2014

Cuomo: Hochul Will Win

Gov. Andrew Cuomo swatted away questions over whether he’d take Columbia professor Tim Wu as a running mate, insisting his preferred choice for lieutenant governor will be victorious in the Sept. 9 primary.

“Kathy Hochul is going to win the race for lieutenant governor,” Cuomo said. “People understand that the lieutenant governor could become governor and experience really matters.”

Wu, the running mate of Cuomo primary challenger Zephyr Teachout, has spent the last several weeks blasting Hochul’s voting record in the House of Representatives, which he says demonstrates she’s too conservative for a broader Democratic electorate in New York.

“They don’t know Kathy Hochul,” Cuomo told reporters at the West Indian Day Parade in New York City. “Kathy Hochul was in the U.S. Congress. Ask Nancy Pelosi about Kathy Hochul. Ask Charlie Rangel about Kathy Hochul.”

Bolstering their support among the major labor unions, the Cuomo-Hochul ticket was endorsed Monday by 1199/SEIU and the Transport Workers Union.

The turn out operation of 1199/SEIU in particular is considered key in New York City.

Still, there are signs that Cuomo and Hochul are taking the challenge from Teachout and Wu seriously.

Hochul last week appeared in a 3-minute YouTube video touting her liberal credentials. The state Democratic Committee released a mailer that prominently featured both Cuomo and Hochul, and reminding Democratic voters to head to the polls on Sept. 9.

A Hochul loss in the Democratic primary would upend the race for governor.

Hochul would appear with Cuomo on the minor party lines — Independence, Working Families and the newly formed Women’s Equality Party line — but on the Democratic ballot line, having the effect of those votes be counted separately.

Cuomo dismissed the notion of having Wu as a running mate.

“It’s not going to happen,” he said.

Cuomo Raises $600K In 20 Days

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign on Friday reported raising more than $603,000 since Aug. 9, while spending $2.4 million.

The campaign has $30.6 million in cash on hand ahead of the Sept. 9 primary with Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout.

The filing shows Cuomo has heavily during the normally sleepy month of August.

Cuomo’s campaign spent $806,904 on television advertising, while the state Democratic committee — which have been surrogates attacking Republican rival Rob Astorino, spent $571,497 on TV ads. The state Democratic Committee during this 11-day filing period raised $206,100.

Cuomo also spent $40,470 on polling on Aug. 20, records show. The polling comes as his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, began to focus her primary campaign against Columbia professor Tim Wu by defending her voting record in Congress as well as her liberal credentials.

The governor’s air travel expenses to Israel — an expenses footed by the campaign — was $23,596.

The campaign also has had its share of legal expenses this month.

As part of an unsuccessful effort to knock Teachout off the ballot, Cuomo 2014 paid election lawyer Marty Connor, a former state senator, $23,441.

Records also show Cuomo’s campaign spent $10,000 on representation from Elkan Abramowitz, a white-collar criminal attorney who is representing the administration in the ongoing federal investigation of the Moreland Commission.

Cuomo’s campaign, meanwhile, Hochul’s campaign account $246,787 in the form of a loan for TV ads and mail dated Friday.

Hochul reported raising $368,114 and has a cash-on-hand balance of $863,932.

Avella Endorsed By Nurses Association

The New York State Nurses Association on Friday endorsed Queens Sen. Tony Avella’s re-election.

Avella, a member of the Independent Democratic Conference, faces a primary challenge from former city Comptroller John Liu next month.

“Registered nurses are proud to stand with Tony Avella because he shares our values of promoting quality, affordable healthcare for all New Yorkers,” said Jill Furillo, RN, Executive Director of NYSNA. “Tony is a strong advocate for the people of Queens and has supported our efforts to enact safe staffing ratio legislation, in keeping hospitals open for care, protecting patient care and stopping the for-profit takeover of our hospitals. NYSNA believed Tony will best represent the interested of all working people in New York.”

The association represents 37,000 registered nurses in New York.

“Whether it’s working to reach safe staffing goals or fighting to keep hospitals providing the best care possible, NYSNA has been on the front lines of healthcare issues. I was proud to fight alongside NYSNA this year for the inclusion of safe staffing in the budget, and I am honored to receive their endorsement for my re-election,” Avella said in a statement.

Hochul Receives Women’s Campaign Fund Nod

Another endorsement was rolled out for Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul on Friday when she received the unanimous backing the Women’s Campaign Fund.

The endorsement comes after the National Organization for Women’s New York chapter announced over the weekend it was endorsing the primary rival of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham law professor.

“I have traveled across the state to support women’s equality, and I’m proud to receive the unanimous support of the Women’s Campaign Fund as we fight to put women’s rights front and center, where it belongs, ” said Lt. Governor candidate Kathy Hochul. “The women of New York deserve nothing less than true and full equality, and working with greater partners like WCF, I am confident that we will win this fight to have our voices heard and counted.”

Hochul had the backing of the group in 2011, when she ran in a special election for Congress to win a seat vacated by Republican Rep. Chris Lee.

She has also been the point person for the creation of the Women’s Equality Party, a ballot line Democrats formed for the November election.

Hochul faces Tim Wu, a Columbia University professor, in a Democratic primary next month. If elected, Wu would be the first Asian-American to win a statewide office.

“Women’s Campaign Fund is thrilled to endorse former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul in her race for Lieutenant Governor,” said Betsy Mullins, President and CEO of WCF. “Kathy is a proven leader who will use the office of Lieutenant Governor to improve the lives of all New York families. With her record of public service as a Congresswoman and County Clerk, in addition to her legal experience, Kathy is the most qualified candidate in the race. We are proud to have stood with Kathy all these years and we are especially proud to stand with her today.”

Earlier today, her campaign announced the endorsement of a trio of Asian-American elected officials.

Cuomo 2014 Collects $182K In One Day

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign reported raising $182,346 over the last 24 hours, according to filings with the state Board of Elections.

The contributions included money from key labor unions, including $35,000 from the Communications Workers of America and $27,596 from the Hotel Trades Council.

Cuomo also received $50,000 from California businessman John Scully.

Cuomo earlier this month reported $32 million in cash on hand.

Both Cuomo and his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, face a primary challenge next month from Fordham Law School Professor Zephyr Teachout and her running mate, Columbia professor Tim Wu.

Hochul Rolls Out Asian-American Endorsements

As she faces a primary challenge from Columbia professor Tim Wu, former Rep. Kathy Hochul’s campaign on Friday rolled out a trio of endorsements from Asian-American elected officials.

Hochul, a western New York Democrat and the running mate of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, was endorsed by U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, Assemblyman Ron Kim and New York City Councilman Peter Koo.

“I’m deeply honored to receive the support of so many leading members of New York’s Asian American community, and I look forward to working hand-in-hand with them as we move our state forward,” said Lt. Governor candidate Kathy Hochul. “Delivering a quality education for our children, strengthening our small businesses, and protecting and expanding services for our seniors are common goals we will achieve through collective action with the support of the Asian American community.”

The endorsements come after several days of Hochul shoring up her liberal bona fides against Wu, who would be the first Asian-American elected statewide if he were to win the lieutenant governor’s post.

The state Democratic Committee this week released a 3-minute web video featuring Hochul tout her liberal credentials in Washington as Wu and his running mate, gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout, criticize her voting record while representing a heavily Republican district.

At the same time, more than $60,000 has been contributed to Hochul’s lieutenant governor campaign account in the last 24 hours.

In the endorsements this morning, the officials pointed to Hochul’s support for the Dream Act, education issues and small business.

“In Congress, Kathy Hochul fought for federal support for education, working men and women and jobs,” Meng said in a statement. “I know she will do the same for all New Yorkers as Lieutenant Governor.”

Teachout-Wu Campaign Zero In On Hochul

The insurgent Democratic primary campaigns of Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu are gaining some traction through endorsements from labor unions and, on Thursday, the New York Times backed Wu’s run for lieutenant governor.

“We are tapping into something, clearly,” said Wu during his visit to Albany Thursday. “I’d love to give credit to Zephyr and I, but I really think there’s something going on in this state and frankly in this country.”

Wu criticized the environmental record of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul.

“She’s going to play the traditional, lackey-like position of lieutenant governor, which in my opinion is a waste of a constitutional position, of a constitutional office,” Wu said.

After that, Wu went across the street to attend a pro-labor rally on the steps of the state capitol.

Wu said he’d use the job of lieutenant governor as an independent and activist one.

“I think of the position, I can serve as a public advocate. My whole life I’ve put the interests of the public first,” said Wu.

Hochul, meanwhile, defended her voting record in Congress in a three-minute YouTube video released by the state Democratic Committee.

“I never backed down from our core Democratic values of pro-choice, pro-marriage equality and pro-worker values,” Hochul said in the video.

Both Cuomo and Hochul have not responded to invitations to hold televised debates with Teachout and Wu.

Wu said he would prefer to have a one-on-one debate with Hochul rather than respond to her in news conferences.

“If she wants to clarify her views on her record, as opposed to having these weird conversations where she puts out videos and put our dossiers on her record piece by piece, we could actually meet in a debate and see who’s right,” Wu said.

Teachout later in the day appeared at a rally in Albany on the steps of the state Education Building. She said Hochul’s record is too out of step with Democratic voters.

“The best way to establish your bonafides as a Democrat is to vote like a Democrat when you’re in Congress,” said Teachout.

Meanwhile, there were even more signs on Thursday the Cuomo re-election campaign was gearing up to defend Hochul.

Hochul’s campaign account, meanwhile, reported receiving more than $60,000 in donations in the last 24 hours, with contributions coming from key labor groups and an LLC with ties to prolific Cuomo donor, Leonard Litwin.

And earlier in the week, the state Democratic Committee released a mailer that prominently featured both the governor and Hochul, reminding party members to vote on Sept. 9.

Hochul Nets More Than $60K (Updated)

Updated from earlier:

The campaign of lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul received $61,700 in contributions over the last 24 hours, records filed with the state Board of Elections show.

The political action committee of the Communications Workers of America contributed $19,500 to her lieutenant governor campaign account, while another PAC, the New York State Conference of IUOE donated $19,700.

An LLC with ties to prolific Cuomo donor Leonard Litwin donated $20,000, records show.

The contribution is part of the 24-hour notices required for primary campaigns, which began this week.

CWA is a founding union of the labor-backed Working Families Party. The WFP openly considered not endorsing Cuomo’s re-election, which would have deprived him of the organization’s ballot line.

In the end, Cuomo won the ballot line after pledging to help Democrats take full control of the state Senate and helping to enact a host of liberal measures.

The contribution to Hochul’s campaign account comes as she is making a renewed push in her primary campaign against Tim Wu, a Columbia University professor.

The state Democratic Committee released a 3-minute YouTube video featuring Hochul touting her liberal credentials and she appeared in a radio interview on The Capitol Pressroom. Hochul is making five different campaign stops in western New York as well.

Meanwhile, a mailer from the state Democrats also features Hocul prominently, while reminding voters to back the Cuomo-Hochul ticket on Sept. 9.

Wu Envisions ‘Public Advocate’ Role For LG

Fresh off his endorsement from The New York Times on Thursday, Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Tim Wu was in Albany to criticize former Rep. Kathy Hochul’s record in the House of Representatives.

Wu, speaking at a news conference, railed against Hochul’s votes on a range of environmental measures in Congress, which he said were favored by the Republican leadership.

He added the Times endorsement was a major boost to his candidacy.

“We’re excited, we’re enthusiastic, it’s been a big shot in the arm for the campaign,” Wu said.

Hochul defended her voting record in a YouTube video released by the state Democratic Committee on Thursday, and later addressed the criticism in radio interview on The Capitol Pressroom.

But Wu says he and his running mate, gubernatorial hopeful Zephyr Teachout, are more aligned with the Democratic base in New York who will vote on Sept. 9.

Wu knocked both Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Hochul for not agreeing to debates.

“I think they’re making a mockery of democracy, if the democratic process here,” Wu said. “They’re trying to pretend there’s not a primary — that’s been their strategy the entire time.”

After the news conference, Wu walked across State Street to attend a labor rally being held on the steps of the Capitol facing the Al Smith Building.

Speaking to reporters there, Wu pledged to “breathe new life” into the office of lieutenant governor.

“I can serve as a public advocate. My whole life, I’ve put the interests of the public first,” Wu said, adding that Hochul is “going to play the traditional, lackey-like position of lieutenant governor, which in my view is the waste of a constitutional position that the public needs in Albany.”

There is the chance that Wu wins his primary, but Cuomo is victorious in his, setting up a situation in which the Columbia professor is the lieutenant governor to someone who didn’t want him on the ticket.

The result would be reminiscent of Gov. Mario Cuomo’s experience with his first lieutenant governor, Al Del Bello, who was the preferred choice of New York City Mayor Ed Koch during the 1982 Democratic primary.

“I remain very confident and aspect that with the support of a raising movement Zephyr Teachout will pull off the upset of the century — it’s been a short century — but the upset of this century and beat Andrew Cuomo,” Wu said. “That will be the main story.”

And if she doesn’t win, but he does?

“I anticipate it will be a challenging relationship, but I’m prepared to stand my ground,” Wu said.

Astorino Campaign Releases ‘Dear Joe’ Debate Letter

Michael Lawler, the manager for Republican Rob Astorino’s gubernatorial campaign, has sent his counterpart, Joe Percoco, a letter formally requesting debates.

Lawler, in the letter, notes that Astorino earlier this summer had called for a series of regional debates with Cuomo, and adds the “offer still stands.”

From the letter:

“When asked about debates recently, the Governor stated that he will “leave that to the campaigns to work through and my campaign will be talking to my rivals’ campaigns and they’ll figure it out, I’m sure.” Based on his comments, I wanted to reach out to you directly and get the ball rolling. Several weeks ago, County Executive Astorino proposed that he and Governor Cuomo do a series of eight regional debates so that they may discuss the issues not only affecting New York State as a whole, but issues unique to the voters in each region. That offer still stands.

The letter comes after Cuomo, along with his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, were invited to a televised debate by Time Warner Cable News and NY1 with their primary opponents, Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu.

Neither Cuomo or Hochul committed to the debate invitations.

Cuomo debated in 2010 alongside a host of candidates in an event that devolved into a circus-like atomsphere. Astorino has said he does not want a debate that includes multiple candidates, just a one-on-one forum with him and Cuomo.

Letter to Joe Percoco by Nick Reisman