Wilson’s Pollster Says Wilson Can Win (Updated)

A reader forwarded a memo sent to GOP/Conservative state comptroller hopeful Harry Wilson’s supporters that contains the “very encouraging results” of a poll his campaign commissioned last week that show he has a good shot at defeating Democratic incumbent Tom DiNapoli – if he can just let enough New Yorkers know who he is.

“Due to the dire economic and financial conditions of New York State and the very weak ratings of incumbent State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, as long as he has sufficient resources to get his message out, Harry Wilson is very likely to win this election,” pollster John McLaughlin wrote in the memo, which was forwarded by Wilson’s campaign manager Chapin Fay.

“Tom DiNapoli is limited in popularity, receives a negative job rating and is extremely vulnerable on the ballot. In contrast, Harry Wilson has the right background and potential to win this election. It is merely a function of Harry Wilson continuing to get his message out to the voters. “

Or, as Fay put it: “The bottom line is that the survey shows Harry Wilson is very likely to win this election. The key remains continuing to get our message out and having the resources.”

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Malpass Goes Negative

US Senate hopeful David Malpass released a radio ad yesterday that slams his GOP primary opponents in advance of next Tuesday’s primary in which Republicans will select a candidate to challenge Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in November.

This isn’t the first time Malpass has gone on the attack. He released an ad that accused Gillibrand and President Obama of “destroying our way of life.”

This time, however, he’s swiping at his fellow Republicans, Bruce Blakeman and former Rep. Joe DioGuardi, which, come to think of it, is in direct opposition to the so-called eleventh commandment created by his old boss, President Reagan.

Here’s the script:

“(Male voiceover): “Who’s the clear choice in the Senate race against Kirsten Gillibrand?”

“Well, Joe DioGuardi is a career politician and a lobbyist for Albania. He voted against Reagan nearly half the time, increased spending and debt. No wonder he’s run and lost 5 five times. Bruce Blakeman is another political insider. In Nassau County, he increased property taxes 9 percent and nearly bankrupted the county.”

“The choice is clear. David Malpass. The Republican candidate with a clear commitment to Reagan’s principles. David Malpass. A political outsider with the experience and vision to lead New York to a brighter future.”

“The New York Post endorses David Malpass, praising him for speaking eloquently and authoritatively on the economic issues that are of critical concern to New York. David Malpass for U.S Senate. Republican Primary, Tuesday, September 14th.”

“(Malpass) I’m David Malpass, I’m running for the United States Senate and I approved this message because I need your vote on September 14th.”

Lazio Uses Cuomo’s Anti-Albany Ad Against Him (Updated)

With the primary just six days away now, GOP/Consverative gubernatorial hopeful Rick Lazio is continuing to focus on the man he hopes to oust in the general election, frontrunner Andrew Cuomo, releasing a new Web ad that ties the AG to three disgraced fellow Democrats: Eliot Spitzer, Alan Hevesi and Pedro Espada Jr.

Lazio, who has promised state Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long he’ll remain on Row D in November even if he loses next week to his primary opponent, Carl Paladino, has been steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the Buffalo businessman, preferring instead to keep hammering away at Cuomo.

This ad features black-and-white stills of the former state comptroller and ex-governor (pictured at a scrum with Cuomo by his side) as well as the scandal-scarred Senate majority leader, who is fighting for his political life against his establishment-backed primary challenger, Gustavo Rivera.

The spot mimics an anti-Albany ad released last month by Cuomo – in fact, the voiceover is exactly the same.

But while the announcer talks about the AG’s tough plan to clean up the Capitol and reign in special interests, red script appears across the screen that says things like: “His agenda looks a lot like Spitzer’s” (that’s from the Times magazine) and “Andrew Cuomo has accepted $9 million from special interests.”

UPDATE: State Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs’s response:

“Nobody has ever accused Rick Lazio of being a stickler for accuracy and his latest video shows why. What do Spitzer, Espada and Hevesi have in common? They’ve all be investigated by Attorney General Cuomo. If Mr. Lazio wanted to be honest, his video would have reflected that fact.”

Here And Now

“We are proceeding with the community center, Cordoba House. More important, we are doing so with the support of the downtown community, government at all levels and leaders from across the religious spectrum, who will be our partners,” Imam Abdul Feisal Rauf wrote in a NYT OpEd.

Religious leaders called an emergency summit to denounce what they called the “outright bigotry” behind opposition to Rauf’s project.

Park51 has a new Website.

VP Joe Biden will be at Ground Zero to mark the anniversary of 9/11. The president will be at the Pentagon.

Sen. Eric Schneiderman was under attack for his Albany ties at last night’s statewide televised AG debate – an unspoken acknowledgment by his rivals that he has momentum heading into the primary.

An operative close to AG Andrew Cuomo insists Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice was “never the favorite” and the media made that all up.

Cuomo plays down the whole mandate thing.

Juan Gonzalez likes Assemblyman Richard Brodsky.

Brodsky is sounding the alarm over the new electronic voting machines, saying they could result in mass confusion and disenfranchisement.

Nassau County lost its bid to continue using lever voting machines.

Erie County Democratic Chairman Len Lenihan hasn’t endorsed an AG candidate, but he likes all the upstate attention to date.

Schneiderman’s campaign is on the defensive about the role of the senator’s ex-wife, lobbyist Jennifer Cunningham.

The NY Observer endorsed Rick Lazio for governor, Reshma Saujani over Rep. Carolyn McCarthy and Schneiderman for AG.

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The candidates have just finished directing questions to one another and the panelists have resumed their questioning.


8:28pm:  That will do it!!!  Not quite as many fireworks as some may have anticipated.  There were several light moments – most of them between Schneiderman and Brodsky oddly enough.

Liz B. is going to offer her insights up on the post-debate wrap up show.  Before too long, she’ll have some posts up with highlights and analysis.

Until then, I’m signing off…

8:22pm:  Closing remarks begin now:

Schneiderman says he’s running because there is no higher calling than the pursuit of justice.  Says if you are looking for someone who has never backed away from a fight, then he is your candidate.  Says he’s stood up to the gun lobby and is proud of his work on immigrants and LGBT issues.  Notes several of his endorsements and says he’s proud to have taken on members of his own party.

Brodsky thanks debate hosts and audience.  Says the ability understand the human condition and the way that an AG relates to that condition is at the heart of his run.  Says that the fact that after millions of dollars of ad buys people still don’t know much about the candidates is a real problem.

Rice says NYS is having real problems.  People have no confidence in state government and the number one job of the next AG is to restore the confidence.  Says we need to reform Albany and you can’t be an Albany insider to do that.

Dinallo says he’s proud to be called a nice guy.  Is proud to be part of an issue-based campaign.  Says he has an unparalleled record of getting things done for the people of NY.  Wants to take that record of protecting all New Yorkers and bring it bear for NYers in the AG office.

Coffey thanks those in the audience here and at home.  Says he is running because government is broken and he can fix.  Says people told him he had long odds, but he has spent his life defying the odds.  Says he sees this as his next big assignment.  Says “we need someone different up there.”  Points out political background of all his opponents.

8:17pm:  Pat asks each candidate to respond to the question of whether GOP AG candidate Dan Donovan is a success.

Coffey starts by saying the two have similar stats – Irish, outsider, etc.  Hopes to learn more about Donovan a week from tomorrow – the day after the primary if he is the Democratic nominee.

Dinallo says he has been a competent prosecutor and has nothing negative to say other than that he has a narrow platform for the AG’s office.  Says you need to have more than just pure prosecution experience.

Rice says that it is too early to know because we’ve not heard enough.  Says she is the only person the race who has taken on the GOp machine twice and beaten them twice.

Brodsky says he doesn’t know enough other than to say he seems to be good and honest man and he wishes him well.  Says the Democrats could be in trouble and a Dem AG is not a given because the Democrats have not been listening.

Schneiderman says Donovan is a nice man, but he represents the past and the old, failed ways of the justice system.

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The candidates are now directing a single question to one of their opponents.  The questions have not been pre-screened by the debate organizers.

Schneiderman begins by asking Rice about her voting record.  Notes that she was living in battleground state of PA during Bush/Gore election.  What was it about that race that made it seem unneccessary to vote?

Rice calls “lack of voting” a serious regret.  Encourages others not to make the same mistake.  She ticks off her background and calls herself a progressive democrat, adding, “we do exist.”

Brodsky’s turn.  He asks Schneiderman for explanation for vote against a bill for civil confinement for sexual predators.

Schneiderman says he has voted in favor of other civil confinement bills in the past, but that the bill in question was too broad.

Brodsky pipes in asking whether he would vote the same way again and Schneiderman says he’d work to edit it, but would probably vote for it.

Rice asks Schneiderman why won’t you let the voters see your tax returns?

Schneiderman says, “sure.”  He will release his tax returns before election day.  Says they aren’t that exciting.

Dinallo also asks Schneiderman a question. (This guy is getting grilled!)  Dinallo says he disagrees that he would be able to go back and investigate a body in which he was a leader.  Thinks law prohibits him from investigating that body.  Dinallo asks whether he still believes that he can independently investigate the legislature.

Schneiderman stresses that he could investigate the Senate without recusal and that it is a “misstatement of the law.”

Brodsky and Schneiderman get into over endorsements.

Coffey says he was going to ask Schneiderman a question, but Dinallo asked it.  He asks Rice a question about her background as a “career prosecutor” and asks for something in her background that she knows anything about Wall Street.

Rice says that she’s happy to take some heat off Schneiderman.  Says that role of AG is to investigate Wall Street, but doesn’t believe you can be a Wall Street insider to investigate Wall Street.

Conservative Party On Attack Again For Lazio

The Conservative Party of New York has released another ad backing Rick Lazio in the race for governor.

The ad touts Lazio as a fiscal conservative that will “cut taxes and wasteful spending” and implies “liberals” shown in the ad (Andrew Cuomo, David Paterson, along with Charlie Rangel) will do the opposite.

Male voiceover: “The Conservative Party agrees with Rick Lazio and other fiscally conservative New Yorkers who want Albany to cut taxes and stop wasteful spending. Government liberals can’t help themselves. Unemployment is at record highs while taxes and spending keep rising. The conservative party agrees with Rick Lazio. They must be stopped.”


Liz A. here…

It’s that time again!  Another live, statewide debate on YNN and NY1, which means I’m back at it – live blogging for your reading pleasure.  Wish me luck!  This time there are FIVE candidates and the debate is running 90 minutes.  I’ve been performing some intense hand calisthenics exercises to prepare.

This evening, the Democratic candidates running for attorney general are squaring off.  These five have faced each other a number of time, but this is the only live, statewide, televised debate and it comes just one week before the primary election.

So, without further ado, keep refreshing for updates and enjoy!!


7:27pm:  Susan Lerner asks Coffey whether he has ever been arrested or sued.

Coffey says he has never been arrested or sued… so far.  Says he was a prosecutor in Southern District of NY and says one of the things he learned is that it is honorable not charge someone if you believe they are not guilty.  Says he’s lawyer who does not want to be governor and ticks off military creds before being cut off due to time.

Dinallo says he has never been arrested.  Says he’s been sued by Wall Street banks while serving as Insurance Superintendent.  Has not been sued personally.

Rice has not been arrested.  Has been named in suits related to prosecutions in her work as DA.

Brodsky says “I have never been arrested, detained, stopped or frisked.”  Thinks he was sued 40 years ago in a case that was dropped after he refused to settle.

Schneiderman says he has never been sued or arrested.

7:20pm:  Liz asks Dinallo whether he would accept the endorsement of AG Cuomo, and if he was forced to investigate him whether he would recuse himself.

Dinallo says he would accept the endorsement.  Says he thinks he could still investigate despite endorsement given while he was AG.

Coffey would accept the endorsement and says he will “follow the evidence where ever it goes.”  Says he expects he will be a clean governor and it won’t be an issue.

Schneiderman would accept the endorsement and says he expects to accept it in eight days after he wins the nomination.  Calls himself the most independent guy in Albany and calls out Rice for saying she’s the only person who has investigated someone in her own party.

Brodsky says he doesn’t expect to have the problem of considering whether to accept the endorsement prior to September 14.  Crowd gets a kick out it.  Says he did not sign Cuomo’s pledge because it creates a potential problem if he ever had to investigate someone whose pledge he’d signed.

Rice says she would accept endorsement.  Returns to Schneiderman claims by emphasizing that she is the only person to criminally investigate a member of her own party.

Liz asks for clarification on whether all candidates have signed Cuomo’s pledge.  Dinallo also did not sign due to issues of independence.

Coffey jumps in saying the pledge is not a pledge to Cuomo, but rather a pledge to 5-points of good government ideals.  Says they are things he believes in.  ”The idea that this is some sort of Roman blood oath is ridiculous.”

Schneiderman says his thinking on the pledge has changed.  Not a “blood oath.”  Thinks it is essentially the right platform to move on.  Thinks it may be time to unite around a platform of reform.  Schneiderman has not signed, but says he may.

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Paladino: Press Should Have Term Limits

From YNN’s Casey Bortnick:

Carl Paladino called the New York Times’ endorsement of Rick Lazio in next week’s primary a “gift from god”–describing the newspaper as a messenger for the ruling class in New York State.

“I’m an outsider; I’m not politically correct,” said Paladino. “I don’t want to be. I like being outrageous.”

Paladino told a military veterans group in East Rochester that many in the media would prefer to see Rick Lazio as the Republican nominee for governor because it would make things easier for Democrat Andrew Cuomo in the general election.

Paladino even suggested, jokingly, that some in the media should have term limits.

“Republican voters don’t even read the New York Times, or the Daily News for that matter, or the Albany Times Union. The people are going to listen to the candidate; they are going to make their own choices and those choices, as it appears to me, are for change.”

When asked how much money he would spend between now and Tuesday’s GOP primary, the Buffalo businessman said his campaign has never been about money, but rather a message of change.

Regardless, he plans to deliver that message all over New York State personally and by means of advertising in the final week of the primary campaign.

Skelos For Chris Cox

Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos has endorsed congressional hopeful Chris Cox with just one week left to go before he faces off against two opponents in the GOP NY-1 primary on Long Island.

“I know that Chris Cox will make an outstanding Congressman for Eastern Long Island, and he’ll always do what’s in the best interest of taxpayers,” Skelos said in a statement released by Cox’s campaign.

“It is an honor to endorse his candidacy, and I urge Republican voters to make him their nominee on September 14th.”

“Whether it’s in Albany or Washington, D.C., New Yorkers are frustrated with one-party Democrat rule and they’re looking for change. Chris Cox will be a fresh face in Congress who will restore regional balance and true fiscal discipline to our federal government.”

“In these dangerous times, national security is more important than ever. I trust Chris Cox to make the difficult decisions that need to be made.”

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