Kathy Hochul

Hochul Tired Of People Making Comments About The Appearance Of Powerful Women

From the Morning Memo:

A tweet from Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul is going viral.

Hochul has been documenting her busy schedule traveling across the state this year with the hashtag #HowSheDoesIt. However, Wednesday she posted a video discussing something that bothers her during those travels.

The lieutenant governor said recently a male elected official told her she looked like she gained a few pounds but “that was good because she was too skinny before.” Not surprisingly that didn’t go over well.

Hochul said she often is told she looks better in person than on television or people make comments on how tired or awake she appears. She said she drinks plenty of cucumber water and puts cucumbers on her eyes.

“I was trying to make light of the fact that someone just had made a comment this week and I said, ‘You know there’s a lot of women who can relate to this,” Hochul said.

Beauty tips aside, the lieutenant governor said that wasn’t the point. Rather she said any woman in politics or other high-profile positions consistently has to deal with comments on their appearances.

That’s what’s she’s actually tired of.

“A lot of women just want to be judged by their performance, how hard they work, how they value their jobs and let’s get to that place in society as well, so that’s what my message was,” Hochul said.

The video has been watched thousands of times and retweeted hundreds more.

LG Hochul “Very Confident” Voting Reform Coming ASAP

The Cuomo administration has made voting reform its first priority for this upcoming election.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, D-NY, doesn’t expect any hold up when it comes to getting a number of those bills passed. She told reporters in Buffalo to expect “robust reforms” to pass starting Monday.

“Oh I’m very confident,” she said. “I’m very confident.”

The LG said the first priorities of the Legislature will be to pass early voting. She expects the legislation will allow voters to case their ballots for at least ten days prior to the November election.

The September primary may soon be coming to an end, as well. Hochul said it doesn’t make sense to hold two primaries, a federal one in June, and state and locals three months later.

By moving everything to June, she said it will remove a costly burden for local boards of election and increase voter participation.

“It is disgraceful that we are one of the last states, the lowest performing states when it comes to voter participation,” she said.

Finally, she said “same day registration” will be among the early priorities. The measure she said will make it easier for everybody to vote.

She blamed the Legislature’s past inaction on the state Senate formerly controlled by Republicans.

“It’s been one of our highest priorities and now we have the votes we needed in the Senate,” Hochul said. “I believe it’s going to happen almost immediately. It’s one of our first priorities to get more participation in our democracy and make sure that there’s access to the ballot box.”

The lieutenant governor said other measures like voting by mail are in the administration’s sights, but will take a little bit longer because they need a constitutional amendment in order to become law.

Hochul Calls For Patience In NY-27 Race

From the Morning Memo:

The campaign for Rep. Chris Collins has called his Democratic opponent Nate McMurray’s refusal to concede the NY-27 race a desperate and futile exercise.

In fact, it has repeatedly pointed to the 2012 election in which then-incumbent Democratic Rep. Kathy Hochul, facing a similar vote deficit to Collins, did concede without delay.

Now-LG Kathy Hochul, however, seemed to have no issue with McMurray’s decision to wait until every ballot is counted.

“We can be patient,” she said. “No one gets sworn in as the next Congress person until January and let this process play out. It’s only fair to all the people who took the effort and the time to stand in line, often times, to get the absentee ballot.”

Hochul endorsed McMurray and campaigned vigorously on his behalf. She was asked yesterday if she was disappointed voters may have elected Collins despite the fact he faces a federal insider trading trial in 2020.

“I’m not going to question why voters do what they do,” Hochul said. “It is certainly their prerogative and that is what’s so great about America.”

“I certainly am surprised because I think this district really deserves to have someone who’s not going to be spending most of their time defending allegations of a federal crime that was committed in a very public way, literally on the White House lawn.”

The lieutenant governor was referring to video and photos of Collins on the phone at roughly the same time, the indictment alleged, he learned of privileged information about an Australian pharmaceutical company for which he owned stock, and apparently sharing that information with his son. The congressman has repeatedly called the charges meritless and said he believes he will be exonerated.

NY-27: Hochul Endorses McMurray, Predicts ‘Jail’ For Collins

The campaign for Democratic congressional candidate Nate McMurray scored a big endorsement Thursday morning.

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul has been open about her preference in New York’s 27th District, but formally announced her support for the candidate at a labor rally in the village of Blasdell. McMurray said it’s an important moment for his underdog campaign.

“A lot of people here trust her,” he said. “They know her name and to have someone like that endorse me and being by my side, it’s a big deal.”

It wasn’t that long ago, national Democrats and the governor were pushing behind the scenes for Hochul to replace McMurray on the ballot, an effort they both rejected. The lieutenant governor was the last Dem to hold the most Republican-leaning seat in the state – what was NY-26 before redistricting.

After it was redrawn even more favorably for the GOP, Hochul narrowly lost to Chris Collins in 2012. However, she said she believes there has always been a roadmap to a McMurray victory this year.

“I thought Nate could win regardless and I told him all along, I believe that the time is right for you to win. But God is looking down on this race because someone is getting his due once and for all,” she said.

Hochul pointed to her own win in September’s Democratic primary as a good sign for the McMurray. Across the eight counties in NY-27, Democratic turnout was significantly up from four years ago, and she believes those voters will turnout for the congressional race as well.

Aside from the oft-predicted “Blue Wave,” Hochul admitted Collins federal indictment for crimes related to insider trading has had an impact on the race. The endorsement comes on the same day, Collins attorneys were appearing in U.S. District Court in New York City for a hearing and Hochul, in a moment of candor, predicted an undesirable conclusion for her long-time nemesis.

“The individual that we’re running against is seriously ethically flawed and challenged and will be in jail, probably by the end of next year. That’s my guess, okay. I shouldn’t have said that but that’s alright,” she said.

McMurray wouldn’t go that far, pointing out Collins is innocent until proven guilty, but he believes the charges should have at least ended his opponent’s campaign. Regardless, he said the election is shifting in his direction with a strong fundraising showing for the third quarter and a recent internal poll indicating the race is a dead heat.

We’ve reached out to the Collins campaign for a statement in response to the endorsement.

Hochul Doesn’t Rule Out Supervised Injection Sites

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul did not rule out the creation of supervised injection sites in order to combat heroin and opioid addiction.

“This is also part of the all of the above approach,” she said in an interview on WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom on Monday. “We are leaving no stone unturned in our quest to find solutions.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has previously left the door open before on the issue amid calls from advocates and Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick to create the facilities. New York City signaled earlier this year it would move forward with a supervised injection program.

The state Department of Health in June moved to create regulations that would qualify opioid addiction for the state’s medical marijuana program.

“I think everything is worth looking at because we are in a very desperate situation,” Hochul said.

In Victory, Hochul Looks To End Upstate-Downstate Divide

From the Morning Memo:

It’s hard for an incumbent who spent nearly $2 million on a primary election to bill herself as an underdog, but that’s exactly how LG Kathy Hochul says she felt going into yesterday’s primary election.

Hochul was able to defeat Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams in large part thanks to a strong showing upstate, but she says she did better than people expected in the five boroughs of NYC. The LG says those votes were the result of lots of hard work and inroads she made downstate, despite coming from Western New York.

Hochul made clear that while she spent a lot of focus and time on NYC during the primary campaign, she’s now interested in unification.

“It’s a reminder that yes, while I have values that were steeled in me growing up here in Western New York, my values are the same as those in other parts of the state and that’s something we all need to remember,” the LG said.

“And stop this whole upstate-downstate divide, because we are stronger together, and that’s how I want to finish. I want to head into the November election united as a Democratic Party.”

That might be easier said than done given the dissatisfaction that was on display this primary season among members of the Democratic Party’s liberal wing, who supported actress-turned-activist Cynthia Nixon’s unsuccessful challenge to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and who backed insurgent challengers against former IDC members – six of eight of whom were defeated last night – despite a so-called “peace” agreement between the IDC and “regular” Democratic conference that was brokered by Cuomo.

Hochul did spend Election Day in Erie County, away from her running mate Cuomo, who preferred to spend election night holed up in the executive mansion in Albany and made no public appearances – despite his big win.

The lieutenant governor told reporters not to read anything into the fact that she and the governor, who made it clear early on in the campaign that he would have preferred to replace Hochul with someone else on the ticket, were separated by several hundred miles last night.

“We’ve always done this,” she said. “We don’t need to be standing next to each other. He was working on New York City. I brought in upstate. We did it together, and we’re together for the next four years.”

Despite the downstate focus, Hochul spent way more time in Erie County than Cuomo, who, outside of an eleventh-hour GOTV event, basically ignored the region entirely. Hochul was asked if she expected the governor to visit more during the rest of the campaign. (Recall that Cuomo lost pretty much all of upstate in the 2014 election, and still managed to decisively defeat his GOP challenger, then-Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino).

“We always divide it up,” she replied. “I’m sure he’ll be here many more times before the general election, no doubt in my mind, but I love coming back here. I’d love to spend more time here myself.”

Hochul also said her choice to stay in Erie County yesterday was validated by the strong turnout she witnessed on her behalf there.

Hochul Campaign Questions Why Williams Hasn’t Returned Illegal Contributions

Update: Williams’ campaign said the first of three payments to return $35,000 in over-the-limit contributions has been processed and the other two should be processed soon.

The campaign for Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is calling out her opponent, Jumaane Williams, for failing to return illegal corporate contributions as he promised.

According to this week’s campaign finance report, Williams refunded $10,000 to Glenwood Masonry Productsbecause it was over the contribution limit. Hochul’s campaign said Williams accepted more than $50,000 in donations that were over the corporate limit.

In July, the LG called for him to return $35,000 in accordance with New York law. Shortly after, Williams admitted some contributions were accepted in error, although he didn’t specify which, and promised to return them.

“Weeks have passed and we are still waiting for my challenger to uphold his pledge to return the illegal corporate contributions obtained in his previous filing. Councilman Williams has never shied away from the microphone, yet he and his campaign continue to remain silent on such an egregious issue, proving once again he thinks the rules don’t apply to him,” Hochul said.

“On July 20th his campaign assured the voters he would return the contributions. Yesterday we discovered the majority of the illegal corporate funds still remain in his possession. It is clear from his continued lack of action that Councilman Williams has no interest in keeping his promises to the people of New York.”

William also returned $37 worth of contributions deemed to have come from a foreign source, according to his latest filing. We’ve reached out to the candidate’s campaign.

If he returned the other $25,000 in question, the campaign would have a balance of roughly $13,500.

On NRA, Williams Calls Cuomo Hypocritical For Choosing Hochul

From the Morning Memo:

Democratic LG candidate Jumaane Williams appears to be aiming for a twofer with his latest online video.

The ad aims to aid gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, who recently endorsed Williams, (and he returned the favor), by calling her primary opponent, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a hypocrite for his battle with the NRA.

Williams backs up his claim by calling out the governor for choosing his own opponent, LG Kathy Hochul, as his running mate in 2014 and seeking re-election with her this year.

The NRA endorsed Hochul in 2012 when she ran for Congress against recently indicted Republican Rep. Chris Collins, and also once graced her with an “A” rating, reserved for lawmakers who vote exactly as the organization wishes on key pieces of legislation.

Williams said Hochul fought to relax regulations on firearm permits from state to state while in Congress. He also said that she fast-tracked the government’s permit application process while serving as Erie County clerk.

“The Cuomo Administration can’t claim to be tough on guns when its second-in-command has such major red flags,” Williams, a Brooklyn councilman, said. “While the Governor reads talking points on national television, New York City has taken significant steps to reduce gun violence, which should be replicated across New York.”

Nixon has leveled similar questions at Cuomo about his support for Hochul, even though the governor clearly was trying to get her off the ticket this year, publicly suggesting that she challenge Collins in a re-match rather than seek re-election to her current post.

Hochul declined that call, which occurred before Collins faced his current crop of legal woes and decided not to seek re-eleciton himself this fall.

During her tenure as LG, Hochul has consistently backed the governor’s agenda, including his fight for gun reform and the SAFE Act, which remains highly unpopular among some upstate voters.

Following Cuomo’s lead, Hochul tweeted a response to President Trump’s upstate visit yesterday, calling New York a “progressive capital of the nation” that fights for women’s rights, immigrants and common sense gun safety laws.

NY-27: Hochul Fully Behind McMurray For Congress, Believes He Can Win

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, D-NY, is not thinking about what could have been.

In April, national party leaders were made a last minute push, with the help of the governor, to try to get her on the ballot against Republican Congressman Chris Collins in New York’s 27th Congressional District. Hochul rejected the effort, choosing to continue her campaign for reelection as LG instead.

The thought at the time was that Hochul, who once held the seat, would have a significantly better chance of defeating Collins than the Democratic designee, current Grand Island Town Supervisor Nate McMurray. However, in the state’s strongest Republican district, even a candidate as well-known as the lieutenant governor would likely enter as an underdog.

This week everything changed when federal prosecutors brought charges related to insider trading against Collins. Even as behind the scenes, GOP leaders are considering their options, the congressman insists his campaign will continue.

Suddenly, what seemed a likely Republican win has become a battleground seat with significant resources coming in from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Hochul said she loved representing the district (at the time called the 26th), but still prefers her current job.

“It was an absolute privilege to represent that area as a member of Congress and it breaks my heart to know that for the last six years they’ve been represented by someone who has put his own financial interests ahead of their own, but serving as lieutenant governor has given me a great deal of latitude in being able to represent the entire state and work on issues where you actually get things done,” she said.

Hochul said she is fully behind McMurray and believes he can win. Afterall, she came within 2 percentage points of beating Collins in 2012, even after it was redrawn to become even more Republican.

She believes people in the district can overlook the candidate’s party affiliation and realize he better represents their middle class values than the incumbent.

“I lost it by a very small percentage so it is in my opinion doable,” she said. “Those were difficult times and people were very much against the president at the time which was unfortunate because the president had good policies that helped people of that district. I think now there’s an opportunity for people to take a second look at who they want representing them in Congress.”

As for what Collins should do: Hochul said his legal battle will no doubt be a distraction but it’s up to him and his party to decide if he should resign. She said she doesn’t think he’s been properly serving the district for the last six years, so the constituents would not necessarily be better or worse off regardless of the decision.

Harlem Politicos Endorse Hochul

From the Morning Memo:

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul added several endorsements by Harlem politicos on Wednesday.

Notable figures include NAACP New York President Dr. Hazel Dukes and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, along with former Congressman Charlie Rangel, State Senator Brian Benjamin, Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, Assemblyman Al Taylor, and Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez.

Among New York focused issues like $15 minimum wage, paid family leave and the Excelsior Scholarship Program, the politicians made note of Hochul’s support of the SAFE Act, noting, “She has stood up to the NRA which has resisted even the most common-sense reforms.”

As a member of Congress and Erie County clerk, Hochul had received an “A” rating from the NRA.

With New Yorkers rights at stake from the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress, Kathy is proud that New York is fighting back. New York has stood up to Donald Trump to denounce the influence of white nationalists, defend voting rights from Trump’s justice department, and protect immigrant families from Trump’s inhumane family separation policy and out-of-control deportation force.

Hochul has successfully garnered national endorsements from the likes of former presidential candidate Hilary Clinton and former vice president of the United States Joe Biden, as well as key green lights from the state Democratic Party and women’s groups, i.e. Emily’s List and Planned Parenthood.

However, the race for the lieutenant governor nomination remains up in the air.

Hochul is currently embroiled in a battle over finances with her opponent, Brooklyn New York City Councilman Jumanne Williams, who recently cross endorsed with actress turn gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Nixon. For the past several weeks, Hochul’s campaign has railed against Williams, first for his failure to submit campaign finance disclosure report to the Board of Elections on time—owed to a technical issue—then taking issue with several campaign contributions over the BOE limit, which the Williams campaign insisted would be returned.

Hochul has even gone as far as to release an attack ad on her opponent, highlighting the City Councilman’s debt and foreclosure of a former business venture. The video ad prompted a Williams-Nixon response, dubbing Hochul’s effort in line with “racial dog whistling and poor shaming.”

In September, Hochul faces Williams in a Democratic primary. As of July’s BOE filings, her campaign war chest boasts over $1.2 million dollars to assist in her re-election bid.