Andrew Cuomo

A Debate Over Debates Continues

From the Morning Memo:

Republican Marc Molinaro’s campaign for governor has not agreed to the latest proposal for a debate between him and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, continuing an 11th hour, mutli-day saga over the parameters of a forum between the challenger and incumbent.

Cuomo’s campaign on Sunday announced it had agreed to the inclusion of a TV camera in a candidate forum to air on WCBS880.

But the debate itself wouldn’t be on shown on TV, but rather Facebook Live.

“Gimme me a break,” said Bill O’Reilly, a Molinaro spokesman.

Molinaro in a post on Twitter urged WCBS to have the debate air on TV as well.

“I’d love NYers be able to listen, view & learn on CBS radio & @CBSNewYork. Can we make that happen?” he wrote.

The Cuomo campaign insisted the debate itself would eventually be seen on TV later in the evening.

“Marc, CBS has said they will broadcast the debate statewide on Tuesday evening,” wrote Cuomo spokeswoman Lis Smith on Twitter. “We know you love to debate debates, but enough with these games. @andrewcuomo said yes, why won’t you?”

The public negotiations over the debates spilled into view on Friday, when Cuomo in a radio interview was pressed to accept an invitation for a radio forum. He did, saying he would be open to debating Molinaro on a Saturday morning — a proposal the Republican’s campaign rejected outright.

A League of Women Voters forum was agreed to by Molinaro, as well as Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, Libertarian candidate Larry Sharpe and Stephanie Miner, a Democrat who is running on an independent ballot line known as the Serve America Movement. Cuomo has, so far, not accepted an invitation to appear at that event.

Cuomo Camp Says It Accepts Forum With Cameras Present

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign on Sunday signaled it had accepted a debate with a television camera present with Republican Marc Molinaro following an extended back and forth over the venue, time and medium it would be seen in.

The statement was preceded by several days of New York Post frontages portraying the governor in a chicken suit, an image that appeared to irk Cuomo.

Cuomo in radio interview on Friday said he would be willing to debate Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, on WCBS880 the following morning, a Saturday. The proposal was rejected by Molinaro, who called for televised debate with WCBS-TV reporter Marcia Kramer as a suggested moderator.

On Sunday afternoon, Cuomo spokeswoman Dani Lever in a statement did not provide a date or time for the debate itself, though it’s likely to be held on Tuesday at 10 a.m.

“Last week Governor Cuomo accepted a WCBS880 radio debate offer — Marc Molinaro refused, saying he wanted it in person with Marcia Kramer and a TV camera,” she said. “As WCBS880 has now met all of Mr. Molinaro’s demands, we accept and expect him to be there.”

Earlier in the day, Molinaro’s campaign released an open letter to Cuomo calling for a televised debate before the Nov. 6 election.

“All New Yorkers deserve a real substantive debate, but upstate New Yorkers deserve their own debate,” the letter stated.

“I earnestly hope you accept this opportunity. To date, our campaign has issued policy papers on ending corruption, cutting taxes, veterans and saving the MTA — and there are more on the way. We have a lot to discuss.”

Cuomo Lobbies Trump for Tunnel Repairs

“They say a picture is worth a thousand words, in this case I think it’s worth $13 billion dollars,” concludes Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s five minute and 23 second digital funding appeal to President Donald Trump.

Cuomo wants the federal government to go halfsies with New York, New Jersey and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the Gateway Tunnel Project–an endeavor that would rebuild parts of Amtrak’s 107 year old ailing passenger train infrastructure that stretches across the Northeast Corridor, and build a new two lane Hudson River tunnel.

It’s something he calls, “probably the critical infrastructure issue facing not just New Jersey and New York, but literally the entire Northeast.”

The estimated cost lies somewhere between 12 and 13 billion dollars, and the project expected is to take seven to eight years.

The video message gives face to every engineers worst nightmare: crumbling concrete walls wet by intrusive salt water, power cables connected to Penn Station becoming increasingly less protected thanks to corrosion and flood damage from Super Storm Sandy.

Cuomo explains he had lobbied a receptive Obama administration to foot 50 percent of the bill, but the Trump Administration has been opposed to the proposal.

Cuomo says the project has no legs without the federal government’s approval, legal assistance or funding.

“Given your background in construction I think once you see the severity of the situation it will speak volumes.”

Cuomo toured the tunnels Wednesday night in effort to capture the appeal on camera.

The Democratic Governor is running for a third term this November and is no fan of President Donald Trump, constantly painting his opponent, Republican Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro as an antagonistic ‘Trump mini-me.’

Cuomo Camp On Debate: This Is Nothing To Cluck About

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign appears to have its feathers ruffled a bit over The New York Post over the last several days portraying the governor as a chicken on its front page.

In a statement released Friday morning by spokeswoman Dani Lever, the Cuomo campaign laid out its criteria for a debate with Republican opponent Marc Molinaro, reiterating his acceptance to an offer for a moderated conversation on Saturday morning on WCBS 880 radio.

Molinaro so far has rejected the radio debate on a Saturday morning, calling for a weekday forum that’s also seen on TV.

The statement twice references The Post’s photoshopping of Cuomo in a chicken suit:

The Governor has said repeatedly that Marc Molinaro wants to “debate the debate issue” rather than actually have a debate. The New York Post is selective in their opinion and had no problem when Mr. Molinaro refused to debate his opponent Senator DeFrancisco, while the Governor debated his primary opponent. Likewise, when Governor Pataki refused to debate Council Speaker Peter Vallone because he was “not credible” in Governor Pataki’s opinion despite the fact that Speaker Vallone was one of the most experienced elected officials in the state. The Governor was invited and agreed this morning to call in to debate Mr. Molinaro on WCBS 880 radio at their invitation tomorrow morning. The Governor’s only stipulation was that he needed to know this morning because he was willing to reschedule a long standing personal engagement to make it possible. Mr. Molinaro has refused the WCBS invitation on the theory that listeners need time to schedule listening to the debate. It is an absurd excuse. WCBS could air statewide and any station can re-air it numerous times. WCBS would obviously make the debate available statewide – and welcome to 2018 and new technology – listeners now download and engage at their convenience. This situation vindicates what the Governor has said all along, which is Mr. Molinaro only wants to “debate the debate.” The Governor will take his campaign to the people directly. If the New York Post had any objectivity, we would see Mr. Molinaro in a chicken suit tomorrow.

Molinaro and Sen. John DeFrancisco never did debate as primary opponents, but neither competed for the Republican nomination for governor. DeFrancisco dropped his bid for governor shortly after Molinaro entered the race.

Cuomo And Molinaro Debate Debating

Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a radio interview on Friday agreed to a “moderated conversation” with his Republican opponent Marc Molinaro the following morning on WCBS 880 AM.

That idea was rejected by Molinaro less than an hour later in a subsequent interview with the station.

Cuomo so far has not agreed to a televised debate with Molinaro or accept one that includes the minor party candidates like Larry Sharpe of the Libertarians, the Green Party’s Howie Hawkins and Stephanie Miner, a Democrat mounting an independent bid for governor.

Cuomo pointed to the lack of a debate between Republican Gov. George Pataki and then-New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone, who he called a more “credible” challenger than Molinaro.

At the same time, Cuomo insisted he did not a debate to be a forum the spread of “ultraconservative” views.

“There has to be a moderator who keeps the conversation relatively substantive rather than what has been happening which is the spewing of vile hatefulness,” Cuomo said.

Pressed for a Cuomo-and-Molinaro event on Saturday morning on the radio, Cuomo opened the door.

“I’ll be here tomorrow,” he said. “Monday I have a schedule.”

But Molinaro blasted that proposal given the lack of notice and unenviable time slot.

“Guys, give me a break. There are 20 million people in the state of New York,” he said. “On what planet does the incumbent governor get to dictate that voters come crawling to him at 8 o’clock on a Saturday morning.”

Molinaro proposed a weekday debate on television.

“Let’s get the TV cameras and the voters to participate,” he said. “People have lives tomorrow.”

Cuomo debated his general election opponents in 2010 and 2014. He also participated in a TV debate earlier this year with his Democratic primary opponent Cynthia Nixon.

Cuomo Contributes To 10 Dems Outside Of New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s federal political action committee on Thursday announced it had donated $2,000 a piece to 10 women Democrats running in swing districts around the country.

Cuomo’s donations through the PAC up until now had contributed to Democrats running in New York, including maximum contributions to candidates on Long Island, the Hudson Valley and in parts of upstate New York.

The contributions from the committee, known as the Cuomo NY Take the House PAC, are unusual for a governor who has rarely dipped a toe into waters outside of New York.

But the donations are not necessarily to candidates in states known for having key roles in presidential primaries. Cuomo donated to candidates in Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan, Texas, Illinois, Georgia, New Jersey and Kansas.

All the donations went to women candidates:

• Abigail Spanberger (VA-07)
• Amy McGrath (KY-06)
• Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06)
• Elissa Slotkin (MI-08)
• Gina Ortiz Jones (TX-23)
• Lauren Underwood (IL-14)
• Lucy McBath (GA-06)
• Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11)
• MJ Hegar (TX-31)
• Sharice David (KS-03)

“Trump and ultra-conservative Republicans want to take New York and this nation back to when women didn’t have the right to control their own bodies, when the majority of Americans were uninsured and when immigrants were demonized and ignored,” Cuomo said.

“That is not the America we see. Together, with these talented leaders, we are going to take back the U.S. House this November and chart a different path forward for this country. This is one of the most critical elections in our lifetime, and as one united Democratic Party, we are going to fight back against Trump’s divisive agenda and move forward by creating a fairer, stronger and more equal state and nation for all.”

Q-Poll: Cuomo Continues Commanding Lead

Gov. Andrew Cuomo holds a 23 percentage-point lead over his Republican challenger Marc Molinaro, a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday found.

Cuomo is seeking a third term this year.

The poll found Cuomo trailing Molinaro 52 percent to 41 percent in the upstate region. But the shortfall is erased with the help of voters in New York City, where Cuomo easily outpaces Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, 77 percent to 13 percent.

Cuomo holds leads among both women — 62 percent to 30 percent — and men – 54 percent to 40 percent, the poll found.

At the same time, Cuomo has a commanding lead with independent voters, 54 percent to 38 percent.

Molinaro received slightly higher marks on issues with voters like taxes, immigration and the economy, but Cuomo has larger leads on education, health care and the environment.

Cuomo has a 51 percent favorable rating in the poll.

Cuomo won a primary challenge from his left flank in September, handily defeating actress and education advocate Cynthia Nixon in what was record turnout for Democratic voters.

At the moment, Cuomo has not accepted either a one-on-one debate with Molinaro or with the independent party candidates.

Since then, Cuomo has publicly focused on down-ballot races for the state Senate and House of Representatives in New York while also stoking criticism of President Donald Trump, who remains deeply unpopular in his home state.

The poll found voters by a 60 percent to 37 percent margin disapprove of the job Trump is doing as president, with 73 percent disapproval in New York City and 54 percent disapproval in the suburban counties.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is also in an enviable spot for her re-election, the poll found. She leads Republican challenger Chele Farley, 58 percent to 33 percent. Gillibrand, a potential presidential contender, has a favorability rating of 48 percent to 29 percent.

Farley remains little known with voters, with 66 percent saying they have not heard enough about her to form an opinion.

The poll of 852 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 10 to Oct. 16. It has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.

NYers Against Gun Violence Endorses Cuomo

A prominent New York gun control group on Wednesday endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s bid for a third term.

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence backed Cuomo’s re-election, pointing to his support for the SAFE Act, a package of gun control provisions approved in 2013.

At the same time, Cuomo and state lawmakers this year approved the first gun control measure since the SAFE Act’s passage, backing a bill that is meant to tighten gun possession restrictions for those who are convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence.

“Governor Cuomo has shown his unwavering commitment to stop the endless cycle of gun violence, strengthen our gun laws and save lives. From taking on the gun lobby to passing life-saving legislation, Governor Cuomo is a proven champion for gun violence prevention,” said Rebecca Fisher, the group’s executive director.

“With Governor Cuomo, we will continue to fight the gun violence epidemic with the passage of the Extreme Risk (Red Flag) Protection bill and other sensible legislation. His fearlessness when it comes to protecting our families, especially our children, is the leadership we need at the state and federal level and we are proud to endorse Governor Cuomo for re-election this November.”

Cuomo has sought to make gun control a key issue in the 2018 election as well, backing a bill that would remove guns from the possession of a person deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

“While Trump and the federal government work to roll back protections that keep children and families safe, New York has led the nation in strengthening our gun safety laws. Extreme conservatives’ allegiance is to the NRA, and it will never be to the people of New York and this country,” Cuomo said in a statement

“The Empire State will lead the way forward by passing the Red Flag Gun Protection bill, extending the background check waiting period and increasing the age to buy a gun to 21. I am honored to have New Yorkers Against Gun Violence’s endorsement and look forward to working together to make this state safer and stronger.”

WEP: Vote For Cuomo On Our Line

The Women’s Equality Party in a statement on Wednesday urged voters to back Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election on their ballot line.

The organization also announced the creation of a revamped website listing its platform, such as combatting sexual assault and rape as well as forms of harassment.

“The most important thing New Yorkers can do to ensure the continued existence of the Women’s Equality Party is to vote for Governor Cuomo on the WEP line,” the party said in a statement.

The WEP was first formed in 2014, meant in part to highlight Cuomo’s push for a 10-point women’s agenda, a package of bills that were aimed at addressing gender discrimination in housing, the workplace as well as human trafficking. A provision to bolster abortion laws in New York is yet to be approved.

Cuomo’s critics on the left had complained the WEP was devised to be a rival to the Working Families Party, a ballot line that has periodically been at odds with the governor. The WFP endorsed Cuomo in 2014 and, this year after backing Cynthia Nixon for governor in the Democratic primary, endorsed Cuomo following his victory last month.

Cuomo Ads Tout Regional Progress

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign released a series of regionally targeted ads touting his administration’s economic accomplishments.

The ads canvas the Capital Region, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, Western New York and Long Island, all the while touting region specific projects and developments:

State income taxes are down, unemployment is down, jobs are up to record levels and young people are moving in.

The Capital Region ad lists: a $92 million investment into the Albany International Airport, promises to rebuild the Schenectady Train Station and new jobs thanks to the Albany Convention Center.

For decades, the Upstate economy suffered and the state did nothing.

Now Governor Cuomo and Upstate native Lieutenant Governor Hochul are moving the Capital Region forward.

Transforming Albany International Airport, rebuilding the Schenectady Train Station and creating jobs with new conventions and resorts.

State income taxes are down, unemployment is down, jobs are up to record levels and young people are moving in.

Keep the Capital Region progress going.

Vote Cuomo and Hochul on November 6th.

The best is yet to come for the Capital Region.

Cuomo faces Republican candidate Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro during next month’s general election as he seeks a third term.