They Can’t Give It Away

Sales of Cuomo’s new memoir are not going particularly well – a fact the governor has attributed to all the time he needs to spend campaigning, which is preventing him from doing a full-scale book promotion tour.

“All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life,” sold 945 copies in the week after its Oct. 15 release.

In its second week on the shelves, however, sales reportedly dropped by more than 43 percent to just 535 books sold. Some stores – like the famous Strand in NYC – have resorted to, let us say, creative tactics, in hopes of getting readers to buy Cuomo’s tome.

That may be a fruitless effort, because it appears New Yorkers just aren’t interested in finding out what the governor has to say – even if they can get his book for free.

A CapTon fan pointed out in an email yesterday that the Brooklyn Public Library has 12 copies of Cuomo’s memoir available for borrowing and just one on hold so far.

That’s unusual for a new book, he noted, adding: “I believe there were even more copies available last week, but they must have cut back on the order once they realized the low demand.”

Sen. Krueger: Cuomo WEP Push ‘Disturbing’

Sen. Liz Krueger, an outspoken Manhattan Democrat, is stepping up her criticism of Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Party push, calling an email sent by the governor urging voters to support him on the new party’s line in next week’s election “disturbing.”

Cuomo’s email landed in the in-boxes of his fellow Democrats (and a few reporters) yesterday morning.

“It’s time for a party whose singular goal is equality for women, a party that knows women work as hard as men do and is committed to getting them equal pay,” the governor wrote.

“A party where protecting a woman’s right to choose is a priority, not an afterthought. A party that believes women deserve to stand at the front of the line.”

“…If at least 50,000 of us vote on the Women’s Equality Party line on November 4th, together we will ensure that women’s issues are no longer something politicians think they can disregard.

Please pledge to vote for me and Kathy Hochul on the Women’s Equality Party line on November 4th and together we’ll make history.”

Krueger has called Cuomo’s creation of the WEP a “mistake” that could cost the Senate Democrats votes – and perhaps ruin their chances of re-taking the majority – because most of their candidates didn’t qualify to run on the new party line.

“This whole plan will come back to bite women and Democrats in our derrieres,” Krueger wrote in an email sent to her supporters yesterday.

“Running on the WEA issues and pointing out that the R’s are stopping these issues from being passed as laws – absolutely.”

“Urging the creation of a different party for women – beyond unjustified.”

The subject line of Krueger’s email: “Cuomo writes: This is Important. I say, This is Disturbing.”

It was not lost on political insiders that Cuomo’s email mimicked the electronic missives frequently sent out by the Working Families Party, which is frantically reminding its supporters to vote for Cuomo on Row D, even as he ignores – and even seeks to undermine – the minor party.

If the WFP – which just so happens to be one letter away from the WEP – fails to get 50,000 votes for Cuomo on its line next Tuesday, it will lose its official party status, and its clout, for the next four years.

WFP allies insist the party won’t miss the crucial vote threshold, but admit it’s possible another minor party – perhaps even the Greens, whose gubernatorial candidate, Howie Hawkins, is putting in a strong performance this election season – could surpass them in the final tally and bump them from Row D.

Some insiders have even speculated that the Greens could perform so well next Tuesday, thanks in part to Hawkins’ support among disaffected former backers of Cuomo’s primary opponent, Zephyr Teachout, that they could oust the Conservative Party from its new perch on Row C, which it gained four years ago due to the strong showing in Western New York by GOP/Conservative gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino.

Yesterday, Mike Boland, who left the WFP in disgust after it gave Cuomo its endorsement and took a job running Teachout’s campaign, sent out an email urging WFP supporters to join him in voting for Cuomo on Row D.

Debate Deconstruction

If you didn’t catch last night’s TWC News/NY1 debate in Hamburg between the two major party candidates for state attorney general – the only time they’ll face off before next Tuesday’s election – you missed quite the show.

It was a verbal slap-fest between Democratic incumbent Eric Schneiderman and his GOP opponent, former Pataki administration official John Cahill, with the two trading barbs over everything from ethics and campaign contributors to abortion rights and gun control.

As has been widely reported, I had a tough time controlling these two, who were more interested in talking over one another and getting their jabs in than answering questions posed by myself and the members of our panel.

We did, however, manage to learn some key information during our lightning round, such as the fact that Cahill doesn’t appear to know what BuzzFeed is, and has never taken one of the site’s infamous quizzes, whereas Schneiderman has (though he didn’t elaborate, so we’ll never know which Weasley he is).

For the record, Cahill is a quick study. He Tweeted a photo of himself “catching up on BuzzFeed quizzes” at a Buffalo-area bar after the debate.

We also know that when Schneiderman finishes up another stressful day at the AG’s office, he likes to kick his feet up and unwind with a nice historical drama film – preferably about WW II.

Schneiderman revealed the last movie he watched was “Diplomacy,” a Franco-German film that premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival last February. It was directed by Volker Schlöndorff and adapted from the play Diplomatie by Cyril Gely.

Cahill also has a taste for historical dramas. He said the last movie he saw was “Lincoln” – the 2012 film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the nation’s 16th president.

If you want to learn more about the candidates – their likes and dislikes, habits, and even a little on policy – you can catch the full debate here.

Thanks again to both candidates for participating, to our panel members for their insightful (if not always answered) questions, to Hilbert College for hosting and to our live audience members for (mostly) following my instructions to hold their applause until after the debate was over.

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City and Onondaga, Monroe, Niagara and Erie counties.

At 8 a.m. Republican gubernatorial candidate and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino attends a fundraising breakfast for Rep. Tom Reed, The Hill Top Inn, 171 Jerusalem Hill Rd., Elmira.

At 9:30 a.m., Astorino and GOP LG candidate and Chemung Country Sheriff Chris Moss hold a get-out-the-vote rally, The Hill Top Inn, 171 Jerusalem Hill Rd., Elmira.

At 11 a.m., Astorino and Moss hold a get-out-the-vote rally, Holiday Inn, 2-8 Hawley St., Binghamton.

At 11:15 a.m., Cuomo’s deputy secretary for the environment, Basil Seggos, delivers remarks at Business Council’s annual environment conference, The Saratoga Hilton, 534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs.

At noon, Cuomo, Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul and local leaders host a pre-election rally, Iron Workers Local 60, 500 W Genesee St., Syracuse.

At 1 p.m., Astorino holds a media availability, Paddock Arcade, 1 Public Square, Watertown.

At 1:30 p.m., US Sen. Chuck Schumer attends get-out-the-vote rally for Democratic Senate candidate Marc Panepinto, in front of Niagara Falls City Hall, 745 Main St., Niagara Falls.

At 2 p.m., former NYC GOP mayoral candidate Joe Lhota will endorse Joe Tirone, Republican-Conservative candidate for the 63rd A.D. Assembly seat, Tirone Headquarters, 1763 Victory Blvd., Staten Island.

At 2:30 p.m., Cuomo and Hochul host another rally, UA Local 13 Plumbers and Pipefitters, 1850 Mt Read Blvd., Rochester.

Also at 2:30 p.m., Astorino holds a media availability, Adirondack Coffee Roasters, 373 Route 3, Plattsburgh.

At 4:30 p.m., Cuomo and Hochul host their third rally of the day, Como Restaurant, 2220 Pine Ave., Niagara Falls.

At 6:30 p.m. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio marches in the Park Slope Halloween Parade, 7th Avenue and 14th Street to Washington Park, Brooklyn.

At 7 p.m., Moss attends the “Tagsylvania” Halloween celebration, 3037 State Route 352, Big Flats.


An accurate assessment of last night’s AG debate: “They ran past their allotted speaking times. They traded accusations. They interrupted one another. And occasionally they erupted into heated bickering.”

Another take: “Trading insults, invective and the occasional idea, the two major-party candidates for New York State attorney general met in their only debate on Thursday night, sharply clashing over ethics and transparency while displaying what seemed to be an unvarnished distaste for each other.”

The two bickered about ties to lobbyists and major interests – Republican John Cahill’s work as an energy lawyer and Democratic incumbent Schneiderman’s use of political consultant (and his ex-wife) Jennifer Cunningham, whose firm represents lobbying clients—and the state’s gun control law.

After the debate, Cahill caught up on BuzzFeed quizzes, which he appeared not to know existed during the lightning round.

Mirroring their rise in federal elections, super PACs are playing a larger role than ever in state races in New York. Outside groups have spent about $13 million this year in key Senate contests, records show, making them major players in races from Long Island to Buffalo that could determine the balance of power in the capital.

Critics are taking Cuomo’s recent political attacks on unionized teachers as the strongest evidence yet he is working toward a Republican-led State Senate, despite of his pledge to help Democrats win the chamber.

Mayor Stephanie Miner said Syracuse leaders will put a proposal before Cuomo by Thanksgiving for a state-funded economic development program on par with the “Buffalo Billion” the governor’s high profile initiative in Western New York.

Appearing at a rally for Cuomo in NYC yesterday, former President Clinton said the governor “has made this a more progressive, more fair, more forward-looking state, and it’s turned out to be good for the economy.” He called Astorino an “ultra conservative.”

More >

TWC News/Siena College Poll: NY-18 Tightens

The rematch for the 18th congressional district in the Hudson Valley between incumbent Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney and Republican former Rep. Nan Hayworth is expected to be a close one.

An exclusive Time Warner Cable News/Siena College poll shows Maloney leading Hayworth by 5 percentage points in the final days before Election Day.

The poll found Maloney with 49 percent of the vote to Hayworth’s 44 percent of the vote.

In September, Maloney had a more comfortable cushion, 50 percent to 42 percent.

Despite Maloney’s endorsements from GOP state lawmakers — including state Sens. Bill Larkin and Greg Ball — Hayworth is gaining in support from Republican voters.

Hayworth receives support from 73 percent of registered Republicans, with 19 percent backing Maloney. Among Democrats, Maloney leads 83 percent to 12 percent. The two are narrowly divided on independent voters, with 46 percent breaking for Maloney with 47 percent supporting Hayworth.

Meanwhile, the race for governor is tightening in the 18th congressional district as well. Governor Andrew Cuomo last month lead Republican Rob Astorino by 5 percentage points. Now, the two are in a virtual dead heat, though Astorino continues to suffer from a high unfavorable rating.

The poll found Cuomo with 44 percent of the vote, compared to 43 percent for Astorino. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins receives 8 percent of the vote.

The poll of 682 likely voters has a margin of error of three point eight percentage points. It was conducted from Oct. 24 through Oct. 27.

CD181014 Crosstabs by Nick Reisman


The state Democratic Party is writing to registered Democrats telling them that unnamed organizations are monitoring their neighborhood’s election turnout and the party will want an explanation if they don’t cast a ballot.

Senate Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins sidestepped questions about whether NYSUT’s battered woman to knock Republicans was inappropriate.

A day after appearing in person with GOP Rep. Michael Grimm, Cuomo endorsed the congressman’s Democratic opponent, former NYC Councilman Domenic Recchia, but has not plans to campaign for him.

GOP LG candidate Chris Moss said Cuomo’s campaign’s criticism of Astorino over a Westchester County housing dispute is the “pot calling the kettle black.”

“I would say to fellow African-Americans…remember it’s Andrew Cuomo who screwed up Carl McCall’s run for governor and who stepped in the way of David Paterson,” Moss said. (Paterson rebuked the sheriff for his comments).

Errol Louis laments the governor’s unwillingness to debate, saying: “Few politicians in recent memory have gone as far as Cuomo to duck a true accounting of his record.”

El Diario endorsed AG Eric Schneiderman.

The Niagara Gazette endorsed Republican AG candidate John Cahill.

The Onondaga County Board of Elections will try out new electronic poll book technology at polling places visited by about 3,000 voters in Syracuse and DeWitt in Tuesday’s election.

The state has added Erie County Medical Center and Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo to the initial list of 10 hospitals designated to care for patients potentially afflicted with Ebola, joining two other upstate facilities.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has announced a plan in accordance with President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge, which calls on addressing persistent opportunity gaps faced by young men of color in order to help them reach their full potential.

Brooklyn Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Sen. Liz Krueger, Brooklyn BP Eric Adams, Brooklyn and Queens Councilman Antonio Reynoso and former Brooklyn Councilman Lew Fidler joined activists in protesting Prop. 1.

Cuomo’s plan to make New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport more passenger-friendly by cutting out most cargo facilities risks backfiring, a shipping-industry group and analysts say.

Ben Smith explains explains why BuzzFeed News is investing so heavily in “putting great, experienced reporters around the world, doubling our foreign desk to more than a dozen correspondents.”

RIP former Boston Mayor Tom Menino, who died from cancer at the age of 71.

Past and current lawmakers – including the president – offered tributes to Menino.

Taylor Swift’s new gig as New York City’s global tourism ambassador is getting a Bronx cheer from locals who questioned her street cred and mocked the videos she made for the city’s tourism agency, NYC & Co.

Paterson, Donohue Knock Astorino, Name-Check Walker

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the public-employee unions haven’t seen eye-to-eye over the last four years.

But as Rob Astorino, his Republican opponent, makes a play for state workers and teachers, there’s some push back from the Cuomo camp.

And the message was clear: While they may not like Cuomo, Astorino would be worse.

In two separate statements blasting Astorino, the name of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was invoked.

First was Civil Service Employees Association President Danny Donohue — who called the governor earlier this year a “moron” and a “monkey” — knocking Astorino’s kind words for state workers the other day on the radio.

“Working New Yorkers should also remember that Astorino celebrated his candidacy this summer with a fund-raising event featuring the governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker – hardly a way to make friends
and influence working people,” Donohue said in a statement. “Campaigns are the silly season, but no one should be foolish enough to believe political rhetoric without some reality check.”

CSEA has not endorsed in the race for governor, but the union also stayed on the sidelines during Cuomo’s Democratic primary. The Public Employees Federation, a white-collar labor union, backed Cuomo’s opponent, Zephyr Teachout.

Meanwhile, as Cuomo’s war of words escalates with the teachers union, former Gov. David Paterson, now the party chairman, released a letter directed to teachers (not the union).

In the letter, Paterson insists Cuomo remains supportive of public education and it will be a “top priority.” Cuomo this week called public education a “monopoly” he plans to break with support for charter schools.

Paterson, too, name-checked Walker in his letter.

“Rob Astorino brought Scott Walker to New York for an Astorino fundraiser and said Walker has set the model that New York should follow,” Paterson writes. “He believes the public unions are the heart of the state’s problems. So he wants to roll back public employees and teachers’ rights.”

Updated: Astorino campaign spokeswoman Jessica Proud responds.

“We’re glad that Mr. Donohue wants to deal with reality, so here are the facts: As County Executive, Rob was endorsed by 7 of the 8 public employees unions and 39 of the 40 trade unions. As a former school board member who is a product of public schools and whose three children all attend public schools, he has always been a fierce advocate for a strong public education system. It’s unfortunate that Mr. Donohue is now being used as an attack dog for a governor he labeled a monkey and has demonstrated such disdain for public workers.”

Open Letter to Teachers by Nick Reisman

Poll Shows Stefanik Lead Growing

Republican congressional hopeful Elise Stefanik extended her lead from last month over Democratic opponent Aaron Woolf in the 21st congressional district, according to a Harper Polling survey.

The poll, conducted by Harper Polling, found Stefanik leading Woolf 47 percent to 33 percent, with Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello receiving 14 percent of the vote. Funiciello is gaining with registered Democrats, where he receives 14 percent of their support, up from 7 percent last month.

Meanwhile, the poll found Stefanik has a 54 percent favorable rating, compared to a 38 percent unfavorable rating.

A Siena College poll released earlier this week showed Stefanik leading Woolf 50 percent to 33 percent, with Funiciello receiving 11 percent of the overall vote.

The 21st congressional district is currently represented by Democrat Bill Owens, who is retiring at the end of the year.

HP 14 10 NY 21 Memo.pdf by Nick Reisman

New TV Ad Buy Will Target Tkaczyk

The Republican-backed super PAC Balance New York plans to spend $125,000 on a television ad campaign opposing Democratic Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, records filed with the state Board of Elections show.

The group has raised $1.4 million from the Republican Leadership Committee, a Washington-based group that is involved in state level campaigns, as well as from hedge-fund manager Paul Singer.

The TV ad buy in the 46th Senate district comes after Balance New York received a $100,000 cash infusion from the Republican Leadership Committee on Wednesday.

Balance New York is one of several independent expenditure campaigns that have been targeting Democratic incumbents or candidates. The group has been active in Senate races in the Rochester area, Long Island and in the Hudson Valley.

Earlier today, the New York State United Teachers union, which has been supportive of Senate Democrats, filed for a $150,000 TV ad purchase in the 46th Senate district.

Women’s Equality Party TV Ad: Let’s Get To 50K Votes

A television ad from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign is pushing voters to back his re-election on the Women’s Equality Party ballot line in order to give it automatic ballot status in the next election cycle.

The ad will air starting Friday through Election Day.

The ad comes as the Working Families Party is making a concerted effort to get voters to back Gov. Andrew Cuomo on their ballot line, even as the labor-backed party is feuding with the governor over his recent public education comments that were critical of the state teachers union.

“It won’t take much — just 50,000 of us to be precise,” the ad’s female narrator says. “50,000 to vote the Women’s Equality Party Nov. 4. Your candidates on our party. 50,000 votes. One voice. Real change.”

The 30-second spot doesn’t dwell on Cuomo much and briefly shows his image, along with Kathy Hochul, his running mate.

WFP leaders are pushing voters to back Cuomo as a way to send him a message about liberal dissatisfaction with his first term, leading to speculation the party could lose its ballot position or overall ballot status next week.

Cuomo created the women’s-centric ballot line over the summer as a way to promote the 10-point Women’s Equality Act, which has stalled in Albany over a provision aimed at codifying Roe v. Wade.

But party is expected to compete with the WFP for votes next week. Its formation also came after Cuomo had to make an effort to secure the WFP endorsement over Zephyr Teachout, who went on to challenge him in a Democratic primary.