Attorney General

Rice Concedes To Schneiderman

Shortly before Eric Schneiderman took the stage to thank his supporters, a source tells YNN/NY1 that Kathleen Rice called him to concede in the heated Democratic primary for Attorney General.

Rice later released a statement–indicating she has no intention of challenging Tuesday/Wednesday’s result.

“I congratulate State Senator Eric Schneiderman for his success tonight and look forward to helping ensure that the Office of the Attorney General stays in Democratic hands,” Rice said in a statement early Wednesday morning.

“There were always more similarities than differences between the five Democrats who vied heartily for this office, and now is the time for party unity to ensure that the principle we all hold dear – that government is a force for good in people’s lives – continues to thrive in the people’s lawyer.

Running for statewide office has indeed been like running a marathon, but I’m privileged to have a job I love, and tomorrow I’ll be at work in the district attorney’s office fighting Nassau County’s most serious problems with more energy than ever.

I’m grateful to my family, friends and supporters for everything they’ve done for me, and look forward to building upon the relationships we’ve forged in the days ahead.”

Koch For Donovan

The big endorsement teased earlier today by Staten Island DA Dan Donovan’s campaign is former NYC Mayor Ed Koch, two sources with knowledge of the announcement confirm.

Koch, of course, is a Democrat and Donovan is a Republican – a fact I’m sure the DA’s campaign is going to try to spin as proof of his ability to appeal to voters across party lines, particularly more conservative upstate Democrats and small-i independents.

This line of reasoning could play well if the winner of today’s five-way Democratic AG primary is Sen. Eric Schneiderman, who members of his own party – including, reportedly, gubernatorial frontrunner Andrew Cuomo – worry is too liberal to play upstate and therefore vulnerable to losing to Donovan.

However, Koch isn’t exactly your dyed-in-the-wool Democrat. He has a history of endorsing Republicans – most notably former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former US Sen. Al D’Amato, former Gov. George Pataki for Governor, President George W. Bush and Mayor Bloomberg (who used to be a Democrat, to be fair, and is now a blank).

Also, remember that Bloomberg is a big Donovan backer, and Koch is a big Bloomberg backer. He also has a show – “The Voice of Reason” – on Bloomberg radio.

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Donovan Looks Ahead

No rest for the politically weary.

Whichever of the five Democratic AG contenders wins tonight better be ready to hit the ground running, because the lone GOP candidate, Staten Island DA Dan Donovan, isn’t planning on giving that person a rest before swinging right into the general election campaign.

At 11 a.m. tomorrow, Donovan’s campaign will make “a major endorsement announcement” on the steps of City Hall in Lower Manhattan.

(All we’ve been told so far is that it’s neither former Gov. George Pataki nor Mayor Bloomberg, who got a little testy when explaining to reporters why he broke his pledge to only endorse one statewide candidate – GOP/Conservative hopeful Harry Wilson – this fall).

Also, Donovan’s campaign has been forwarding around the file that appears below (it’s also on his campaign Website). It features quotes from talking heads – including our own Bob Hardt – about the DA’s strength as a candidate and how the Democrats might have trouble taking him on.

(I believe all these comments were made during the roundtable discussion on NY1 following the Democratic AG debate).

Donovan – Formidable

Brodsky, Wood Chopper

Here’s Assemblyman Richard Brodsky explaining after voting (he didn’t think much of the so-called “privacy booth”) how the “political class” – himself included – is out of touch with regular New Yorkers and seems to be “talking over” them.

He also talks about his unique way of relaxing on the day of an election.

Negative? Who, Me?

Here’s Sen. Eric Schneiderman, with his daughter, Catherine, telling reporters after he voted on the Upper West Side earlier today that the public hasn’t been focused on the negative turn the Democratic AG primary took toward the end of the campaign.

“There’s really a small amount of negativity sprinkled around what really has been a very substantive campaign,” insisted the Manhattan lawmaker, whose campaign traded barbs in the mail, on the phone and on the airwaves over the past week.

“The debates have been great, and I think you’ve got five good candidates for the public to choose from. I’m confident that we’re going well, and I’m looking forward to success today. But this has really been a great campaign.”

1199’s Last-Minute Mail

SEIU 1199 is pulling out all the stops for Sen. Eric Schneiderman’s AG bid, dropping this last mailer – a GOTV piece – that highlights his “justice for all” message in advance of today’s primary.

All told, the health care workers union sent six pieces of Schneiderman mail to its members (275,000 statewide). There’s also been a door knocking and live phone operation for the Manhattan lawmaker. The union’s volunteers are will be out in full force today, pulling voters to the polls in NYC (the main focus), but also on Long Island and in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.


Coffey (Now) Takes The High Road

AG contender Sean Coffey, who has been uber-aggressive in debates and interviews leading up to the Democratic AG primary, is now taking two of his opponents to task for going negative, accusing them of stooping to the “kind of childish behavior (that) is unfortunately though understandably what voters have come to expect from their politicians.”

(Because that’s not a dig or anything).

To Coffey’s credit, while he has been quite critical of his fellow AG contenders, he hasn’t so far (at least not that I know of) sent out any mail or released attack ads. Anyway, the rest of his statement is as follows:

“Tomorrow, amid all the name-calling and mud-slinging, voters will have a chance to speak. They won’t shout or scream – they’ll simply take a few moments from their busy lives to walk into a voting booth and cast their votes.”

“Ultimately, it’s their voice that counts. Because what my opponents fail to realize, even at this late stage in their political careers, is that the conversations we have about reform, keeping communities safe and policing Wall Street must always be about people – not politics.”

“I’m proud of the campaign I’ve run. As the newest voice in this race for Attorney General, I’ve used my time and resources to talk directly with voters about my plans to clean up corruption rampant throughout state government, protect Main Street by policing Wall Street and keeping our communities safe. ”

“I believe Democrats are responding and will join me in this pivotal election tomorrow to send an adult to Albany as Attorney General. I ask for their vote.”

Correction Officers For Schneiderman, Troopers For Rice (Updated)

Sean Coffey is not the only Democratic AG candidate landing last-minute labor support.

On the heels of the Coffey campaign’s announcement that he had landed the backing of the NYC and state professional firefighers’ unions comes word from Sen. Eric Schneiderman’s camp that he has received an eleventh-hour nod from the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association.

“The Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association, the second largest law enforcement union in New York City, is happy to endorse Senator Eric Schneiderman for New York State Attorney General in the Democratic Primary,” COBA President Norman Seabrook said in a no-frills statement released by the Manhattan lawmaker’s campaign.

(It’s worth noting here that the state Correction Officers PBS gave Scheniderman a last-minute cash infusion of $20,000 on Sept. 9).

The Schneiderman campaign is spinning this endorsement as proof that there is support in the law enforcement community for the senator’s “smart-on-crime” (as opposed to tough-on-crime, which is Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice’s tagline) approach.

In addition, his campaign argues this is a blow to Rice, since she’s the only DA candidate in the Democratic field. UPDATE: Meanwhile, Rice got some law enforcement support of her own today in the form of endorsements from the New York State Troopers PBA (5,900 members), and the Nassau County Sherrif Officers Association (1,110 members).

Statements after the jump.

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Batman (AKA Adam West): Keep Gotham City Safe With Coffey

Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice has John Slattery of “Mad Men”. Assemblyman Richard Brodsky has folk legend Pete Seeger. Eric Dinallo has actor John Leguizamo. Sen. Eric Schneiderman has Cynthia Nixon of “Sex and the City” and Alec Baldwin.

And now Sean Coffey has…Batman, or, more specifically, Adam West, the man best known for playing the caped crusader in the 1960s TV series. He has recorded the following robocall for Coffey:

“Hello, this is Adam West – the classic Batman – calling to remind you that when you vote for Attorney General this Tuesday, you need to vote for my longtime friend, Democrat Sean Coffey. I know a thing or two about keeping Gotham City safe, and it’s easy to say that Sean Coffey is the best crime-fighter running for attorney general.”

“Sean is an independent voice who wants to fight those villains in Albany. To help him defeat the corruption, we must all do our part and vote for Sean Coffey for Attorney General in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, September 14th. Thank you. This is not a paid political announcement.”

This has a very high kitsch factor. but I’m not sure how many Democrats will be motivated to go to the polls by hearing from West, who, according to a September article in Senior Magazine (yes, the original Batman is a senior citizen), lives in Idaho.

‘Kathy’ Rice Robo: Schniederman Calls ‘Nasty, Personal, And False’

Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice’s campaign opted for an anonymous woman named “Kathy” to respond to robocalls sent out by Sen. Eric Schneiderman’s campaign that attacked her past Republican registration, record on Rockefeller Drug Law reform and firing of women who had been working part-time in the DA’s office.

Here’s the script:

“Hi. This is Kathy. You may have received a phone call from state Senator Eric Schneiderman slinging mud at Kathleen Rice. These calls are nasty, personal and false. Unfortunately, that’s what career politicians like Eric Schneiderman do when they’re losing – they sling mud. Kathleen is not a career politician. She’s a prosecutor with the kind of experience we need as our next attorney general. Please, vote Tuesday for Kathleen Rice for attorney general. “

Oddly, “Kathy” makes no mention of the fact that Rice is a Democrat, as most of these robos have been doing by saying something along the lines of: “Vote (candidate X), Democrat, for state attorney general.” A sort of strange thing to overlook, given the fact that Rice’s last registration has come under fire…