Jun 7th - 5:53 pm
During an wide-ranging interview with NY1′s Michael Scotto earlier today, Rep. Charlie Rangel admitted the fact that AG Andrew Cuomo appears poised to sail into the governor’s office with minimal opposition is probably bad for the voters…but, as a self-professed “staunch partisan Democrat,” it makes him awfully happy.
“Listen, I never thought that the Democratic Party would be so lucky to get the break that we’re getting now, to have a seasoned candidate go almost unchallenged, Rangel said.
When Scotto asked whether the Cuomo coronation (my words, not his) is a good thing, Rangel at first replied: “I think it is.” But then allowed: “Well, no, no, no; for the general public, it may not be.”
“For the Republican Party at a convention to look like Democrats normally look at their convention is a good feeling for those of us,” Rangel explained.
“Normally, Democrats form a firing squad in a circle and just shoot each other. So, here in a primary, they kill each other…This time, what a joy it is for me as a staunch partisan Democrat to see the Republicans do it.”
Jun 7th - 4:48 pm
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino stopped by our studios this afternoon to talk about his campaign and he made a little news.
The candidate dropped the name of his preferred running mate one day before his or her name will appear next to Paladino’s on petitions.
Paladino didn’t manage to make it onto the GOP ballot at last week’s convention in Manhattan. Now, he and his number two pick will endeavor to collect a minimum of 15,000 signatures (at least 100 must be collected in 15 of the state’s 29 congressional districts).
Paladino tells us he intends gather several thousand more than that and has every intention of beating GOP designee Rick Lazio in the September primary.
Below is footage of Liz asking the candidate to reveal his lieutenant governor pick. To hear the entire answer, tune into “Capital Tonight” on YNN at 8pm and 11:30pm.
Jun 7th - 4:48 pm
GOP gubernatorial designee Rick Lazio took some time out from campaigning in Rochester today to take a swipe at AG Andrew Cuomo for semi-panning Gov. David Paterson’s creative use of budget extenders as “intriguing” but not optimal, YNN’s Mark Gruba reports.
Lazio, who has a history of defending Gov. David Paterson (perhaps because his poll number are so low that he would have made a much easier general election opponent), said the governor needs to “be decisive and show leadership,” adding:
“I don’t know if Andrew Cuomo has an inkling of what leadership is all about. He continues to equivocate.”
“The latest I heard is that he is talking about it being intriguing, and that’s Albany speak. And he knows a lot about Albany intrigue.”
“What I would say is yes, we need to complete these reductions,” Lazio continued. “I don’t know that David Paterson has another option than laying it on the table, right now, and saying to the Legislature: Listen, this is what I have come up with, if you have a better plan to save the same amount of money, then act like adults, come to the table, and support those reductions.”
Meanwhile, 13WHAM News reports that Lazio, who was joined by his LG pick, Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards, declined to criticize Cuomo’s running mate, Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy, even though the GOP duo was stumping on Duffy’s home turf.
Jun 7th - 4:19 pm
Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice is in Buffalo today to pick up the endorsement of Rep. Brian Higgins and was asked to respond to a suggestion by one of her Democratic AG primary opponents, Sen. Eric Schneiderman, that her perceived support from AG Andrew Cuomo renders her insufficiently independent to succeed him.
“The great thing about this year, especially for the race for attorney general and who will succeed Andrew Cuomo, is that the people, the voters of New York, are going to have a choice,” Rice told YNN’s Doug Sampson.
“There are five people in the Democratic primary, of which I am one, and the people are going to have a very clear choice about who they want to be their independent voice, their independent advocate who can represent them, first and foremost. I’m not a career Albany politician. That is very clear.”
“I’ve always been an independent voice, an independent advocate who has spoken for victims and consumers and taxpayers. And I think the choice for all New Yorkers this year is going to be very clear.”
Jun 7th - 3:07 pm
Could Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice be sufficiently independent as New York’s next attorney general?
One of her Democratic primary opponents isn’t sure, NY1′s Josh Robin reports.
Sen. Eric Schneiderman was asked about Rice during a news conference in City Hall Park at which he picked up the nod of ’06 AG candidate Sean Patrick Maloney.
Rice was widely believed to have AG Andrew Cuomo’s tacit support, although Cuomo signaled earlier today he’s open to backing someone else. (He specifically did not mention either Schneiderman or his fellow state lawmaker AG contender, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky).
Should Cuomo’s support for Rice – assuming it comes – give voters pause?
“I don’t know about given pause,” Schneiderman said. “I think the voters are going to want an attorney general that is independent of the governor.”
“You want to be friendly with the governor, be able to work with him. But look, Attorney General Cuomo investigated both of the governors under whom he served. And that’s sometimes the role of the attorney general – is to watch what’s going on in the executive branch. So, I think people want independence, but I don’t think that’s become a big issue.”
Asked whether Rice can be independent enough, Schneiderman replied:
“I don’t know. I hope so. I don’t know. I’m not sure what her thought processes are on these issues.”
During the question and answer period, Schneiderman also said he expects to get the WFP line, and dismissed concerns that Maloney’s endorsement was tainted because of his role in the Troopergate scandal.
Jun 7th - 2:54 pm
Here’s a clip from an interview I did with GOP US Senate designee Bruce Blakeman following the convention last week in which he appears to sideswipe his primary opponent, David Malpass, suggesting he’s out of touch with regular voters (the “pizza and beer wing of the party,” as Blakeman would say).
“People are angry,” Blakeman said (the full interview will eventually show up here). “They’re frustrated they’re worried. They want someone to listen to them, and they want somebody to fight for them in Washington.”
“They don’t want somebody sitting in an ivory tower and telling them what to do from the 20,000-foot altitude. They want somebody who came up through the grassroots level like I came up who understands and relates to them.”
Blakeman then notes that both Malpass and former Rep. Joe DioGuardi, who has vowed to petition his way into the GOP primary after failing to get onto the ballot at the convention, have each ponied up $1 million of their own cash on their respective campaigns.
The former Long Island lawmaker claims to have raised more than the two of them combined, adding: “I wasn’t even trying to raise money,” adding:
“Money is not going to win this election. I don’t care how much money Kirsten Gillibrand has, or David Malpass, or Joe DioGuardi or anyone else…You can’t buy the Republican Party because it’s not for sale anymore, and this country is not for sale anymore. People have had enough of the special interests.”
Malpass returned the favor earlier today, hitting Blakeman for presiding over what he said was the largest tax increase in Nassau County history.
Jun 7th - 1:50 pm
AG Andrew Cuomo this morning rejected his rivals’ suggestion that he is in part responsible for the subprime mortgage crisis because he pushed home ownership for low-income residents while serving as HUD secretary for the Clinton administration.
(In response to a commenter’s assertion that Cuomo’s comments were somehow anti-Semitic, which is a hot-button issue in the wake of the Helen Thomas dust-up, here’s the verbatim of his quotes from his interview this morning on Talk 1300 WGDJ-AM).
“It’s a silly, absurd point,” Cuomo said. “It’s been factually refuted for anyone who want to hear the facts.”
“To suggest that promoting home ownership then resulted in the mortgage fraud that the Wall Street bankers perpetrated on this country is absurd. It’s like saying Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and is therefore responsible for global warming, you know.”
Cuomo laughed heartily at his own joke.
Jun 7th - 1:20 pm
Democratic AG contender Sean Coffey did not take kindly to being employed by Republican Harry Wilson as a cudgel to slam his opponent, Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, for accepting the Working Families Party line.
In a sharply-worded statement, Coffey slammed Wilson for “resorting to the same old politics” by claiming that he and AG Andrew Cuomo rejected the WFP because of its “extreme left-wing ideology” – a phrase neither Cuomo nor Coffey employed when discussing their reasons for declining to seek the labor-backed party’s line.
Coffey also accused Wilson of “failing to meet a standard” that he couldn’t meet himself after accepting the state Independence Party line despite the fact that it is embroiled in an investigation by the Manhattan DA’s office.
Jun 7th - 12:49 pm
US Senate hopeful David Malpass took a swipe at his GOP primary opponent(s) today, saying they share “similarities” with the Democratic incumbent they’re all hoping to unseat: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.
During a conference call on which he was supposed to be slamming Gillibrand for accepting the Working Families Party line (“She’s allied herself with people who want more government, want more spending and want more debt.”), Malpass urged reporters to “research” Bruce Blakeman and former Rep. Joe DioGuardi, adding:
“I’d want to make sure you found reference to the huge tax increase in Nassau County when Bruce was the head of the legislative body there. I think it’s the biggest tax increase in Nassau County history.
“And then with Joe, he was, he has been a politician for a long time. This is my first race, so I come in with a disadvantage in the convention system that we just went through last week. But from the standpoint of issues, I think the voters across the country are wanting to find new people who want to bring new ideas in.”
“So, I’m fully a part of that a radical upheaval of Washington from an outsider’s perspective.”
Jun 7th - 12:40 pm
Well, that didn’t take long.
The AP reports that Hearst News Services has announced 89-year-old White House press corps dean Helen Thomas will retire, “effective immediately,” in the wake of her controversial remarks on Israel at the May 27 White House Jewish Heritage Celebration.
How long do you think before Rick Lazio sends out a statement claiming victory?