501B re-ups market protections for purchasers of entertainment and sporting event tickets that would have expired on June 30th.

The law adds a protective layer to a section of the state’s arts and cultural affairs law, thus strengthening seller to purchaser transparency.

Bill sponsor State Senator Terrance Murphy said, “Any hardworking New Yorker who purchases a ticket to the world class entertainment and sporting events in our state should never fear being ripped off. This law provides consumers with the confidence and peace of mind that when they are purchasing tickets to see a Broadway show, a ballgame, or a musical performance, they will not be scammed. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing my legislation into law to protect the integrity of this industry.”

Retailers will be required to clearly display seller licenses on sites, list original ticket purchase price separate from any surcharge or added service fee and conspicuously detail refund policies.

Penalties and even the loss of a seller’s license for sites using bot technology—or purchasing software designed to buy up large amounts of tickets for the purpose of resale—will now be in place.