Duffy Defends Cuomo After NYT Endorsement Snub

Outgoing Lt. Gov. Bob Duffy defended Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s record over the last four years on Wednesday, saying the incumbent Democrat doesn’t take enough credit for his successes during the first term.

Duffy was reacting to a question about The New York Times’ editorial board declining to endorse in the primary campaign between Cuomo and Fordham Law School Professor Zephyr Teachout.

The editorial board concluded that while it couldn’t endorse Cuomo based on his lack of strengthening ethics in Albany, Teachout was too inexperienced for the post (This led Gawker to declare The Times is just as “cowardly and corrupt” as Cuomo).

“Endorsements — those are opinions of people,” Duffy said at a ribbon cutting ceremony in Binghatmon. “I can’t speak to opinions, but I can speak to facts. I’m not sure what criteria they use.”

Referring to the recent construction at SUNY Binghamton, Duffy praised Cuomo’s handling of the job.

“I’ve seen first hand what he’s done,” Duffy said. “I don’t think he takes enough credit for what he does do.”

Duffy is not running for re-election this year, vacating the number two spot on the ticket in favor of former Rep. Kathy Hochul.

The former Rochester mayor pointed back to 2011, when Cuomo push for, and won, the passage of same-sex marriage legalization in the state.

“I go back to year one with marriage equality and right forward to see some of the things he’s led. So I can’t speak to their criteria, but I’ll defend my governor any day of the week with what he’s done,” Duffy said. “I’m not in office next year, so this is Bob Duffy’s opinion. It’s my opinion now, it’s my opinion next year.”

Nader To Campaign For Hawkins

Former presidential candidate and consumer advocate Ralph Nader will campaign next month in Albany with Green Party gubernatorial hopeful Howie Hawkins.

Nader is due to speak at the Unitarian Church in Albany on Sept. 14 at 4:30, organizers announced.

A donation of $20 is suggested, or $10 for students and the low-income.

In addition to appearing with Hawkins, Nader will also travel about one hour north to appear alongside congressional hopeful Matt Funiciello, one of three candidates running for the NY-21 being vacated by Democratic Rep. Bill Owens.

Hawkins ran for governor in 2010 and achieved automatic ballot status for the Green Party this election cycle.

Cuomo’s 24-Hour Notices Roll In

This week began the official start of 24-hour notices for candidates and committees involved in primary campaigns.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election campaign reported to the state Board of Elections $54,500 in contributions over a 24-hour period.

Those donors include a Long Island-based development company that contributed $10,000 and a $14,500 contribution from Jay Snyder, a businessman and Democratic donor who served on Cuomo’s transition team.

Cuomo this month reported $32.4 million in cash on hand.

Along with his running mate, former Rep. Kathy Hochul, Cuomo faces a primary on Sept. 9 from Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor. Also on the ballot is Randy Credico, a comedian and political activist.

Meanwhile, the national office of the Communications Workers of America pumped $398,700 into the political action committee of its New York affiliate, one of the key labor unions in the state.

State Regulators To Investigate TWC Outage

State regulators will investigate Wednesday morning’s nationwide Internet outage that impacted more than 11 million Time Warner Cable customers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.

The investigation, to be conducted by the state Department of Public Service, will be part of a larger review of the company’s merger with Comcast.

Time Warner Cable is the parent company of Time Warner Cable News and its sister station, NY1.

“I have directed the New York State Department of Public Service to investigate this outage as part of its review of Comcast’s proposed merger with Time Warner,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The Department will also review whether the outage affected Time Warner’s provision of telephone service in any way. In addition, the Department will include its analysis of this event in its ongoing study of the telecom industry, which is exploring potential changes to the regulatory landscape pertaining to telephone, internet and cable.”

Cuomo earlier this year asked state regulators to review the proposed merger with Comcast, which would create the nation’s largest cable and Internet provider, especially with respect to its impact on broadband access.

“Dependable internet service is a vital link in our daily lives and telecommunications companies have a responsibility to deliver reliable service to their customers,” Cuomo said.

The call for the investigation comes as the primary opponents of both Cuomo and his running mate, Rep. Kathy Hochul, Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu, have made an issue out of the cable merger especially with respect to the concept of “net neutrality.”

The outage began at 4:30 this morning during routine maintenance, the company said. By the 6 a.m. hour, services were mostly restored, according to the company.

Schneiderman 2014 Video Highlights Foreclosure Help

A video from the re-election campaign of Democratic Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released Wednesday points to his office’s work on providing legal aid to homeowners facing foreclosure.

Today’s video, the third in a series of online profiles released by the campaign, highlights I-Asia White, a Troy resident whose home was facing foreclosure following her daughter’s medical expenses made it difficult to keep up with mortgage payments.

White says she was able to avoid foreclosure and keep her home after receiving legal assistance and counseling from the AG’s office.

“I was able to get legal assistance and homeowner counseling. I am truly thankful and grateful for Eric Schneiderman, because without his program, I would not be in my home today,” she says in the video.

The consumer and homeowner relief aspect of the attorney general’s office is one of those bread-and-butter topics the Schneiderman campaign has been seeking to highlight in the incumbent Democrat’s efforts to win a second term.

He faces former Pataki aide John Cahill this November.

GOP Candidates May Decline ‘Life And Justice’ Ballot Line

Item III in today’s Morning Memo:

With the exception of gubernatorial hopeful Rob Astorino, the statewide Republican candidates were added to an independent ballot line created by Michael Carey, a well-known Albany-area advocate for the developmentally disabled.

The move, on the surface, was seemingly surprising and mystifying. Even the camapigns themselves were taken off guard.

Carey is running for governor under the Life and Justice Party, a ballot line he formed with political activist Carl Gottstein, who is also running on the line for state Assembly.

The ballot line’s issues are two-fold: Greater oversight and beefed-up reporting for centers that treat the developmentally disabled and staunch opposition to abortion.

Carey rose to prominence at the Capitol for advocating for the passage of Jonathan’s Law – a measure named after his late son who died in the care of state-run facility. He has been deeply unhappy with measures approved since Jonathan’s Law was approved, most notably the Justice Center, saying that it lacks the direct reporting to law enforcement that is vital to protecting the state’s most vulnerable.

“We are calling upon all politicians also involved, no matters what political party affiliation, to turn from these ways as well that have helped lead us into moral decline in New York State more than ever before,” Carey told reporters at the Capitol recently. “We believe God wants to turn our state around, but we must STOP the shedding of innocent blood and protect our innocent unborn and most vulnerable amongst us.”

Records posted on the state Board of Elections website show Republicans Chris Moss, Astorino’s choice for lieutenant governor, as well as attorney general candidate John Cahill and comptroller hopeful Bob Antonacci were added to the ballot line.

A Republican familiar with what happened says the candidates were added to the ballot line without asking and plan to decline accepting it.

It’s probably a wise move. Democrats, eyeing public opinion polls, have also formed their own line aimed at women’s issues and running on a ballot line emphasizing abortion opposition would be a difficult lift in this Democratic-dominated state.

Republicans this year have formed the Stop Common Core ballot line, which is meant to draw in voters from across the political spectrum opposed or concerned to the education standards.

Woolf Won’t Choose Sides in Gubernatorial Primary

From today’s Morning Memo:

Aaron Woolf, the Democratic candidate seeking to replace retiring Rep. Bill Owens in NY-21, declined yesterday to choose a favorite in the upcoming Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Asked if he would be supporting either Gov. Andrew Cuomo or his challenger, Fordham Law School Prof. Zephyr Teachout, Woolf replied:

“I’m going, I’m going to reserve…just as I sought support from many colleagues when there was a possibility of me having a primary and they refused to comment, I think we’ll let the democratic process play out.”

Woolf has drawn some criticism in his successful push to toss his own primary challenger, Stephen Burke, off the Sept. 9 ballot, paying an attorney with ties to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to assist in that effort.

Given his New York City roots and background as a documentary filmmaker focusing on issues like big agriculture, the automotive industry and human trafficking, Woolf might seem like someone who would support Teachout in her long-shot bid to upset Cuomo. Woolf is also a political outsider who has never before run for elected office – much like Teachout herself.

But Teachout is running to Cuomo’s left, and Woolf is trying to position himself as a centrist in a district that – before Owens’ surprise victory in a 2009 special election – was viewed as a GOP stronghold.

The district has a considerable GOP enrollment edge, with 181,832 Republicans to 127,262 Democrats and 90,227 so-called “blanks” who are not affiliated with any political party. Woolf has his own challenger on the left, the Green Party’s Matt Funiciello.

The NRCC has recently been trying to boost Funiciello, highlighting his candidacy in an attempt to bring down support for Woolf and assist the Republican/Conservative in the race, Elise Stefanik.

Allying himself with Cuomo might not be such a great idea for Woolf, either, even though the governor did fairly well in the North Country in 2010 and has been working hard to boost his numbers there ever since (pushing particularly hard when it comes to helping the tourism industry in the Adirondack Park).

Opposition to Cuomo’s controversial gun control law the SAFE Act gets stronger the further north (and west) of Albany you travel, and the rural areas continue to trend Republican, though their vote hasn’t been strong enough to counter Democrat-dominated NYC’s clout.

President Obama carried NY-21 by six points over Mitt Romney in 2012 – two points higher than the president’s national margin.

But the race between Cuomo and his GOP opponent, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, isn’t competitive enough to draw anywhere near the kind of turnout a presidential race does, so Woolf is fighting an uphill battle – especially with Funiciello in the race, potential drawing votes away from him to Stefanik’s advantage, (though that’s definitely not how Funiciello sees it).

Here and Now

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

AT 8:30 a.m., Democratic gubernatorial candidate Zephyr Teachout and running mate Tim Wu hold a press conference to launch a “whistleblower tour” at the foot of luxury tower One57, 157 West 57th St., New York

At 11 a.m., LG Bob Duffy delivers remarks at Binghamton University’s Smart Energy Research and Development facility groundbreaking, Binghamton University, Innovative Technologies Complex, 85 Murray Hill Rd., Vestal.

Also at 11 a.m., Rep. Michael Grimm will host a press conference at the home of Staten Island Sandy victim, Kathleen Cole, to highlight failures of NYC’s “Build it Back” program, 1178 Mason Ave., Staten Island.

Also at 11 a.m., GOP gubernatorial candidate/Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will attend the New York State Fair with his wife, Sheila, three children and Senator John DeFrancisco, 581 State Fair Blvd., Syracuse.

At 11:30 a.m., Chemung County Sheriff and GOP LG candidate Chris Moss joins Port Chester Mayor Neil Pagano and Trustee Joseph Kenner to visit the Port Chester Senior Center, 222 Grace Church St., Port Chester.

Also at 11:30 a.m., Democratic LG candidate Kathy Hochul visits the Northwest Buffalo Community Center with Erie County Legislator Peter Savage, 155 Lawn St., Buffalo.

Also at 11:30 a.m., GOP AG candidate John Cahill calls on Democratic AG Eric Schneiderman to “come clean” on his role in the Moreland Commission mess, AG’s Buffalo Regional Office, Main Place Tower 350 Main St., Buffalo.

At noon, Hochul and Savage visit the North Buffalo Community Center, 203 Sanders Rd., Buffalo.

Also at noon, while calling for MTA officials to take further steps to reduce subway noise and vibrations, Assemblyman William Colton discusses provisions of his transit noise abatement legislation passed Monday, June 9, but not signed by the governor to date; 2050 Stillwell Ave., Brooklyn.

Also at noon, NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, joined by the executive director of the Children’s Environmental Literary Foundation, Katie I. Ginsberg, speaks to about 60 public school teachers during a training program about including environmental lessons in classwork; room DE, 19th floor, United Federation of Teachers, 52 Broadway, Manhattan.

At 12:15 p.m., Moss tours Port Chester Main Street area with Mayor Pagano and Trustee Kenner, Main Street, Port Chester.

Also at 12:15 p.m., NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio makes an announcement, NYCHA Lincoln Houses, 60 East 135th St., Manhattan.

At 1:30 p.m., Tachout and Wu visit fracking wells in Pennsylvania, meet at Price Chopper, 16750 Pennsylvania 706, Montrose, PA. There will also be “whiteblower tour” stops in Binghamton, Buffalo, Elmira, and Goshen (at 11 a.m.)

At 3 p.m., Hochul tours the Midtown Rising Redevelopment Project with LG Bob Duffy and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren, corner of Clinton and Broad streets, Rochester.

At 4:30 p.m., Moss walks door-to-door with state Senate candidate Sue Serino, Poughkeepsie.

At 5:30 p.m., Cahill attends an Erie County GOP fundraiser, Osteria 166, 166 Franklin St., Buffalo.

At 6 p.m., de Blasio delivers renarks at the West Indian American and Caribbean American Heritage Reception 2014, Gracie Mansion, 88th Street and East End Avenue, Manhattan.

At 6:30 p.m., Moss attends and speaks at Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor’s Campaign Kickoff Dinner, The Blue Fountain, 826 Route 376, Hopewell Junction.

Also at 6:30 p.m., Hochul addresses Erie County Democratic leaders, 701 Seneca St., 2nd floor, Buffalo.

Headlines:

In a rebuke to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for failing to deliver on reform promises, the New York Times issued no endorsement in the upcoming gubernatorial primary.

Teachout: “Cuomo likes to present himself as a can-do guy, someone who will twist arms hard to fix a problem. But apparently, whenever Christie is in the room and New York infrastructure is at stake, Cuomo sits silent as our state gets rolled.”

Though it provided a forum for her comments, the DN makes clear it disagrees with Teachout on the now-defunct (killed by Christie) ARC project.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton’s job approval rating has dropped sharply in the aftermath of the chokehold death of Eric Garner, while NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s has stayed steady, a new Q poll found.

The debate over debates continues, and it is not limited to Cuomo and his primary opponent, Teachout.

Former NYC Comptroller John Liu filed a state Board of Elections complaint about campaign mailings sent by a PAC controlled by IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

Klein and his primary opponent, former NYC Councilman Oliver Koppell, sparred during a NY1 debate.

More >

Date Set for NY-21 Debate

Our debate between the three candidates in the 21st Congressional District will be October 8. Republican Elise Stefanik, Democrat Aaron Woolf, and Green Party candidate Matt Funiciello have all agreed to participate. Stefanik is a former Bush White House aide, Woolf is a documentary filmmaker, and Funiciello owns a bakery. The three are running for the North Country seat held by Rep. Bill Owens. Owens won the seat in a 2009 special election, making him the first Democrat to represent the region in over a century. But he decided earlier this year not to seek another term. It’s the largest geographic district in the state, and the debate will air at 7pm on TWC News in the Capital Region, Northern New York, and Central New York and online at twcnews.com.
The race will also be featured in our Fight for the House series airing this week on Capital Tonight.

Extras

A new Q poll says New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s approval rating has held steady despite a tumultuous summer for the Big Apple.

Black voters continue to like the mayor more than white voters.

Rob Astorino’s campaign said Castle Cable has agreed to pull the ads that the GOP gubernatorial candidate deemed grossly misleading, from its airwaves.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. makes a cameo in a Spanish-language TV ad for IDC Leader Jeff Klein.

Two New York congressmen won’t have opponents this fall: Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel and Republican Rep. Richard Hanna.

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s effort to get Hillary Clinton on the record on Ferguson can in many ways be traced back to Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign.

A group dedicated to defending Clinton’s record ahead of a possible 2016 presidential bid used Women’s Equality Day to tout her record of promoting women.

Congrats to GOP NY-4 candidate Bruce Blakeman, who got engaged during a trip to Israel.

Sergeants Benevolent Association President Ed Mullins castigated de Blasio and his bid to  host the 2016 Democratic National Convention in open letter to the New York Times.

Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos celebrated Happy National Dog Day by posting a photo of his canine companion, Rocky, on Twitter.

Though she often voted with the House GOP majority while in Congress, Kathy Hochul’s former liberal colleagues are coming to her defense as she runs for LG.

DCCC Chair Steve Israel is promising an unprecedented effort to drive out GOP Rep. Michael Grimm and elect his Democratic rival, former NYC Councilman Domenic Recchia.

Atlanta-based IFS Securities hired former Gov. David Paterson as chief strategist of U.S. affairs and chairman of the firm’s advisory board.

Actor Alec Baldwin attended the New York State Fair today to support his mother’s Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Fund.

Rep. Pete King said he and Paterson were touring a damaged home in an Israeli border town when “suddenly the sirens went off” and they were forced to run for cover.

The de Blasio administration has reached a deal to settle the $35 million gender discrimination lawsuit filed by school safety agents.

A vote today on whether to dissolve the WNY Village of Wilson is expected to be close.

“Gasland” producer Josh Fox is backing Democrat Zephyr Teachout for governor.

Success Academy C.E.O. Eva Moskowitz is the subject of a glowing seven-page profile in MORE Magazine, which celebrates women “of style and substance.”

NY1 anchor and theater critic Roma Torre has been diagnosed with colon cancer and will be taking a leave of absence from the news station for surgery and treatment.

After an emergency C-section at the State Fair’s Dairy Cow Birthing Center, PETA now demands that the exhibit be replaced with a more realistic representation of the birthing process on farms.

Thruway Authority spokesman Dan Weiller had a bad experience at a Subway in Bushnell’s Basin.