Last week there was big news when Zephyr Teachout got the endorsement of the Public Employees Federation for her primary against Andrew Cuomo. Which got people paying attention to the campaign. Meanwhile other large unions are also not endorsing the Governor. However, these developments are probably causes to celebrate for some of the Governor's wealthier donors, like the Koch Brothers.
This week Teachout survived another legal challenge by the Cuomo campaign to have her thrown off the ballot.
“With this frivolous lawsuit behind us, I’m hopeful the governor will now agree to debate,” Ms. Teachout said in a statement shortly after the decision was announced. “We have very different visions for where we want to take the state.”
A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo’s campaign, Peter E. Kauffmann, declined to comment on the latest ruling beyond saying the campaign would not appeal.
Of course the Cuomo campaign is still not agreeing to debate Teachout despite increased calls in the media for a debate, like this from the NYTimes editorial board.
Her criticisms are mostly legitimate, and he should defend his first term in a series of robust debates with her in the weeks before the primary, rather than through the timidity of litigation.TV channel NY1 has invited Cuomo to debate Teachout in an hour long live debate and Bob Hardt, their political director, has taken some shots at Cuomo and his presidential aspirations in the process:
Should a presidential run ever be in his future, Cuomo likely needs to understand what it's like to step out of his comfort zone and actually engage someone who doesn't agree with him. After all, Comedians aren't really funny if they're always playing to canned laughter.And despite Cuomo's unwillingness to debate or discuss his positions for the Democratic voters of New York, he did find one place he was willing to talk. Fox News.
The governor appeared on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo (yes, the same Maria Bartiromo who hosts the regional economic development council awards show) to talk about his trip, if it foreshadows a run for a certain office in a certain house in Washington and about the Moreland Commission.Not surprising he would show up on Fox News because this is where someone backed by a group called Republicans for Cuomo should feel most comfortable.
Meanwhile a poll released this week shows that voters in New York think Cuomo is part of the culture of corruption in New York politics.
A new poll released Wednesday morning shows that New Yorkers see Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo as part of a culture of corruption that voters believe is a serious problem. The poll comes weeks after federal prosecutors launched an investigation into Cuomo's decision to shut down an anti-corruption panel -- a move that critics say was designed to prevent the panel from scrutinizing his administration.This poll and the ongoing investigation basically assure Cuomo will not debate Teachout.
And while Cuomo was on Fox News talking about his trip to Israel, Albany columnist Fred LeBrun had a different take on that trip.
Cuomo seldom leaves the state, let alone the country. So it's also reasonable to see his descent on Israel as another dramatic attempt to distract from an unaccustomed cloud bank gathering over his administration. It's hardly a surprise that it remains all about Andrew and not necessarily about Israel.All about Andrew. This should be the real campaign slogan for the Cuomo campaign. Cuomo and his staff of careerists have had their eyes on D.C. from the day he was elected. And the people of New York have been collateral damage in this delusional mission.
And now in a Democratic primary in New York, voters have a choice. They can go with the guy who was dubbed Governor 1% for being funded by Republican billionaires intent on destroying the middle class and the social safety net in this country. The same "Democrat" who runs to Fox News when he needs a friendly interview. Or they can vote for Zephyr Teachout who is standing up for traditional Democratic values and the 99%.