Jul 26th - 5:36 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to stay the governor, with no plans to take a job in a new Clinton administration or run for president himself, he insisted to reporters on Tuesday in Philadelphia.
“I want to run for governor,” Cuomo said amid questions about his political ambitions. “Are you trying to get me out of the governor’s race? I’m staying in New York.”
Four years ago, Cuomo attended the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte for less than a day, traveling there to watch President Obama’s renomination speech.
This year, Cuomo is taking a more visible role at the convention here in Philadelphia, attending forums and workshops and promoting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
It’s a shift, given his desire early in his time as governor to not travel outside of the state for more than a full day, least he be accused of stoking White House ambitions.
Cuomo indicated he’s in Philadelphia this year in part given the truculent nature of some of the Bernie Sanders supporters, saying this convention is “more difficult because of the division.”
His father’s 1984 convention speech, which catapulted then-Gov. Mario Cuomo into the national spotlight, also added a dash of klieg lighting to the Capitol the son sought to avoid.
“There’s no doubt the national narrative is a distraction,” Cuomo said. “I’ve been in a Clinton cabinet, thank you very much. Had a great eight years. I have no interest in serving in a Clinton cabinet. I have just an interest in serving as governor of New York.”
Should Clinton lose this November, Cuomo could still run in 2020, when he turns 62 that December.
Jul 26th - 3:48 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday credited Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s appearance at a breakfast gathering of the Democratic delegation from New York with uniting the fractious party.
“You had a divided group in that room,” Cuomo told reporters in Philadelphia. “You’ve had Sanders supporters who were not yet ready to fully accept Hillary. That room was probably 60-40 Hillary supporters. But they stood up and they were unified.”
Sanders urged his supporters in the New York delegation to support Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid, part of a series of delegation appearances he made during the morning.
While Sanders sought to unite Democrats in New York, he also boosted Cuomo’s own standing with liberals, who have not always seen Cuomo has a steadfast ideological ally.
Sanders similarly urged delegates at the convention to back Clinton’s bid against Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and has tried to calm the vocal supporters who wanted him to continue to push for the nomination.
At the breakfast, Sanders pointed to Cuomo’s push for a $15 minimum wage as well as paid family leave, part of a series of accomplishments the governor can claim on the left side of the political spectrum.
“It was nice that he came and he acknowledged New York’s leadership on those issues,” Cuomo said. “And not just New York talks about it, New York did it.”
Cuomo has often touted New York as a leader on liberal issues such as gun control and civil rights, especially on same-sex marriage.
“I am a Hillary Clinton supporter, but I’m also a progressive governor,” Cuomo said. “This state is the progressive bellwether for the rest of the nation.”
Cuomo is often described as representing a moderate, Clinton-oriented wing of the Democratic Party, which has declined in influence over the years as more liberal advocates reject the “third way” politics of the 1990s.
Cuomo doesn’t think this is just a symptom of the Democratic Party, however.
“The world has become more progressive,” Cuomo said. “I believe it’s partially demographics, because young people are more progressive.”
Jul 26th - 2:56 pm
Whenever Gov. Andrew Cuomo is periodically asked about whether he will actively support a Democratic majority of the state Senate, he says a lot, without saying much at all.
That happened again on Tuesday, with Cuomo speaking with reporters in the middle of his first day in Philadelphia at the Democratic National Convention.
In short: Cuomo once again said he is backing Democratic candidates, but in the same breath insists he’s focused on “getting stuff done” for New York, which requires working with Republicans.
“It’s a game. You guys like to play the game. It’s not an honest game,” Cuomo said of state Senate political questions. “I govern, right? Every four years we have an election, every two years we have a legislative election. Everyday I govern. To get any bill passed, I have to work with Democrats and Republicans.”
Democrats in the Senate as well as liberal advocates have questioned Cuomo’s liberal bonafides in part because of his hesitance to support a full takeover of the chamber by his won party. They argue he should open up some of the $19 million that sits in his campaign war chest to help them.
Cuomo, of course, has some counter examples of what happens when a Democratic politician who needs to govern — Bill de Blasio and Eliot Spitzer chief among them — try to go to war with Senate Republicans.
Republicans hold a narrow majority in the state Senate, their last remaining toehold of official power in Democratic heavy New York.
“The people make the decision, not me,” Cuomo said of the Senate’s composition. “The people chose a Republican Senate, not me. Well, you should reject the peoples’ choice. I’m governor, not king.”
Cuomo at the same time has emphasized liberal goals in Albany, including an increase in the minimum wage to $15, measures that have been approved with held from the GOP conference.
Cuomo on Tuesday appeared with Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator who challenged Hillary Clinton for the nomination, in a show of unity.
“To become hypoerpolitical I think violates your oath of office,” Cuomo said. “Now, in an election year, I support Democrats. They have to be people of integrity, but I support Democrats.”
Jul 26th - 11:38 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo brought a major liberal validator with him to a breakfast meeting of the New York delegation in Philadelphia on Tuesday: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The joint appearance by both men sharing the stage was a mutually beneficial one: Cuomo needs to bolster his liberal credentials with skeptics on the left, while Sanders has been working overtime at the Democratic National Convention to nudge his supporters into backing Hillary Clinton for president.
And for Sanders’s New York fans — of which there are many in the delegation — it was like being dragged to a Dave Matthews Band concert, but with Phish as a surprise opening.
Both men bounded up on stage to chants of “Ber-nie! Ber-nie!” and sustained applause.
“We believe in progressive politics, we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk,” Cuomo said, his voice rising.
Cuomo, who had criticized Sanders’s record during the presidential primary campaign on his gun control record singled out the Vermont lawmaker’s advocacy for affordable housing, an issue that’s especially personal to him.
Sanders, meanwhile, returned the favor, praising Cuomo’s recent efforts on increasing the minimum wage in the New York City metropolitan area to $15 over the next several years and creating a 12-week paid family leave program.
“Our first task is to make sure that Hillary Clinton is elected our next president,” Sanders said to applause from the delegation. “Our second task, in my view, is to continue the political revolution whose goal is nothing less than transforming this country.”
Sanders handily lost the state’s April presidential primary to Clinton, but he draws strong support from liberals, including pockets of upstate New York.
Cuomo, meanwhile, has worked over the last several years to shore up support from the left after a first term accomplishments that include caps on spending in the budget, limits to local property tax increases and other methods of fiscal restraint following the recession.
Though that first term included a signature gun control law and the landmark passage of same-sex marriage, Cuomo’s foes on the left felt he was inconsistent, especially when it came to public-secotr labor and education.
In 2014, Cuomo faced a stronger-than-expected primary challenge on the left from Zephyr Teachout, now a Democratic candidate for Congress in the 19th district.
Liberals remain skeptical, however, Cuomo is truly on their side, pointing to what they see as half-hearted attempts at public financing of political campaigns and flipping control of the Senate to his own party.
At the same time, he remains mired on an ongoing feud with the liberal mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio.
But even as Cuomo places a new emphasis on liberal issues, he has often stuck to a philosophy that is about reaching accomplishments and working with Republicans to secure legislative victories.
It’s a stance that is shared in many ways with Hillary Clinton, whose campaign for president has faced the same populist headwinds Cuomo sailed into in New York.
Jul 25th - 6:55 pm
In a panel discussion on Monday afternoon in Philadelphia, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio decried “state level” paralysis that has prevented cities from enacting liberal policies.
In his remarks, de Blasio urged local government officials to not be discouraged when state officials thwart their plans, but instead work together to build support for their issue.
“In the time of federal paralysis, and I can certainly say we’ve seen this at the state level in many, many states, too — state governments that are resistant to their cities and state governments resistant to progressive change; we’re not powerless as a result,” de Blasio said at a panel discussion at the National Museum of American Jewish History on Philadelphia.
“It doesn’t mean go home. It means do things at home and tie them together to what other cities and towns and counties are doing.”
De Blasio, like his predecessors, has seen his own agenda foiled in Albany during the course of his term in office. Most recently, a New York City-backed move to charge a 5-cent fee on plastic bags was delayed amid concerns from state lawmakers.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been feuding with mayor over the last year, has touted a state government during his administration that has enacted the broad strokes of his agenda over the last years as well as enacted on-time budgets.
The mayor has in recent months accused Cuomo of undermining his administration’s agenda in Albany and working too closely with Senate Republicans, who remain hostile to de Blasio.
Jul 25th - 1:54 pm
They mingled among urns of coffee and plates of pastries, wearing “I’m With Her” t-shirts or sky-blue “Bernie” buttons.
New York Democrats decamped to Philadelphia on Monday morning for a coffee meet-and-greet, with backers of Hillary Clinton stressing party unity and Bernie Sanders delegates reiterating how their darkest suspicious were confirmed by the contents of an email at the Democratic National Committee.
“I don’t think anybody was surprised at all,” said Allen Roskoff, the leader of the Jim Owles Democratic Club. “We knew this was rigged from the very beginning.”
And even as elected officials backing Clinton who were attendance for morning breakfast held at a downtown Philadelphia hotel stressed the party nationally and in New York was holding together, Sanders supporters visibly stood toward the back of the room, with the line of demarcation being the coffee creamers.
“I think we need to stress all the commonality that we have,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “We’re on the same page.”
That glue is Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, whose plans to place a temporary ban on Muslim immigration from certain countries and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border are deeply opposed by both factions in the party.
“What we saw last week was assaults on black and brown people, was assaults on women, assaults on immigrants, assaults on Muslims,” Sheehan said. “This is a great, diverse country and we need a president who is going to represent all of us.”
But simply opposing Trump isn’t enough for some Democrats, who have sought to turn the party leftward with the Sanders platform. Not engaging the Sanders supporters, especially given their youth, is a mistake, said Josh Fox, a documentary filmmaker and environmentalist activist.
“That’s the future of the Democratic Party,” Fox said. “To not satisfy us now in this moment is going to have long range implications and we don’t want to see that happen.”
Complicating things for New York Democratic supporters of Sanders has been the prominent role being played by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who will speak at the convention this week and is the delegation chairman.
“He’s a very divisive figure inside in the Democratic Party,” said Sanders supporter Lawrence Wittner, a professor at the University at Albany. “I don’t think he’s the face of New York Democrats.”
Cuomo was not in Philadelphia for the first day of the convention and has grappled with the left-leaning politics first hand after he faced a stronger-than-expeted primary challenge in 2014 from Zephyr Teachout, who is now a candidate for Congress in the 19th congressional district.
Cuomo has sought over the last year to bolster his ties to the left flank of the party, pushing successfully for another minimum wage increase, which is due to hit $15 in the next several years in New York City and the suburban counties.
At the same time, Cuomo’s administration moved to ban hydrofracking in the weeks after his re-election.
And the governor has reiterated his push for stronger gun control laws nationally in the wake of a series of mass shootings.
But skepticism among liberals for Cuomo abounds, especially issues like taxing and spending.
Asked about the problems Sanders people might have with Cuomo, Albany’s Sheehan smiled and said, “We have a big tent.”
Jul 21st - 4:31 pm
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Thursday that would make it easier for those who live near Superfund-designated sites to sue over water contamination.
The measure was approved in the GOP-led Senate in the final days of the legislative session in the wake of a drinking water contamination in Hoosick Falls.
The new law will also impact those who live in Petersburgh, where a separate chemical contamination in drinking water has been found.
Cuomo’s approval of the bill is good news for Republican Sen. Kathy Marchione, the lawmaker who represents the area in the chamber.
Marchione had been under pressure from Hoosick Falls residents to push for a Senate hearing on the contamination issue. Ultimately, Republicans announced a public hearing in the village next month.
Assembly Democrats have scheduled hearings for September on water quality issues in New York, to be held in Albany and on Long Island.
“This new state law means residents in Hoosick Falls, Petersburgh and elsewhere will now receive more time to have their day in court and fully pursue civil justice,” Marchione said in a statement. “I am thankful for the support our bill has received and that it will become law.”
Democratic Assemblyman John McDonald, who backed the measure in his house, called the approval a bipartisan victory.
“The far-reaching impact of this legislation will bring fair and resolute legal recourses to members of the Hoosick Falls community and to New Yorkers across the state that have suffered or may suffer from undetected toxins in their water supply,” he said.
Cuomo’s approval of the bill, which removes the statute of limitations for lawsuits to be filed in water contamination sites, comes as a Republican-led oversight committee in the House of Representatives is investigating the federal and state response to the issue.
Cuomo’s office sought and received a deadline extension for turning over documents related to the contamination.
The bill’s approval was also cheered by environmental organizations.
“The signing of this bill into law is not only a huge moral and legal victory for Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh residents, but an important step in holding polluters accountable,” said Liz Moran of the Environmental Advocates of New York. “For too long, when crises like this occurred, residents were left reeling from the public health and economic consequences, while those responsible were allowed to slink away.”
Jul 21st - 2:55 pm
A half dozen New York Democratic elected officials are scheduled to speak at the party’s national convention next week in Philadelphia.
Convention planners on Thursday announced the slate of speakers, which will including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his rival, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as well as the state’s two junior and senior U.S. senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer.
Two House members, Reps. Nita Lowey of Westchester County and Joe Crowley of Queens, are also due to speak at the convention.
Cuomo kept a relatively low profile at the last Democratic National Convention in 2012 held in Charlotte, staying for less than a full day and not holding a speaking role (He did attend the last night to watch President Obama speak).
This year, Cuomo will chair the New York state delegation to the convention, which is due to nominate Hillary Clinton for the presidency.
Jul 20th - 6:00 am
While a majority of voters consider corruption to be a “very serious” problem in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s job approval rating is holding steady, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday morning.
The poll found 56 percent of voters believe corruption remains a top problem for the state government to tackle, while 31 percent believe it is a “somewhat serious problem.”
At the same time, most voters — 50 percent to 38 percent — are skeptical that lawmakers and Cuomo will do anything to improve ethics measures in Albany. The legislative session ended in June, and lawmakers aren’t expected back to the state Capitol before Election Day in November.
Meanwhile, a plurality of voters, 48 percent to 36 percent, believe the current elected leadership is unable to pass new ethics reforms.
Nevertheless, Cuomo’s job approval rating is holding steady at 50 percent, with 40 percent disapproving. This is little changed from an April survey, when Cuomo was given a job approval rating of 51 percent to 38 percent.
A plurality of voters, 33 percent, give Cuomo a “B” grade for the job he’s doing as the state’s chief executive. Only 13 percent give him an “A” grade, while the same percentage give him an “F” rating.
By a margin of 48 percent to 36 percent, Cuomo is viewed as being part of the problem when it comes to corruption, the poll found.
On the upstate economy, meanwhile, voters are split as to whether Cuomo’s efforts will be successful: 38 percent of say his policies will work, 39 percent believe they won’t.
The skepticism is broadest among upstate voters themselves, with a 53 percent to 34 percent margin saying Cuomo’s revitalization efforts will fail.
Only 29 percent of upstate voters rate the economy as “good” while 40 percent believe it’s not so good. Twenty-eight percent rate the economy upstate as poor.
The poll of 1,104 New York voters was conducted from July 13 through July 17. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
Jul 19th - 11:43 am
Gov. Andrew Cuomo expects to have some sort of a speaking role at next week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, he told reporters in Binghamton on Tuesday.
Cuomo, who will chair the state Democratic delegation to the convention (to the consternation of supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders) insisted the focus should be on presumptive Hillary Clinton and her running mate.
“I’m sure I’ll have a speaking role. I’ve had a speaking role at the past conventions,” he said. “But this is going to be about Hillary Clinton and who she speaks as the nominee.”
He quibbled with the term “prominent” role at the convention, which he said are given to the nominees of the party.
“A prominent speaking role is the president and vice president,” Cuomo said. “I’m not going to be the presidential or vice presidential nominee.”
Cuomo’s father gave a keynote convention speech in 1984 which catapulted then-Gov. Mario Cuomo to the national stage, presenting an unabashed liberal alternative to President Ronald Reagan.
Andrew Cuomo himself has been a prominent supporter of Clinton’s over the last several months and endorsed her second bid for the presidency soon after she announced.
Potential topics Cuomo could discuss include boosting the minimum wage to $15, now part of the party’s national platform, which he successfully sought in New York City and the surrounding area.
Cuomo, however, declined to take a swipe or comment on this week’s proceedings in Cleveland, where Republicans are holding their convention.
“Nope,” Cuomo said, “I wasn’t there.”