Zack Fink

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Right, But Who Are You Running Against?

I haven’t been paying all that much attention to the State Senate races, but as we get past the primary and into the general, I certainly intend to. A lot is at stake. Namely control of the upper chamber, which has been in Republican hands for almost ten years. For the last two years, that control has been by a razor thin margin which means each and every seat up for grabs ( and all of them are this year ) could make the difference for which party is in control.

In the 39th State Senate District which covers parts of the Hudson Valley, Democratic Assemblyman James Skoufis is running against Republican Stony Point Town Councilman Tom Basile. The seat is being vacated by Republican Senator Bill Larkin who has served in the State legislature since 1979. Larkin’s 40 years of elected office include the State Assembly from 1979 to 1990, followed by the State Senate from 1991 to 2018. Which is why a comment made recently by Skoufis seemed a little bizarre, and out of sync.

Speaking to an audience recently Skoufis said “Let’s do this, and let’s finally have a State Senator you can be proud of.”

What’s unusual here is that legislators on both sides of the aisle have made a point to offer nothing but praise for Larkin, as he prepares to retire at age 90. Larkin has a long history beginning with his military service in the South Pacific during World War II. He later served in the Korean War and throughout his 23 years in the Army Larkin received a Legion of Merit, 7 Commendation Medals, and seven Battle Stars. Following his military career, Larkin was tapped for service by President John F. Kennedy and later guarded Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his historic march from Selma to Montgomery Alabama. Let’s face it, the man is a walking representation of the events that defined 20th century America. Whether one is a Republican or a Democrat, it’s hard to say Larkin hasn’t distinguished himself and made his country proud.

Perhaps most importantly in all of this, Skoufis isn’t even running against Larkin.

In a statement, GOP Spokesman Scott Reif says,

 

“James Skoufis is so wrapped up in climbing the political ladder he forgot that the current state Senator is a distinguished veteran of World War II and Korea who won numerous combat medals, commanded an all-black unit when the Army was still segregated and protected Martin Luther King and those who marched for civil rights at Selma.  Later this year, Senator Larkin will complete a career in government that spans decades, and he is one of only two World War II vets who are still serving in any state Legislature in the country.  He has launched the Purple Heart Hall of Honor, provided resources to establish the Newburgh Armory to keep at risk kids off the streets, and delivered hundreds of millions of dollars to improve the lives of people all throughout the 39th Senate district.  He is universally respected by Democrats and Republicans everywhere who have spoken with pride about his service to our state and nation, and about the kind of person he is.  James Skoufis has hit a new low with this disgusting and unprovoked attack on Senator Larkin – – a public servant, a patriot and true hero.”

In response, Jonathan Heppner, a spokesman for Skoufis pointed to previous statements the Assemblyman has made praising Larkin. Heppner says,

This is a pathetic attempt by Tom Basile to distract from his failing campaign. The facts are James Skoufis was referring to Basile’s disingenuous ‘Our Senator’ slogan that disrespectfully assumes that Senator Larkin isn’t still in office.

Assemblyman Skoufis has worked with Senator Larkin on a countless number of issues to deliver for the people of Orange County. James Skoufis has also praised Senator Larkin since he announced his retirement, calling him an ‘inspiration’ and ‘military hero,’ and acknowledged Larkin’s public service during his recent campaign announcement speech. The Basile campaign must really be getting desperate.

 

Here is the clip of Skoufis:

My Movie – HD 720p (1)

 

 

 

 

 

O’Donnell Endorses Nixon

Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell has endorsed Cynthia Nixon for Governor. O’Donnell becomes the fourth sitting legislator to do so after Andrew Hevesi, Harvey Epstein and Tom Abinanti.

While many LGBT groups have opted to back Governor Cuomo over Nixon in this year’s primary, O’Donnell was an early supporter of marriage equality, shepherding the bill through the Assembly multiple times before it became law in 2011 in New York State. Cuomo points to the marriage vote as one of his key civil rights accomplishments during his 8 years as Governor. In statement O’Donnell says,


“In my years in the Assembly I’ve fought for civil rights, education equity, transparency and criminal justice reform only to be told time and again that I was too loud, progressive, and ambitious. But I learned from my years as a public defender that win or lose, if you want something done you have to keep fighting. And through many of those fights, Cynthia Nixon stood beside me to tell me to keep going. Cynthia was there when I passed Marriage Equality, and the Dignity for All Students Act. Cynthia has promised to be there when we end cash bail. Cynthia has promised to be there when we repeal 50-a, making police disciplinary records transparent. And Cynthia has promised to be there when we pass the millionaires tax to fix the subways. I’m proud to join the Democratic Clubs in my district and many of my neighbors in giving my enthusiastic endorsement to Cynthia Nixon.”
O’Donnell and Nixon will formally roll out their endorsement together this evening at 5p at the 96th street subway stop in Manhattan. That’s where they are expected to jointly do some retail politicking before announcing the actual endorsement. In a statement, Nixon says,
“The marriage equality act would not have passed without Danny’s leadership. He shepherded it though the assembly five times before it finally became law. I am so grateful for his tireless dedication to LGBT equality and, also, to unceasing education funding for our low income school districts. I’m so honored to have is endorsement.”
Nixon has drawn the endorsements so far only from handful of male legislators and City Councilmen. She has not received the endorsement of any sitting elected female Council members or state legislators, despite appealing to the women’s vote in this election. She does have support of former City Council Speaker Melissa mark-Viverito, and from many women State Senate candidates who are challenging former IDC members.

Nixon Courts Muslim Vote

It’s probably conventional wisdom at this point that if Cynthia Nixon were to have any chance of defeating Governor Andrew Cuomo next month it would be through bringing new voters to the polls on September 13th. Groups and individuals that either hadn’t previously been registered, or simply chose not to exercise their right to vote. One of those groups being courted by Nixon is Muslim New Yorkers, who number close to a million in the greater New York City area, and several hundred thousand more when you look at the totality of New York State.

Last night Nixon held a Roundtable with the Muslim Democratic Club of New York at the Islamic Cultural Center on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan. For some ( Godforsaken and completely inexplicable ) reason, the event was closed press. But according participants, they discussed a range of issues of interest to the community including universal healthcare, how to greater engage the Muslim community in New York, unwarranted surveillance, racial and religious profiling and issues related to immigration including the need to abolish ICE and allowing driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants in New York State. On the latter issue, Cuomo says he needs legislation, activists claim he can initiate through Executive Order.

In a statement, Tahanie Aboushi, President of the Muslim Democratic Club of New York says,

Cynthia is no stranger to New York’s Muslim community. From standing with us at JFK protesting the Muslim Ban to visiting our places of worship, Cynthia is committed to engaging the Muslim Community and learning about issues that are of concern to us. She is dedicated to inclusivity and realizes the importance of the Muslim Community. We look forward to building and working with her as Governor.

In his nearly 8 years as Governor, Cuomo has never actually visited a Mosque. A source close to the Governor points out that during the controversy surrounding the Lower Manhattan Mosque that was to be located near the World Trade Center in the mid aughts, Cuomo came out in favor. He later took heat from Republican Rick Lazio over that issue when they both ran for Governor in 2010. Lazio was running in the Republican primary where he ultimately lost to Carl Paladino.

 

WFP Snubs Dilan in SD 18

The Working Families Party is endorsing Julia Salazar in her bid to unseat incumbent Democratic State Senator Martin Dilan in Brooklyn. Bill Lipton, Executive Director of the WFP cited Dilan as one of the only mainline Senate Democrats to take money from the Senate Independence Campaign Committee. The committee once raised money for the members of the Independent Democratic Conference, or IDC. In April, Governor Cuomo held a Manhattan summit along with labor, and Democratic leaders where the IDC agreed to dissolve and join their mainline Senate Democratic colleagues. The money they raised however, has been in dispute ever since.

Technically the property of the State’s Independence Party, last month the Division of Election Enforcement within the Board of Elections ordered that the money be returned to their original donors. With former IDC members facing robust primaries in their respective districts, there has been a reluctance to return all that money, which they could clearly use.

In a statement Lipton says,

“Brooklyn deserves a leader that will fight for affordable housing, real criminal justice reform, and universal healthcare—and Julia Salazar is the progressive champion we need. State Senator Martin Dilan has consistently chosen to protect landlords over working families. Whether he’s refusing to protect our kids from lead poisoning or voting to weaken our rent laws, Dilan has sided with his real estate donors over the local community. The Working Families Party is thrilled to endorse Julia Salazar for State Senate— a true progressive who puts working people first.”

Salazar added,

“The Working Families Party has been a national and local leader in the movement to elect progressive legislators who will truly advocate for the working class. I’m deeply honored to receive WFP’s endorsement; together we are fighting to demand a New York for the many, a New York that finally works for everyone.”

Dilan first won his seat in 2002. an ally of former Brooklyn boss Vito Lopez, Dilan was given the WFP line in both 2004 and 2006, but has not had it since. Reached by phone Dilan says WFP party leaders gave him “no good reason not to give me the line.” He added that the WFP leadership promised to stay neutral in this primary. Dilan says,

I don’t understand why they did this. They said they would stay out of the race, but didn’t keep their word.

Dilan took a parting shot at Salazar saying she has only lived in the district one year ( something he is challenging in court ), and criticized her Twitter presence saying, “I don’t put everything I do on social media.”

 

 

 

 

Lander to Endorse Nixon

City Councilman Brad Lander will endorse Democratic candidate for Governor Cynthia Nixon. He joins the list of Progressive Caucus members who have already endorsed the candidate over Governor Andrew Cuomo. They include Carlos Menchaca, Antonio Reynoso and Jimmy Van Bramer.

Tonight’s event in Brooklyn features Jumaane Williams, Cynthia Nixon and Brad Lander. It is being sponsored by the Working Families Party, New York Communities for Change and Make the Road. It will also feature Actor Alyssa Milano, and yes, I’m pretty sure it’s *that* Alyssa Milano. Does anyone remember “Teen Steam” from 1988? Check out the graphics here, btw. They were really state of the art.

In a statement, Lander says

 “This is a moment when bolder leadership is smarter leadership. We desperately need a leader who will meet this moment with action and courage– by implementing Andy Byford’s ‘Fast Forward’ plan, calling the State Senate back to Albany to vote to save our kids from traffic crashes, and pioneering bold, progressive legislation like single-payer, universal health care for every New Yorker. I’m proud to endorse progressive champion Cynthia Nixon for Governor of New York State. She will provide the bolder, smarter leadership that this moment demands.”

Nixon has not amassed a lot of institutional support in her campaign, but anytime an elected member embraces her publicly it is worth noting. There  are a handful of elected officials who have said privately they would like to endorse Nixon, but fear repercussions from Cuomo world.

In a statement Nixon says,

 “I am honored to receive the endorsement of Council Member Brad Lander, a leader for progressive values and a true fighter for working New Yorkers. Brad understands the necessity of empowering communities and making government work for the many, not the few. I look forward to working together to fight for bold policy like single payer health care and finally making our state as progressive as its people.”

 

The festivities kick off tonight at The Green Building from 7 – 9pm.

What Does It Mean To Be A Democrat?

These are challenging times for Democrats. With a vacancy on the Supreme Court about to be filled by President Trump, there’s a real likelihood that women’s reproductive rights could be taken away. The possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned has sparked a very robust debate in New York over what it means to call oneself a Democrat. In Albany, state lawmakers have never codified Roe v. Wade into state law. New York’s abortion law actually predates the landmark 1973 case and for years, activists have begged and pleaded with the legislature to pass what’s now known as the Reproductive Health Act ( also known as RHA ). But the legislature has failed to do so.

With the threat of Roe being overturned,  Governor Cuomo went on the road earlier this month, urging State Senate Republicans to return to Albany and pass RHA. The Governor called Republicans in Washington “extreme conservatives” and said these times are “as serious and challenging as any we have faced.”

Well it turns out it isn’t just Republicans who oppose RHA. Assemblyman Marcos Crespo of the Bronx — who also runs the Bronx Democratic party — is also opposed.  The organization strongly backs Cuomo for re-election and Cuomo has been working very closely with Crespo on the issue of relief for the island of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria last year. But when it comes to his votes, Crespo has been against the Governor’s agenda on multiple occasions. Not only did he vote against marriage equality in 2011 ( arguably Cuomo’s signature civil rights accomplishment as Governor ), but he also opposed RHA the last two years. His latest “no” vote on RHA came just a few months ago during the Albany legislative session. Crespo sponsored a bill this session requiring parental consent for the prescription and distribution of emergency contraception, something advocates oppose. And Crespo also voted against Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Agenda in both 2013 and 2014.

Crespo now says he would have voted differently on marriage equality but he declined to comment on his abortion rights voting record. In a statement, Andrea Miller President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health went after Crespo, saying:

“If you believe that a woman should be able to control her body, her life, and her future. you have to support abortion rights and access.  You can’t have one without the other.  While those values are held by the vast majority of New York voters, regardless of party, many of New York’s Republican elected officials align more with the likes of Trump and Pence on these issues than with their own constituents. So Democrats in New York have an added responsibility to support reproductive freedom, especially as they position themselves as the carrying the mantel of progressivism and as the party of women.”

Cuomo’s team insists that the Governor doesn’t have to agree with Crespo on everything to work closely with him on Puerto Rico — Much like Cuomo worked closely with Long Island Republican Congressman Peter King after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. King helped secure a multi-billion dollar bailout for the New York area following the devastating storm. Lis Smith a spokesperson for Cuomo 2018 says of Cuomo’s collaboration with Crespo”

“Governor Cuomo is a national leader on reproductive health rights. He will not play politics when it comes to the crisis in Puerto Rico.”

While Democrats are trying to unite to take on the Trump administration, some within the progressive wing of the party argue that issues like LGBT rights and women’s reproductive rights are fundamental to defining what the party stands for. To call oneself a Democrat means to strongly support both of these issues. Asked about this Thursday, Cynthia Nixon, who is running against Cuomo in this year’s Democratic primary for Governor said:

“I think that believing in women’s reproductive rights and fighting for them actively and pro-actively is a litmus test. And our fight for equality is a civil rights fight, and that we as Democrats and progressives must honor and support each other’s civil rights struggles”.

Nixon is running with Jumaane Williams who is challenging Kathy Hochul for Lieutenant Governor. Williams has previously made statements perceived as anti-abortion and against marriage equality. But Nixon said this week that she has spoken to Williams about his personal beliefs and she believes those beliefs have evolved and he is now “an ally.”

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie preceded Crespo as Bronx Democratic Chair. Through a spokesperson, Heastie says that he allows all of his members to “vote their conscience,” and he is comfortable with Crespo being Chair of the party.

Departure Lounge

It seems like ages ago, but if you remember, the state Budget negotiations this past March had some high drama the final week.

Under unusual pressure to meet the April 1 deadline early due to upcoming religious holidays, the budget process hit an eleventh-hour snag. It started in Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on that Monday night when state Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan accused Cuomo of “not negotiating in good faith.” Cuomo apparently lost it. Began screaming and yelling. Pounding the table. The budget had officially come apart. All tables were cancelled.

But if we understand the Albany process at all, we know that breakups are inevitable. And it makes putting Humpty Dumpty back together again all that much sweeter. By the end of the week, things were moving again. Staten Island Sen. Andrew Lanza was doing a lot of the negotiating for the Senate Republicans.

But soon there was a new holdup. See if you can take a wild guess…Hint: his name rhymes with “Kimka Relder.” Yes! Sen. Simcha Felder, the Brooklyn Democrat who caucuses with Republicans, wanted something. Felder represents the magic 32nd vote, giving Republicans their working majority. So much like EF Hutton, when Felder talks, people listen.

In this particular case, Felder wanted changes to state Education Department standards for Yeshivas. It had absolutely nothing to do with the budget. But it was a very important issue to the Jewish community in Borough Park, which Felder represents. In fact, for the last 20 years, the Orthodox and Hasidic communities have been the fastest growing ethnic group in New York City. Very often, they vote in a bloc, meaning they are a force to be reckoned with for any politician seeking statewide or citywide office.

Enter David Lobl. You may not have heard the guy, but if you’ve been anywhere near Cuomo the last six years, you’ve definitely seen him. Lobl has been a fixture in the Cuomo administration since 2012, but last month was his last day on the job as he leaves to take a new position with uber-lobbyist Suri Kasirer. Lobl handled much of Cuomo’s outreach to the Jewish community, and on Thursday, March 30th while at a Cubs-Marlins game in Miami with his family, Lobl received a call from the governor.

The pitch was simple: Cuomo needed Lobl’s help moving Felder, who was holding up the entire budget from being put to bed. Lobl took cover behind the stands of Marlins Park, and while trying to drown out the din of cheering fans, he and the governor devised a strategy.

Once they hashed it out, Lobl went back to his in-laws’ house in Boca Raton, where he was staying. At about 11:30 that night, He gets a call from the Grand Rebbe in Kiryas Joel. The Rebbe wanted a conference call with the governor, and Cuomo quickly agreed. David explained to Cuomo that initially, he and the Rebbe would speak in Yiddish, much like at that Bronx dinner in Godfather where Virgil Solazzo informs the Police Captain that he and Michael Corleone were about to speak in Italian (“Have the veal. It’s the best in the City”).

The call went off without a hitch. Although Lobl had to drive to a nearby 7-11 in Boca at 1 a.m. to take it, so as not to wake up his entire house. But the deal was struck. Bill language was agreed to, and they seemed to have the makings of a final agreement that would pull the budget back together once and for all. Elated, Lobl called Cuomo back for a wrap-up at which point Cuomo said: “David, I don’t speak the language, but I’m pretty sure I heard you and the Rebbe use some Yiddish curse words.”

Lobl was also instrumental in setting up all of Cuomo’s trips to Israel…OK, so there have only been two during his tenure as governor, but there were at least two others that got cancelled at the last minute.

That includes September 2016, when Cuomo was supposed to travel to the Jewish State for the funeral of Shimon Peres. On the day he was supposed to leave, a New Jersey Transit train had a fatal crash as it approached the Hoboken Station. Cuomo raced to New Jersey to appear alongside then New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for updates on the situation. 

Lobl was already on the ground in Israel when he received word that Cuomo would not be coming. Nevertheless, he was seated in the VIP section for the funeral and ushered into the receiving tent immediately thereafter.

At that point David found himself in a small tent with the Israeli Prime Minister and his wife, former President Bill Clinton, Francois Hollande, Mahmoud Abbas and Prince Charles, of all people.

David was eager to say hello to the Royal Prince who surprised him when he asked in his signature upper crust British accent, “Is Governor Cuomo here?” They chatted for a bit, and at the lull in the conversation, Prince Charles cut to the real reason he was so eager to talk. He grabbed Lobl by the arm and whispered: “Hey, when do I put my Kippah on?”

The Cuomo Administration has certainly had its fair share of staff turnover. Some departures more eventful than others. But there is also a core of survivors within the inner circle who have committed for the long haul. And for a culture where the unofficial motto could be: “If you don’t BELONG, please don’t BE LONG,” David Lobl is definitely deserving of recognition for his time on the inside. We wish him well.

 

Cynthia Nixon and Jessica Ramos Set to Cross Endorse

If Governor Cuomo is the candidate of the Democratic establishment, then Cynthia Nixon is fast becoming the insurgent candidate of the left. Following a pattern that took hold just before the Congressional Primary when Nixon and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cross endorsed each other ( a move that is hard to view as anything but very prescient on Nixon’s part ), Nixon is set to do it again, only this time with State Senate candidate Jessica Ramos.
Nixon is expected to travel to Queens tomorrow for the 10:30 announcement. Ramos is taking on ex-IDC-er Jose Peralta who currently represents the 13th Senate District. In a statement Nixon says,
“I am so excited to endorse Jessica, and to receive her support. There has never been a more important time for women to run for office and to make ourselves heard. On Monday, we expect President Trump to nominate a Supreme Court justice who will very likely overturn Roe v. Wade. And,  currently, our state law provides no protection to New Yorkers if Republicans are successful in overturning Roe V. Wade.  For eight years, Cuomo has claimed he’s fought to change that, but at the same time, he’s kept Republicans and IDC members like Senator Peralta in power, knowing they will never support reproductive rights, and blaming them for his failure to lead. It’s time for the Governor and Senator Peralta to stop gaslighting New York’s women. They made the choice to side with the Republicans again and again. and now our reproductive freedom is at risk with Donald Trump in the White House and Roe vs Wade hanging in the balance.”
Peralta was the last Democrat to pull away from the mainline party and join the breakaway Independent Democratic Conference or IDC. He crossed over to the IDC in early 2017 and the backlash was almost immediate as he faced criticism from voters in the district. Until this past April the IDC had a coalition with Senate Republicans for control of the upper chamber. The alliance was in tact for more than five years and had the support of Governor Cuomo who insisted that the IDC-Republican contract remain in place through this year’s 2018 state budget. The IDC dissolved just days after the budget was passed in March and the 8 former IDC members went back to their colleagues and they all became a unified Democratic conference.
For years, few people knew much about the IDC or what role they played in State government, but more recently, in the Trump era, the issue began to break through. And now almost all the former IDC-ers ( all of whom are running for re-election ) are facing robust primary challenges. Sources say Peralta recently held an emergency meeting with campaign staff to figure out how to fight off the threat from Ramos who has been surging. Peralta denies any such meeting took place.
To gain the support of the Working Families Party in 2014 Cuomo pledged to work for a unified and Democratic controlled State Senate, but many progressives believe he reneged on that commitment. And at no point since that pledge have the Democrats been in control of the State Senate. Having learned their lesson, The Working Families Party snubbed Cuomo this election cycle as he seeks a third term, and instead went with Nixon.
In a statement, Ramos says,
“Cynthia Nixon is the progressive leader New York deserves, and I’m proud to support her and receive her endorsement. As a product of our public schools, a passionate advocate for immigrant families, and a champion for reproductive freedom, I know Cynthia will never betray our state’s women, students, and immigrants. For eight years, Andrew Cuomo has failed to deliver. Instead, he enabled, supported, and encouraged Republican leadership in Albany — even after Donald Trump was elected. Enough is enough. We have a bigot in the White House; we need real progressives Albany. I look forward to joining Cynthia in Albany next year and finally codifying Roe v. Wade, providing undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses, and fully funding our public schools.”

Back In A New York Groove

There is no question the political climate has shifted in the Trump era. And nowhere is that more acute than on the left. If we’ve learned anything from the victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over entrenched incumbent Joe Crowley it’s that progressive Democrats, the new base of the party, are hungry for change and in no mood to compromise on values.

Leaving nothing to chance, Governor Cuomo is making some moves. Seasoned campaign veteran Maggie Moran is being brought in to manage the 2018 Cuomo Campaign. Cuomo is facing a primary challenge from Cynthia Nixon, who is coming at Cuomo from the left. Cuomo has always been very astute when it comes to politics and reading the mood of the electorate. And Maggie’s hiring was actually done long before Crowley lost. She has been on the payroll since June 15th and working out of Cuomo’s midtown campaign office on a full time basis.

The Cuomo team isn’t always big on titles, so technically speaking Moran will be a full time consultant, but make no mistake about it she is in charge. To make the move possible Maggie created a new company called “Blue Strat” to handle partisan activities including the Cuomo Campaign. She is on leave from her full time gig of running Kivvit, the company she founded with former Cuomo communications strategist Rich Bamberger.

Moran is no stranger to Cuomo, she worked full time on the campaign in 2010 where she did paid media and strategy for about 6 to 8 weeks down the stretch. Last year Maggie and Kivvit ran the union funded push to kill the constitutional convention. That highly successful campaign convinced voters that opening up the state constitution by referendum ( which is on the ballot every 20 years ) is not only unnecessary, but potentially very risky. Unions have fought hard through collective bargaining to achieve the benefits and rights they have obtained and when you put a sacred document like the constitutional on there operating block some of those rights can be tinkered with or rolled back.

( To be clear I’m not sure I actually believe any of that, but my larger point is Maggie is one hell of a salesperson )

In short, Moran is going to give the Cuomo campaign a sharper focus. The team will be more diverse and largely female. Another thing we have learned recently is that this very well may be the year of the woman in politics. They will be leaner with a robust digital effort to target voters and bring the campaign into the modern era. Many veterans have observed that while Cuomo won in 2014, the campaign itself was a bit of a disaster. Can anyone say “Joe Percoco?” I’ll say no more.

Finally the campaign will be focusing on what Cuomo can do as Governor to protect New Yorkers from the policies of Donald Trump. Whether that’s helping the island of Puerto Rico, fighting his immigration policy or standing up for Roe v Wade. Cuomo has been viewed as a moderate for most of his career, but that shifted the last couple of years as his current team began to read the political tea leaves and felt the winds shifting. The job now is to convince voters he is a progressive leader who can actually deliver results. That’s where Maggie comes in. Bill Mulrow will remain as Campaign Chairman ( whatever that means ).

Dems May Kick Felder Out Of Party

Next week the Democrats will meet for their convention on Long Island where members of the State Committee will pick candidates and award them a spot on the ballot. While it’s widely understood that the incumbents will win these votes, it is not a preordained conclusion until there is an actual vote. But you wouldn’t know that from the script that has already been written out by the NY Dems. According to documents obtained by Spectrum News/NY1, Governor Cuomo and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul WILL be the nominees. Cuomo is being challenged by Cynthia Nixon and has not yet been formally nominated. But not according to this internal document which shows him being announced as the candidate at the convention.

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One should probably point out that Nixon campaign hasn’t really helped themselves by being so secretive about how they plan on handling the convention next week. Are they going, or not? Enquiring Minds wanna know. But Hochul is most definitely facing a contested primary against City Councilman Jumaane Williams. But you wouldn’t know that from this DSC script:

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The State Party is supposed to remain independent of the incumbents, according to the Democratic National Committee. In a statement, Geoff Berman the Executive Director of the State Party says,

This was a template script from four years ago cut and pasted as a starting point for working on this year’s run of show. Obviously the party will honor whoever the delegates vote as their designee.

Although this statement doesn’t ring totally true because the nominee for Attorney General was left blank. Indicating that it was written AFTER Eric Schneiderman’s resignation last week.

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But beyond that, there are often a number resolutions that are considered at the convention as well, and here is one that jumped right out. Check out the 4th one down. It says “Removal of Senator Simcha Felder from the Democratic Party.” Although it appears as though the party has already decided this resolution should be tabled.

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Felder is the Brooklyn Democrat who conferences with Senate Republicans. There is also a resolution urging the party to support Felder’s primary opponent. Highlighted below in red.

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Reached for comment Felder says,

I am honored to be the most important thing on the minds of Democratic Party operatives. I am humbled by the fact that most of my constituents, who are Democrats, are more than OK with what I am doing.

Felder then called back about five minutes later and added,

“If the Democratic Party was determined to have the Senate majority all they would have to do is put me up as Attorney General.”