Oct 26th - 9:13 am
A candidate depicted as riding an alligator? Holy silly season.
Rep. Scott Murphy’s latest attack ad accuses his GOP opponent, Chris Gibson, as wanting to join the Washington Republicans and “feed on the middle class.” The visual: Gibson in a cowboy hat riding an alligator (or maybe a crocodile) through the fields (?!) surrounding the White House.
This race has taken a decidedly nasty turn over the past month or do – at least in the airways, which are clogged with ads paid for by both the campaigns and, particularly in Gibson’s case, outside interests including independent committees and the NRCC.
Siena is out with a poll of NY-20 that will be made public shortly and explain why this contest is so heated with just one week remaining until Election Day.
Oct 26th - 8:49 am
Here’s Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Andrew Cuomo a bit on the defensive during an upstate swing yesterday when he was asked by a reporter why, as the Times reports this morning, the upper echelons of his campaign are almost entirely dominated by men.
It’s no secret that Cuomo’s inner circle is a very macho place, and embodies the whole “politics as contact sport” approach employed with regularity in both New York and Washington, D.C. that many women find difficult to embrace.
The Times article does not mention the fact that the most senior woman in the AG’s realm was at one time lobbyist/consultant Jennifer Cunningham, is now concentrating her efforts on getting her ex-husband, Sen. Eric Schneiderman, (not Cuomo’s first choice for AG, although he quickly endorsed the senator after he won the Sept. 14 primary).
Here’s what Cuomo had to say when challenged on the apparent glass ceiling in his campaign (which, to be fair, also seems to exist in Carl Paladino’s campaign, although his unpaid chairwoman, former Erie County Comptroller Nancy Naples is, as Michael Caputo insited, “not window dressing”):
“Well, we have women in the campaign, too. And I think if you look at my hiring practices as attorney general and as at HUD, I pride myself on the diversity that I’ve attracted. I pride myself on the number of women in senior positions.
“And I’ve said this to the people of the state of New York, I’ll say it again: if I have the good fortune of being elected governor, the Cuomo-Duffy administration will be the most diverse administration in the history of the state of New York. We’ll have more women in senior positions than ever before. I think it’s a very important goal in the entire enterprise.”
we’ll have more women in senior positions than ever before
Oct 26th - 8:13 am
Gov. David Paterson on the misguided hope that comes with an election season: “The reality is that there’s that hope that springs eternal in the human breast, that somehow Albany’s going to change because one person got elected, and it’s just not true.”
Neither Carl Paladino nor Andrew Cuomo have many women in the upper echelons of their campaigns.
Cuomo and Paladino are playing a game of chicken with their tax returns, writes Jacob Gershman.
Paladino doesn’t think much of Cuomo’s father, saying: “I think one of the worst was Mario Cuomo. I mean, sure he could rip your heart out and make you cry. But he couldn’t manage a government.”
The Syracuse Post-Standard compares the gubernatorial candidates’ economic plans.
Cuomo’s much-vaunted government consolidation plan is not a big hit with voters.
Paladino may be trailing Cuomo statewide, but he’s far and away the winner in WNY.
Paladino now says his plan to cut state spending by 20 percent is “unrealistic.”
Can Cuomo succeed where Eliot Spitzer failed in out-maneuvering the Legislature?
Cuomo’s campaign slammed Paladino over his military record.
The DN thinks the ballot is “too damn full,” and is not a fan of Jimmy McMillan.
Oct 25th - 5:44 pm
President Clinton is making a second visit to NY-19 to stump for Rep. John Hall.
Rep. Scott Murphy released another ad that accuses his opponent, Chris Gisbon, of wanting to “send jobs overseas.”
State Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long, New York Civic founder Henry Stern and billionaire cosmetics heir Ron Lauder have teamed up to champion the reinstitution of term limits.
Senate candidate Didi Barrett has a new radio ad slamming Sen. Steve Saland.
Rudy Giuliani’s official portrait will be hung tomorrow.
GOP state Senate candidate Bob Domenici’s daughter, who’s a single mom, recorded a radio ad for her dad.
The Jimmy McMillan mystique continues to grow.
McMillan on the SNL effect: “Election over. Jimmy gonna win it,” he tells us. “That put me over the top. It’s over. This election is over.”
The NYLCV has a new radio ad in which children sing “F is for Farley.”
Kristin Davis wants to create upstate “Hemp Houses.”
Democratic state Senate candidate Tim Kennedy is running against Albany.
Former Gov. George Pataki endorsed GOP state Senate candidate Anthony Como against Democratic Sen. Jose Addabbo. (No link).
Former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato endorsed GOP congressional hopeful Michael Grimm in NY-13.
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani endorsed GOP Senate contender Andrew Russo in the 49th SD.
City Hall news looks at the LG candidates.
The Wilson campaign lodged a formal complaint against the Siena poll.
The Millbrook Independent endorsed Rep. Scott Murphy.
Oct 25th - 5:42 pm
A national Republican committee headed by former RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie and former Rep. Tom Reynolds is has so far spent $873,623 to help the Senate GOP in its quest to take back the majority.
According to its first report filed by the Republican State Leadership Committee, the cash breaks down as follows:
– $139,603 on TV and radio ads in opposition to Democratic Sen. Brian Foley – one of the minority’s top targets who is running neck and neck in the 3rd SD with his opponent, Lee Zeldin.
- $279,979 on TV ads opposing Democratic Sen. Dave Valesky in the 49th SD. According to the Siena poll, Valesky has a comfortable lead over his GOP challenger, Andrew Russo.
- $333,136 on TV ads in the 48th SD opposing Democratic Sen. Darrel Aubertine, who, when Siena last checked, was trailing Republican Patricia Ritchie by three percentage points.
- $120,880 on TV ads in the 58th SD opposing Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kennedy, who defeated Sen. Bill Stachowski in the Sept. 14 primary and, according to Siena, trails GOP Assemblyman Jack Quinn , 42-39, with Stachowski receiving 12 percent of the vote on the WFP and Independence Party lines.
I reported back in the beginning of the month (second item) that the RSLC would be dropping close to $1 million to help the GOP in three upstate districts and in one Long Island district.
There’s more interest at the national level than usual in the battle for control of the Senate due to the redistricting angle. If the Republicans win back the majority, they will have the upper hand in not only drawing their own lines, but also deciding which of the two congressional seats the state stands to lose will be erased.
Oct 25th - 4:32 pm
…Democratic nominee Gustavo Rivera might be able to make it on Broadway.
Apparently, he really brought down the house at a recent Latino Heritage Celebration hosted at the HQ of Teamsters Local 237.
Rivera, who defeated Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. in the Sept. 14 primary, referred to his vanquished foe as “Mr. Past Tense” during a radio interview with the union’s president, Greg Floyd.
Oct 25th - 4:01 pm
RNC Chairman Michael Steele and state GOP Chairman Ed Cox, who haven’t always seen eye-to-eye throughout this election season, will put whatever differences they may have (assuming they still have any) and unite tomorrow behind the Rev. Michael Faulkner, who is challenging Rep. Charlie Rangel.
The two chairmen will bring their respective bus tours to Harlem for a rally for Faulkner, which will be followed by a fundraiser at the Uptown Grand Restaurant on 7th Avenue between 125th and 126th Streets.
Manhattan GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Saul will also be in attendance.
Faulkner, a former NY Jet, has been receiving a lot of positive press lately. But he’s a long shot to defeat Rangel, who held off multiple Democratic challengers in the Sept. 14 primary despite the fact that he’s facing 13 ethics charges (the trial is scheduled to start after the general election).
I’ve been hearing a lot of speculation of late about how long Rangel might last if and when he’s re-elected – particularly if the Democrats lose control of the House. He also lost his Ways and Means chairmanship. Returning to the minority would be something I imagine he would not at all relish.
Many observers believe Rangel refused to heed calls for him to step aside this fall because he wanted to go out on his own terms (and maybe have a hand in selecting his successor, too). Of course, what his district ends up looking like after the next round of redistricting – especially if the GOP wins back the state Senate majority – is anyone’s guess.
Oct 25th - 3:28 pm
A reader, who I would describe as fairly conservative, forwarded this flyer that was being handed out over the weekend outside a church in Queens and said he was a bit taken aback by the fairly explosive language it employs.
The piece, paid for by 9th CD GOP congressional candidate Bob Turner, accuses his Democratic target, Rep. Anthony Weiner, of voting no on “Judeo-Christian moral values,” citing the Brooklyn congressman’s record on everything from abortion to cloning to the Pledge of Allegiance.
Turner has adopted not shied away from controversial topics throughout his campaign. He seized on the mosque/Islamic center controversy back in September, hosting a rally that purported to be in support of the 9/11 families who opposed the project.
Weiner was muted on the subject, defending his one-time rival Mayor Bloomberg for his defense of Park51, but also declaring that to weigh in himself would be a violation of the constitutionally mandated separation of church and state.
My astute reader had this to say about Turner’s strategy here:
“In addition to ginning up the conservative blue-collar/white ethnic/Tea Party sympathizers in the district (you dont get a much more “American” name than Bob Turner), Turner might be trying to draw a wedge between Anthony and his traditional Jewish base.”
The flyer also could be read to not-so-subtly be trying to remind voters who might care about this sort of thing that Weiner, who is Jewish, recently married Huma Abedin, a Muslim.
Oct 25th - 2:38 pm
An Orthodox Jewish blog reports that Assemblyman Dov Hikind met with Gov. David Paterson this morning and was told there will be a post-Election Day special session and a TAP program for yeshivas that the governor vetoed last summer will be on the agenda.
“He is determined to get it done. He is committed to it, the Brooklyn Democrat told Vos Iz Neias.
“I am very, very happy. We hope with Hashem’s help that this will be a historic moment, something I have been waiting for for years. We are at the bottom of the ninth, two outs and with G-d’s help, this is going to be it.”
“…Governor Paterson is the one who originally put the TAP bill into the budget. I didn’t have to convince him. As soon as I raised the issue he told me, ‘We are getting it done.’”
I’ve got a call in to Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook, who said he’ll be getting back to me.
One thing we do know – at least as far as we can know anything where Paterson is concerned – is that the property tax cap probably won’t be on the lame duck session agenda.
Paterson said he’s willing to let that be handled by the next governor, presumably Andrew Cuomo, if Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver wants it that way.
Oct 25th - 2:08 pm
The Senate Democrats have run through their campaign cash at warp speed and now have just $227,989 on hand, according to the most recent – and final – post-general election filing with the state Board of Elections.
The DSCC (which, it should be noted, was implicated in the AEG scandal by the IG for directing campaign contributions from the would-be racino operator to certain senators) raised $934,482 over the most recent two-week filing period, and had $826,725 transferred into its coffers by rank-and-file members (most of it from Deputy Senate Majority Leader Jeff Klein, interestingly, who is often named as a potential successor for Conference Leader John Sampson.
The Dems also have $750,000 line loan out from their preferred bank, the National Bank of NYC, for which I assume members are all on the hook (as per usual).
The Democrats spent $5.37 million, $4.26 million of which went to help specific candidates and incumbents. Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer appears to be the biggest beneficiary of the majority’s largesse, getting $460,901 to defend her seat.
The DSCC also spent more than $360,000 each on two challengers – Susan Savage and David Carlucci (he’s running for an open, previously GOP-held seat).
The Republicans, by contrast, have $2.5 million on hand. They raised $1.79 million and had $933,800 transferred in by various senators and candidates. (NOTE: The $100,000 transfer came from Sen. John Bonacic, not Sen. Neil Breslin’s challenger, Bob Domenici; I read that line wrong. Mea culpa).
The SRCC spent $2.35 million, $1.72 million of which was spent for 23 candidates and incumbents.
The Republicans apparently filed slightly earlier than the Democrats, which means some of their expenses (recall that the last week of an election tends to be the most expensive) aren’t showing up on this report, making their bottom line look bigger.
UPDATE: Also, SRCC spokesman Scott Reif says: “The cut-off date for expenses is the same, so even though we filed early it had no affect on bottom line…That’s just spin.”
That said, DSCC spokesman Austin Shafran admitted that the majority is going all out in its effort to retain control of the chamber, explaining:
“Money is raised to be spent. Money does no good for you in the bank. It only wins elections if it’s put into the field.
“We’re giving our campaigns every resource possible to win on Election Day. We’re all in. We’re leaving it all out on the field, and we’re going to give the campaigns every resource possible to win.”