Dec 2nd - 1:44 pm
The state Republican Party on Monday unveiled a lengthy jobs platform that proposes a variety of cuts to property, estate and capital gains taxes as well as support for hydrofracking.
The jobs agenda from the state Republicans comes as the GOP is publicly trying to woo Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino to run for governor against Demcorat Andrew Cuomo next year.
“Governor Cuomo has failed,” Chairman Ed Cox said in a statement. “Instead of seriously addressing jobs and economic growth, Andrew Cuomo has spent the last three years pandering to his Democratic base. In so doing, he has only managed the decline of New York as a center of global commerce.”
Cox has been opening up a new front on Cuomo’s hydrofracking stance for the last several weeks, accusing him of delaying the process in what is a third-rail in New York politics.
The state Democratic Committee, in turn, has accused Cox of pushing the fracking issue because of his ties to the natural gas industry, with some lawmakers, including IDC Leader Jeff Klein, to call for an investigation of the financial relationship with Noble Energy.
And the platform was quickly met with criticism from the environmental community as well.
“Ed Cox is simply a paid-for mouthpiece of the oil and gas industry,” said the group New Yorkers Against Fracking. “A study by independent economists last week found that fracking job claims were exaggerated in states that have allowed fracking while a major newspaper found that in the supposed boom towns of the Plains states, fracking has brought a dramatic increase in crime. The Southern Tier needs jobs, not a dangerous, toxic industry that will bring a few jobs for out-of-state residents while devastating our land and water and leaving us with a crime boom to contend with.”
Nov 15th - 12:41 pm
Republican Chairman Ed Cox opened up another broadside at Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday with a letter knocking him for not allowing high-volume hydrofracking in the state.
New York has missed several regulatory deadlines to develop regulations and allow hydrofracking permitting, a delay that Cox believes is a soft spot on Cuomo’s economic record.
“It’s a decision you should make today,” Cox said. “Further delay is intolerable.”
Cox also uses the letter to push back against the attacks from Democratic lawmakers and party Executive Director Rodney Capel who have in turn blasted the chairman for his financial ties to the natural gas industry.
Sens. Tim Kennedy and Daniel Squadron have both called for an ethics investigation of Cox’s fracking push.
And he notes his own environmental bonafides, pointedly stating that Cuomo appointed Cox to his environmental transition team in 2006 after he was electing attorney general.
“This isn’t about cheap political hits,” Cox wrote. “This is about jobs for a struggling region of New York State. And you do a disservice to your constituents by playing politics with jobs.”
The full letter is after the junmp. More >
Nov 13th - 4:24 pm
Democratic Sen. Daniel Squadron became the second lawmaker in his conference to call for an ethics probe of state GOP Chairman Ed Cox and his ties to natural gas companies.
In a letter to Joint Commission on Public Ethics Chairman Daniel Horwitz, Squadron writes that Cox’s focus on hydrofracking and criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s delay in making a decision on the issue should be looked into, given Cox’s investments in an energy company.
From the letter:
“Is Ed Cox using his statewide position as chair of one of the state’s two major parties to advocate on behalf of a corporation that pays him more than a quarter-million dollars a year — and of which he holds more than $4.25 million in stock? Does his financial interest pose a conflict of interest, and should Mr. Cox have to register as a lobbyist for Nobel?”
Squadron also references in the letter an editorial from The Daily Gazette of Schenectady that criticizes Cox for the fracking focus. Coincidentally, an email to state Democrats from the party’s executive director Rodney Capel referenced and linked to that same editorial. The email was released around the same time Wednesday afternoon as the Squadron letter.
“The fact that Republicans claim there is no conflict of interest is laughable,” Capel wrote in his email. “Cox has millions in cash and stock from a fracking company, while he tries to convince New Yorkers that he knows what’s best for our state’s energy future.”
Earlier this month, Buffalo Democratic Sen. Tim Kennedy wrote to JCOPE urging a similar ethics review of Cox.
If anything, the letters from Squadron — a downstater — and western New York’s Kennedy represent the start of some serious surrogacy work on behalf of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a year before he runs for re-election. Perhaps it’s no coincidence the attacks are coming from Senate Democrats after Cuomo has started to publicly break with their rival Independent Democratic Conference.
Updated: David Laska, the state Republican spokesman who is a busy guy today, sent a statement in response.
“Another day, another henchman dispatched by Andrew Cuomo with an ad hominem attack on Ed Cox. Meanwhile, it’s been almost a year since the Cuomo administration said it needed 90 days to complete their study on natural gas. Cuomo’s refusal to meaningfully address natural gas is symptomatic of his refusal to meaningfully address tax reform, Medicaid, mandate relief, education, pension liabilities and corruption. It’s no wonder that Republicans swept all seven County Executive seats last Tuesday, including in Andrew Cuomo’s own Westchester County.”
Updated X2: Bronx Assemblyman Carl Heastie is now taking on Cox, but in a different manner. He’s knocking him for the Malcolm Smith scandal, a day after former Bronx GOP Chairman Jay Savino pleaded guilty in the case.
With the former Bronx Republican Leader pleading guilty to bribery with the purpose of allowing State Senator Malcolm Smith to buy his way onto the New York City mayoral ballot, New Yorkers deserve to know what State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox knew about this corrupt scheme.
As the chair of the state party, Ed Cox was responsible for padding the GOP ticket. It is plausible and necessary to ask whether or not the county Republican chairs worked together with the state party in a crooked ploy to swindle New Yorkers. New Yorkers deserve to know if Ed Cox was elbow-deep and in collusions with the Bronx Republican Leader.
We are entitled to the truth. The action of the Bronx Republican Leader raises alarming questions into the dealings of the State Republican Party. How deeply entrenched is Ed Cox in the Backroom Boy’s Club of corrupt political cronies who attempted to dupe New York City voters?
The full letter can be read below and after the jump.
Nov 6th - 2:19 pm
Here’s an advance copy of the speech state GOP Chairman Ed Cox will deliver tonight before oil and gas industry executives at the IOGA conference in Buffalo. The chairman is using this speech to set the 2014 stage, making the case against Cuomo on a number of fronts, including the fact that he has not greenlighted fracking in the Marcellus Shale.
Cox is pointing to GOP victories yesterday in local races outside New York City – particularly Nassau, Westchester and Erie counties – as proof that the Republican brand is not yet dead in New York and a credible candidate (who has not yet emerged) could perhaps successfully challenge the governor, despite his strong poll number and full-to-bursting campaign coffers, not to mention the power of incumbency and considerable enrollment edge enjoyed by Democrats in this state.
The chairman doles out a lot of red meat in this speech, accusing Cuomo of lacking the “political guts to permit the development of New York’s rich hydrocarbons” and too afraid of the environmentalists (“Luddites” in the eyes of Cox, who sits on the NYLCV Board) to say “yes” to fracking.
Cox hits Cuomo on other fronts, too, slamming the “unwieldy” Moreland Commission, for which the governor opted over appointing a special prosecutor to investigate corruption in the Legislature; and throwing his initial tax commission “under the bus” by creating a duplicate commission that is “all but guaranteed to net him some positive press ahead of his re-election bid.”
I spoke to Cox in advance of his speech for a CapTon interview that will air tonight at 8 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. He continued to insist that the GOP will have a strong challenger to Cuomo in 2014, though he again refused to name any names, and was dismissive when I noted that whoever this person is would probably be smart to get out ASAP to start raising campaign cash and build name recognition.
Also, Cuomo was support to hold a fund-raiser tonight in Buffalo right across the way from the IOGA event. But he has since called off that event, rescheduling it for a yet-undetermined location on Nov. 19.
In anticiptation of Cox’s speech, Julia Walsh, spokesperson for New Yorkers Against Fracking and Frack Action, sent the following statement:
“Gas industry insider Ed Cox is lying to New Yorkers about the dangers of fracking and denying the science, which shows that fracking poisons our water, pollutes the air and makes people sick.”
“As a long-term board member of a gas corporation with significant fracking interests, it’s no surprise that Ed Cox is lobbying for the gas industry and denying the harm fracking would do to New Yorkers. Rather than stand with the gas industry, our elected officials – Democrats AND Republicans – should stand with the growing numbers of New Yorkers who recognize that the science and facts show that the costs of fracking are just too high.”
Cox is a member of Noble Energy’s Board of Directors.
We also received this from the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter’s Roger Downs:
“Tonight’s speech shows how out of touch Ed Cox is with NY voters. Poll after poll demonstrates that New Yorkers are increasingly opposed to fracking and understand the economic downside of drilling is as severe as the threat to public health and safety.”
“…Governor Cuomo, in his deliberation of the pros and cons of fracking, has sided with precaution. If Cox intends to draw out the overplayed analogy of Cuomo as a handwringing Hamlet – then he is most certainly aspiring to play the role of Richard the III.”
“After driving the party of Theodore Roosevelt into the ground, Cox is now pandering to a defeated oil and gas industry in New York. One has to wonder if he is really thinks this move will help his party or is he just cashing in with the frackers, like a defeated despot willing to wager his kingdom for a horse.”
Oct 24th - 2:45 pm
Republican Chairman Ed Cox is concerned that Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s willingness to listen to Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio’s tax proposal is a sign he’s turning away from his newly appointed commission to cut taxes.
“The Governor should make his intentions clear: if he’s serious about cutting taxes, he must announce publicly that the de Blasio plan is dead on arrival,” Cox said in a statement. “If he wants to raise taxes in the highest taxed city in America and drive more businesses and jobs away, then he’s throwing his tax cut commission under the bus, just like he threw his tax reform commission under the bus.”
Cuomo on Wednesday told reporters he invited de Blasio to Albany — should he win next month’s election — to discuss his proposal to increase taxes on high earners in order to pay for universal pre-Kindergarten.
At the same time, Cuomo also plans to push for a tax cut on the state level with the fingers-crossed hope New York’s coffers will actually run a surplus once the fiscal year ends in March.
Cuomo appointed ex-Gov. George Pataki and former Comptroller Carl McCall to a commission that would develop a tax-cut plan.
Sep 24th - 3:50 pm
New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox unleashed his most blistering attack yet on Demcoratic New York City mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio today at a conference of state GOP members and finance chairs.
In his prepared remarks, Cox accused de Blasio of running a campaign like President Obama’s re-election effort “but on steroids.”
“… And it is just what you would expect from a community organizer who honeymooned in Castro’s Cuba and palled around with the Sandinistas in the 80s: that is blatant class warfare; increased taxes apparently to … well …. just to increase taxes; attacking and demoralizing the City’s cops for their good work; and inviting the City’s ultra liberal judges to run the City’s operations and inviting the President of the teacher’s union to run the City’s schools, irrespective of the needs of the City’s students,” Cox said.
And Cox praised GOP nominee Joe Lhota, the former MTA chairman.
“Our Republican candidate, Joe Lhota, in stark contrast stands for lower taxes, stands up for the City’s cops, stands for appealing crazy court decisions and stands for continuing the school reforms which the last three presidents and the last four Governors have promoted on a bipartisan basis,” he said.
Clearly this is the manifestation of the effort to paint de Blasio, currently the city’s public advocate, as far too liberal for a city that has not elected a Democratic mayor since 1989.
Republicans have been sounding the alarm that de Blasio represents the danger of the city backsliding into the 1970s and 1980s, while Lhota is more of a continuation of the Giuliani and Bloomberg efforts to curtail crime.
Cox also acknowledged that Lhota faces a steep climb this year, especially considering that de Blasio has the advantage of a large enrolment edge.
“While the six to one Democratic advantage is daunting, it has been twenty years since the City elected a Democrat Mayor, and if sound policies and experience for the job are decisive, as they should be, our Republican candidate will again prevail,” Cox said.
Cox was re-elected GOP chairman at the conference today.
Sep 13th - 3:39 pm
Though he has been retained by Senate Republicans to represent them in any dealings with the anti-corruption Moreland Commission, state Republican Chairman Ed Cox said in an interview Michael Garcia is still interested in running for a statewide office next year.
Garcia, a former U.S. attorney for the southern district in New York, is widely considered to be a potential challenger to Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman next year.
But the news that Garica would represent the Senate GOP as the Moreland panel probes public wrongdoing seemingly threw a wrench into those plans.
Not so, Cox told Liz on Capital Tonight Thursday evening, though the chairman did not directly outline which office Garcia is interested in seeking.
“He is still interested in running for a statewide office,” Cox said. ”We’re talking to him. As you know he was out in Livingston County — standing ovation there and he just really mixed well with the people representing the base there, rural western counties who show up for the Livingston County dinner.”
Cox, who was in Albany to speak with other potential candidates next year, said Garcia’s work won’t disqualify him from being a statewide candidate.
“He is definitely interested,” Cox said. ”He’s going to be a great candidate for statewide office.”
The commission investigating public corruption was created by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier this summer after lawmakers and the governor failed to agree on an legislative responses to the string of arrests that have plagued the Capitol, including two senators and two members of the Assembly.
The commission is due to have its first public hearing next week at Pace University. Due to appear at the hearing is Garcia’s successor in the southern district, Preet Bharara.
The full interview can be found here.
Aug 12th - 4:29 pm
A reader wrote in to say he caught state GOP Chairman Ed Cox on the radio in Buffalo yesterday touting some of the local GOP talent as potential statewide contenders in 2014, including Erie County Clerk Christopher Jacobs, who has been floated as a possible challenger to Democratic state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
The only trouble is, Jacobs isn’t remotely interested in running for anything other than the job he’s currently holding – at least not at the moment.
“I’m very focused on my current job,” Jacobs told me during a brief telephone interview this afternoon. “I’ve only had it a year and a half. I enjoy it very much, and I think there’s a lot to do here…I have no interest in running for anything statewide at this time.”
Jacobs said he was approached several months ago by some GOP leaders about opposing DiNapoli, whom many Democratic observers view as the weakest leak on the party’s statewide ticket next fall. The freshman clerk said “no” at the time, and hasn’t changed his mind since then.
Jacobs said he didn’t hear Cox mention him on the radio yesterday morning, but got a few calls from people who did. He was both “surprised” and “flattered” to be mentioned, he said, particularly since he has never had a conversation with the chairman about running.
Jacobs was elected to the clerk’s office in November 2011, narrowly defeating Democrat Maria Whyte for the post vacated by Kathy Hochul when she was elected to Congress. He is the first Republican to hold the office in 40 years.
None of this is to say that Jacobs won’t some day be interested in running for higher office again.
He was briefly the LG running mate for former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld in 2006. But Weld’s candidacy was very short lived. He stepped aside to avoid a primary with former Assembly Minority Leader John Faso after failing to receive sufficient support at the state convention in Garden City to prevent one.
Faso and his running mate, Rockland County Executive Scott Vanderhoef, went on to lose big to then-AG Eliot Spitzer and his hand-picked LG, former Senate Minority Leader David Paterson.
In 2010, Jacobs was reportedly the preferred running mate of then Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, the Democrat-turned-Republican who failed to muster sufficient support at the state convention to get onto the ballot.
The Republicans ended up with Carl Paladino, who defeated former Rep. Rick Lazio in the GOP primary and then lost to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the general election.
In February 2006, Jacobs was the Republican nominee in a Senate special election to fill the seat vacated by Byron Brown when he became mayor of Buffalo, but lost to Democrat Marc Coppola. In April 2006, he was appointed by then-Gov. George Pataki to serve as secretary of state (albeit quite briefly).
Jul 19th - 2:52 pm
It has been an interesting couple of weeks to watch the spit ball war between Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox and the state Democratic Party spokesman Rodney Capel.
The spat has gone like this: Whenever Cox says something critical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Capel returns fire by yelling “Nixon!” as if it were an ancient Gaelic incantation to cast away demons.
But when it comes to flood relief in the upstate region, Cox is giving props to Cuomo for allocating $16 million in state aid after FEMA denied Individual Assistance to property owners.
Cox also made sure to compliment Republican Reps. Chris Gibson and Richard Hanna.
“Even though these floods did not receive the national attention of other recent disasters, our fellow New Yorkers deserve our support and assistance,” Cox said in a statement. “I commend the Governor, Congressmen Richard Hanna and Chris Gibson, and the Senators and Assembly members from the affected districts for working on a bipartisan basis to provide crucial aid to our neighbors as they recover and rebuild.”
Jul 11th - 12:42 pm
With gusto, New York Republican Chairman Ed Cox again attacked former Gov. Eliot Spitzer today after a poll released last night showed a 9 percentage point lead for him over Democratic opponent Scott Stringer in the city comptroller’s race.
Cox said in a statement that Spitzer’s past misdeeds and desire to “steamroll” the likes of Assemblyman Jim Tedisco make him disqualified for the job.
He adds that Spitzer sees power as “a thrilling end unto itself.”
The statement from Cox:
“Eliot Spitzer’s past renders him uniquely unqualified to be New York City Comptroller.
“In his prior political offices, Eliot Spitzer brought junk lawsuits which seldom held up in court against New York’s leading industries for his own political gain, to the detriment of the citizens of New York; he misused the powers of his offices to ‘steamroll’ legitimate political opposition, and acted with calculated hypocrisy, signing tougher penalties into law for the very crimes he was committing.
“How can a politician for whom power is a thrilling end unto itself be trusted with more than a hundred billion dollars of pension funds?
Stringer, the Manhttan borough president, meanwhile today called Spitzer “honorable,” according to NY1′s Josh Robin.