Andrew Cuomo

10 things you need to know today: December 18, 2014

President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro address their nations.

President Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro address their nations | AP Photo

The Week

Obama reestablishes diplomatic relations with Cuba, a judge throws out the conviction of a boy executed in 1944, and more

1. Obama announces historic diplomatic thaw with Cuba
The U.S. and Cuba announced Wednesday that they would reestablish diplomatic relations after a half-century rift that began in the Cold War. “Isolation has not worked,” Obama said. “It’s time for a new approach.” The decision followed 18 months of secret talks, and Cuba’s Wednesday release of U.S. aid contractor Alan Gross, who had been held by the communist Caribbean government for five years. Conservatives in Congress vowed to fight the easing of sanctions. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the rapprochement amounted to “coddling dictators.” [The Washington Post, Fox News]

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2. Judge vacates conviction of boy executed in 1944
A judge has thrown out the conviction of a 14-year-old African-American boy named George Stinney who was executed 70 years ago for allegedly killing two white girls. Stinney, the youngest person executed in the U.S. since the 19th century, was convicted in 10 minutes by 12 white jurors after a three-hour trial in which no witness or evidence was presented in his defense. Circuit Judge Carmen Tevis Mullen said his confession was likely coerced and his trial was unfair. “I can think of no greater injustice,” Mullen said. [CNN, The Associated Press]

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3. New York bans fracking
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would ban hydraulic fracturing, a controversial natural-gas extraction method also known as fracking. Despite calls by environmentalists for a ban, Cuomo, a Democrat, had put off a decision as he awaited the results of a long-awaited study, which was just completed. The acting state health commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker, said the research found “significant public health risks” associated with fracking. [The New York Times]

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4. Stocks surge as the Fed signals patience on raising interest rates
U.S. stocks posted their biggest daily gains of 2014 on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve signaled that it was moving confidently but cautiously toward raising historically low interest rates next year. Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that with the economy picking up but still needing improvement, the central bank would be “patient” and wait “at least a couple of meetings” before pushing interest rates higher, which would mean the hike could come in April or later. [MarketWatch]

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5. Nigerian soldiers sentenced to die for refusing to fight Boko Haram
A Nigerian army court on Wednesday convicted 54 soldiers of mutiny and cowardice for refusing to fight Boko Haram, and sentenced them to death. The soldiers were members of the Nigerian army’s 7th Division, which was ordered in August to retake three towns that had been seized by the Islamist militant group. Many of the African nation’s soldiers have complained that they are being sent to fight Boko Haram without adequate weapons and supplies. [Voice of America]

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6. Jury rejects Montana man’s “stand your ground” defense in student’s death
A Montana jury on Wednesday convicted Markus Kaarma, 30, for the killing of a 17-year-old exchange student he caught in his garage, rejecting the homeowner’s “stand your ground” defense. Kaarma argued that he was only defending himself after a string of burglaries. Prosecutors said he had invited intruders by intentionally leaving his garage door open, then blasted the student — Diren Dede of Germany — with a shotgun when he snuck in on April 27, looking for alcohol. [USA Today]

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7. Church of England picks its first female bishop
The Church of England on Wednesday named its first female bishop, breaking with a tradition that had been uninterrupted since the church broke with Rome under King Henry VIII five centuries ago. “This is unexpected and very exciting,” the newly nominated bishop, the Rev. Libby Lane, said, calling the move “historic.” Lane has been a priest for 20 years. Her husband, George, also is a priest — they were one of the first married couples ordained together. She will be consecrated Jan. 26. [The New York Times, The Guardian]

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8. Scientists say inmates might have survived 1962 escape from Alcatraz
Three men who escaped the famous Alcatraz island prison in 1962 might have survived, according to a study released Wednesday by Dutch scientists. Investigators at the time said the prisoners, brothers John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris, died trying to cross the cold waters of San Francisco Bay, but their bodies were never found. The scientists, however, found in simulated boat launches that currents might have deposited the men north of the Golden Gate Bridge — instead of sweeping them to their deaths in the Pacific — if they left between 11 p.m. and midnight. [The Associated Press]

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9. Actor Stephen Collins breaks his silence on abuse allegations
In an interview due for release on ABC News’ 20/20 on Friday, 7th Heaven star Stephen Collins admitted to Yahoo Global Anchor Katie Couric that he sexually abused three female children decades ago. The allegations surfaced two months ago with the leak of audio recordings in which Collins tells his ex-wife about the encounters. Collins, who earlier broke his silence in an interview with People magazine, told Couric that the last offense occurred in 1994, and that he had “done everything to address” his transgressions in private, and had “put that stuff behind me.” [ABC News]

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10. Sony Pictures cancels release of film that angered North Korea
Sony Pictures said Wednesday it was canceling the planned Dec. 25 release of the controversial filmThe Interview as top theater chains balked at showing it. The decisions came after an anonymous threat against anyone screening the film, a comedy that stars Seth Rogen and James Franco, and depicts a plot against North Korea’s leader. The group claimed responsibility for a massive computer hacking attack against Sony Pictures. U.S. officials say North Korea was behind the hacking. [Chicago Tribune]

10 things you need to know today: October 27, 2014

After pressure from the White House, Cuomo alters his quarantine rules. 

After pressure from the White House, Cuomo alters his quarantine rules. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Week

Governors ease Ebola quarantine rule under pressure, a second Washington school shooting victim dies, and more

1. New York eases Ebola quarantine rule after White House intervenes
Under pressure from the White House and health experts, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Sunday relaxed his state’s strict policy of quarantining medical workers returning from caring for Ebola patients in West Africa. Administration officials and medical experts argued that the rules, announced Friday in New York and New Jersey, would discourage doctors and nurses from joining the Ebola fight. Cuomo, then New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, said Sunday that those showing no symptoms could be quarantined at home. [The New York Times]

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2. Second Washington state school shooting victim dies
A second victim — Gia Soriano, 14 — died Sunday night from wounds she sustained in a school shooting in Washington state. “We are devastated by this senseless tragedy,” her family said in a statement. “Gia is our beautiful daughter, and words cannot express how much we will miss her.” Another girl was killed Friday when a fellow student opened fire at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, north of Seattle. The alleged shooter, Jaylen Fryberg, died of a self-inflicted wound. Three other victims remain hospitalized, two in critical condition. [Los Angeles Times]

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3. Hong Kong protesters cancel vote
The students leading Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests on Sunday canceled an electronic poll that was to help determine the next step for the demonstrations, which began nearly a month ago. The main groups behind the movement issued a joint statement and said there was too much disagreement and too little planning for the poll to go forward. “We admit we did not have enough discussion with the people before deciding to go ahead with the vote,” the statement said. “We apologize to the people.” [Voice of America]

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4. Pro-Europe politicians dominate Ukraine elections
Pro-Western parties swept Ukraine’s parliamentary elections, according to Sunday exit polls. President Petro Poroshenko’s party is expected to put together a coalition with other parties in favor of strengthening economic ties with Europe, and shedding the longtime influence of Russia. Poroshenko, who still faces an armed uprising by pro-Russian separatists, thanked voters for supporting his call for “a democratic, reformist, pro-Ukrainian, and pro-European majority.” [The Wall Street Journal]

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5. Jeb Bush is mulling a presidential bid, his son confirms
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s eldest son, George P. Bush, said his father is “more than likely” seriously considering running for president in 2016. Jeb Bush’s brother, former president George W. Bush, has urged him to run, as has his father, former president George H.W. Bush. “The family will be behind him 100 percent if he decides to do it,” said George P. Bush, who is a candidate for his first political office — Texas land commissioner — in November. [CNN]

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6. Brazil’s Rousseff wins a second term as president
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff won reelection on Sunday, beating center-right challenger Aecio Neves 51.6 percent to 48.4 percent. Rousseff campaigned for a second term promising that her left-wing Workers’ Party would deliver expanded social programs, which helped her seal the support of poor Brazilians. After facing protests last year against corruption and inadequate services, Rousseff promised in her acceptance speech to be “a much better president than I have been until now.” [Globe and Mail, BBC News]

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7. Welcome Back, Kotter actress Marcia Strassman dies
Actress Marcia Strassman, best known for playing Gabe Kaplan’s wife in the ’70s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, has died after a long fight with breast cancer, her sister, Julie, confirmed Sunday. She was 66. Strassman played a nurse in the first season of MASH before landing the Kotter role. She also co-starred with Rick Moranis in the 1989 Disney movie Honey I Shrunk the Kids and 1992 sequel Honey I Blew Up the Kid. [Variety]

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8. Tunisia’s secularists out-do Islamists in historic balloting
Tunisia’s leading secular party, Nidaa Tounes, appeared to have won more seats in the country’s new parliament than the rival Islamist party Ennahda, a Nidaa Tounes party source said Monday. The official, citing a preliminary ballot count, said Nidaa Tounes had won 80-plus votes, to Ennahda’s 67. Election officials are expected to release their results later in the day. The vote brought full democracy to the country nearly four years after its uprising, which launched the Arab Spring. [Reuters]

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9. Cardinals’ Oscar Taveras dies in car wreck
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras was killed in a car accident in his native Dominican Republic, Dominican police said Sunday. He was 22. His girlfriend, identified as Edilia Ardelo, 18, also died. Taveras had been ranked as one of the top minor league prospects in baseball for the last few years. He played his first season for the Cardinals this year, playing in 80 games. He was expected to compete for a starting spot next season. “Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future,” Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a statement. [USA Today]

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10. Giants pull ahead in the World Series
The San Francisco Giants beat the Kansas City Royals on Sunday to take a 3-2 lead in the World Series. The Giants’ Madison Bumgarner pitched a four-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory that put his team within one game of taking the best-of-seven Major League Baseball championship — its third in five years. The Series will return from San Francisco to Kansas City for Game 6 on Tuesday night, giving the Royals a chance to avoid elimination with the support of a home crowd. [The Associated Press]

10 things you need to know today: August 13, 2014

An American flag flies while Yazidi Iraqis escape into Syria.

An American flag flies while Yazidi Iraqis escape into Syria. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

The Week

White House sends 130 more advisers to Iraq, Ukraine vows to stop Russian-supply convoy, and more

1. White House sends 130 more advisers to Iraq
The U.S. has deployed 130 Marines and Special Operations forces to northern Iraq to help assess ways to rescue thousands of members of the Yazidi religious group taking refuge on Mount Sinjar, U.S. officials said late Tuesday. Those military advisers will not have a combat role, but the Defense Department left open the possibility that U.S. troops could help create a safe passage for the Yazidi off Mount Sinjar. That would likely put U.S. troops in direct combat with the ISIS militants trying to kill the Yazidi — a proposition President Obama has not signed off on, but one the military advisers are exploring. [CBS, The New York Times]

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2. Ukraine vows to stop Russian-supply convoy unless conditions are met
Wary that the Russians may be trying to move military supplies into their country to aid pro-Moscow separatists, Ukrainian officials said they would not allow a convoy of 280 Russian trucks to cross the border unless the Red Cross took over the delivery. The cargo, which Russia insists is humanitarian aid, must be loaded onto other vehicles by the Red Cross, Ukraine says. It will take the trucks about two days to make the 620 mile trip from Moscow to eastern Ukraine. [Reuters]

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3. Iran endorses Maliki’s replacement
The U.S. and Iran don’t agree on much, but it appears the two countries are backing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s replacement, Haider al-Abadi. Iran’s endorsement on Tuesday means that Maliki, who has indicated he won’t go quietly, will have an even harder time holding onto his position. The United States and its allies hope that replacing Maliki, who alienated the Sunnis of Iraq, will undermine support for the militant group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). [The Washington Post]

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4. Lauren Bacall dies at the age of 89
Lauren Bacall, a star from the golden age of Hollywood, died on Tuesday at her home in New York at the age of 89. Her career spanned seven decades and included several classic films like Murder on the Orient Express, How to Marry a Millionaire, and The Big Sleep. Bacall earned a honorary Oscar, two Tonys, and a National Book Award for her autobiography. [The Guardian]

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5. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo rebuffs Palestinian invitation
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is heading to Israel on an official state delegation, but the politician, who is said to be mulling a 2016 run at the White House, declined an invitation to meet with Palestinian leaders. Cuomo and a handful of New York lawmakers are calling their trip a unity mission to express solidarity with Israel. “Our message is simple and is clear,” the governor said. “We stand with Israel, and we support Israel’s right to defend itself in this conflict.” [The New York Times]

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6. Former Microsoft CEO officially buys the LA Clippers
Steve Ballmer, the former chief executive officer of Microsoft, officially purchased the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday for the tidy sum of $2 billion. The team went up for sale after its previous owner, Donald Sterling, was recorded making racist comments to a companion. Sterling, who bought the team for $12 million in 1981, lost a lawsuit to retain possession of the team and has been banned from the NBA for life. [CNN]

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7. Details of Robin Williams’ death emerge
Marin County officials announced on Tuesday that Robin Williams‘ death was a suicide by hanging. The Oscar-winning actor was found by his assistant who became concerned about him after he didn’t respond to her knocking on his door. Williams also had a few shallow cuts on his left wrist, according to authorities. [USA Today]

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8. Maryam Mirzakhani becomes the first woman to win major math prize
A woman has won the prestigious Fields Medal for the first time. Maryam Mirzakhani, a professor at Stanford University, won the award, which has been described as the Nobel Prize for Mathematics, for her contributions to “the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces.”

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9. Toxic algae threatens the Florida coast
Microscopic toxic algea are blooming near the coast of Florida, creating a red tide effect that is threatening local wildlife. Though it is still 20 miles off the coast, the size of the tide — 60 miles wide, by 90 miles long, by 100 feet deep — has authorities concerned that it could kill off millions of fish and potentially disrupt the lucrative tourist season. Officials say they haven’t seem a bloom this large in nine years. [NBC]

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10. Haiti captures high-profile fugitive Clifford Brandt
Haitian authorities captured Clifford Brandt, a notorious fugitive who admitted to kidnapping the children of a rival businessman, Haiti’s Prime Minister announced on Tuesday. Brandt broke freewith 328 other inmates on Sunday when a gang attacked the jail where he was incarcerated. He was found trying to cross the border into the Dominican Republic. [Miami Herald]

If Hillary Rodham Clinton passes in 2016, which Democrats run? The Fix ranks the tiers.

Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post – Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, right, introduces Hillary Rodham Clinton rally on Oct. 19 in Falls Church.

The Fix – Chris Cillizza

Every conversation we have with any Democratic operative about the 2016 presidential race starts this way: “Well, I mean if Hillary runs . . .” Which, of course, is to be expected. If Hillary Rodham Clinton — the former secretary of state, former New York senator and 2008 presidential candidate — runs, then the Democratic race (and the general election, too) revolves around her.

But, of late, those conversations have an interesting addendum that goes like this: “Of course, if Elizabeth Warren wanted to do it, she’d have a case to make.” Yes, she would.We’ve long believed that the freshman senator’s hero status among liberals nationally and massive fundraising capacity would make her very formidable if she ran.

Warren (D-Mass.) has been adamant about her lack of interest in the race. But things change in politics. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois was similarly adamant about his lack of interest in running for president in 2008 — and we know how that turned out.

The simple fact is that Warren’s beloved status among rank-and-file Democrats — and an elite group of very wealthy and very liberal major donors — means that if Clinton doesn’t run, Warren will come under a significant amount of pressure to reconsider. And Warren would have a built-in excuse to explain her past comments: “Well, I never thought about it seriously, because I expected Hillary to run. But now that she’s not . . . ”

Because of that upside — with apologies to NBA draft experts — we are moving Warren into our second tier of potential Democratic presidential candidates. Clinton remains as the lone candidate in the first tier — a space she will occupy until she announces whether she is running. Our breakdown of the field is below. The candidates within each tier are listed alphabetically.

Tier 1 (If she runs, the other tiers don’t matter)

Hillary Clinton: Everything we hear privately and everything we see publicly suggests that Clinton is running — or at least allowing those around her to put the pieces in place to be ready if/when she flips the switch. Does that mean she is definitely in? No. But it means that with every passing month, we become more and more convinced that the surprise announcement would be that she’s not running.

Tier 2 (If not Hillary, then . . .)

Joe Biden : Last week, the vice president called state Rep.-elect Brian Meyer (D) to congratulate him on his special-election victory a few days earlier. Why would the VP call a not-even-sworn-in-yet state legislator? Because Meyer is from Iowa. And that tells you everything you need to know about whether Biden is thinking about running for president in 2016.

Andrew Cuomo: Unlike some of the other people on this list — Martin O’Malley, we are looking at you — the New York governor is doing the do-as-little-as-possible-to-stoke-2016-speculation thing. (That may or may not be a thing.) Cuomo, the scion of a famous political family, knows that in a field without Clinton, he is a heavyweight given his name, fundraising abilities and résumé as governor of one of the most Democratic states in the country.

Martin O’Malley : The governor of Maryland is, without question, the candidate most open about his interest in running for president. “By the end of this year, I think we’re on course to have a body of work that lays the framework for a candidacy in 2016,” O’Malley told reporters in August. His travel schedule is heavy on trips to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and O’Malley used his time as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association to build out his national fundraising network.

Elizabeth Warren: See above. There’s no one not named Clinton on this list who combines the star power and fundraising potential that Warren boasts. And, Warren has one thing that even Clinton doesn’t: a rabid following within the liberal base of the party.

Tier 3 (There’s a will and a way — sort of)

Kirsten Gillibrand: Gillibrand is a sneaky-good politician. Without all that much fanfare, the senator from New York has turned herself into a liberal champion. She’s also someone who has proved that she knows how to raise money; she took in $30 million between her 2010 and 2012 Senate campaigns.

Tier 4 (There’s a will but — probably — not a way)

Howard Dean: The former Vermont governor clearly looks back on his one-time front-running 2004 presidential campaign wistfully and wonders whether he could catch lightning in a bottle again. The answer is almost certainly no, but Dean, never someone who cared much about the party establishment’s opinion of him, might be the sort of person who would be willing to wage a campaign against Clinton from the ideological left.

Amy Klobuchar: The field above her is too crowded for the senator from Minnesota to take a flier on a presidential bid. But she has the résumé and the ambition to surprise people if things were to break just right.

Andrew Cuomo 2016 speculation heating up

Looks like Long Time Lurker and I speculated correctly…

Politico

The 2016 Democratic presidential race just began.

With his successful push to pass a gay marriage law, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo overnight became a national contender, putting down a major marker among the liberal party base that dominates the primaries.

“Most politicians, including most Democrats, have been afraid of this issue. Andrew is the first national figure ever to embrace it so enthusiastically,” said Richard Socarides, the president of Equality Matters and a former Clinton White House adviser. “Clearly, this establishes him as the most important progressive leader of our party, setting him up very well for 2016.”

Come 2016, “Cuomo is the only one who will be able to say ‘I delivered for you’ before everyone else realized it was politically popular, and that will be an invaluable asset,” Socarides said, adding, “it also has the benefit of being true.”

Same-sex marriage opponents also framed New York’s arrival as the sixth state to legalize gay marriage in terms of perceived national ambitions for the governor who pushed the GOP-controlled state Senate to make it happen.

“The Republican Party has torn up its contract with the voters who trusted them in order to facilitate Andrew Cuomo’s bid to be president,” said National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown, in a statement Friday night attacking the vote.

 
 

New York Approves Gay Marriage

Make no mistake about it, this is an enormous win for the Gay and Lesbian community

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already signed the historic legislation.   All of this comes on the heels of the Gay Pride week-end celebration and parade in New York City.  I anticipate the celebration will be bigger than ever before (and it’s always huge.)

The Daily Beast

New York legalized same-sex marriage, becoming the sixth state to do so and by far the largest. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law Friday night, saying “I am very proud of New York and I’m very proud of the statement we made today.” The law will go into effect in 30 days, meaning same-sex couples will be able to get married as soon as the end of July. The legislation went down to the wire in a late vote Friday, with its fate pivoting on just a few undecided Republican state senators. But four Republicans eventually swung toward a yes vote, sealing a final tally of 33-29.

Read it at The New York Times

Anthony Weiner to resign…

I still wish he would have stayed and stood up to the GOP hypocrisy on this issue.  However, most of his Democratic colleagues were the ones vociferously advocating Weiner’s resignation. 

I’m sure it was a decision that he and his wife discussed, so I wish them the best.

What gets to me most is that a slime ball like Andrew Breitbart won.

The Washington Post – Chris Cillizza

Embattled New York Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner will resign from the House on Thursday, according to a Democratic aide briefed on his plans.

Weiner called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.) on Wednesday night — as the two attended the White House picnic — to inform them of his plans, the source said.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) told reporters Thursday morning that “it’s an unfortunate situation and I’ve said I didn’t condone his actions and I had said a while ago that I think he should step down.”

His resignation ends a weeks-long scandal over inappropriate online liasions with as many as six women.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will be charged with calling a special election to fill the vacancy caused by Weiner’s resignation.

Paladino’s Hometown Paper Endorses Cuomo

Surely this comes as no surprise to anyone…

Associated Press

Republican Carl Paladino’s hometown Buffalo News on Sunday endorsed his rival in the New York governor’s race, declaring “there is no choice” but Andrew Cuomo.

The endorsement continues a sweep so far for the Manhattan Democrat. Cuomo’s endorsement include The New York Times, New York’s Daily News, the New York Post, Newsday, and the upstate newspapers in Rochester, Poughkeepsie, Kingston and Glens Falls.

“While it has become trendy to sneer at ‘career politicians,”‘ Sunday’s Buffalo News editorial stated, “the fact is that a good one knows his stuff: How to work the levers of power to best advantage; who the players are; where the bodies are buried. Cuomo knows all that and he has laid out an approach for taking the state back from the special interests and the lawmakers they have bought.”

The editorial states that although Cuomo is “a powerful political insider,” the newspaper believes the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo “will lead.”

“If he accomplishes only half of what he says he wants — detailed in a series of (policy) books he has released — he will have rendered a historic service to the state,” the newspaper said.

The Buffalo News also warned, however, that Cuomo needs to stave off his special interest supporters from whom he “has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars … and, while we recognize that money is the lifeblood of election politics, it is also the grease that has crippled a once proud state.”

Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo said Sunday that the News’ endorsement “has always been the kiss of death in Western New York … now Carl’s supporters here will come out even stronger.”

Recent polls have shown Cuomo with a growing double-digit-percentage lead ahead of the election Nov. 2.

Paladino never accepted an opportunity to make his case to the editorial board, although Cuomo did.

Instead, Paladino over the weekend tried to highlight an article from another newspaper’s news section. A Wall Street Journal article cited records that criticize Cuomo’s governance as federal housing secretary under President Bill Clinton.      Continue reading…

Cuomo, Paladino Clash in NY Debate

Huffington Post

With just two weeks to go before the general election, the seven candidates looking to be the next governor of New York came out in the first (and most likely, only) debate on NY1 Monday night. Given the wild and unpredictable tone of the race so far, it was a relatively mild event.

Carl Paladino, the angry, unpredictable, and often offensive candidate, was largely a non-presence. Most on stage refused to engage Paladino, and he stammered through his prepared answers — often failing to rebut when directly provoked. “My critics, they want to say I’m angry,” he said. “No, I’m passionate about saving the state of New York.”

Most of the tension played out between City Councilman Charles Barron of the Freedom Party, and Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Barron warned: “Cuomo’s gonna be the king of layoffs…I’m telling you. This guy gets in, you’re gonna be laid off, your pension is gone, your health care is gone,” a comment which elicited applause in the crowd.

Cuomo responded: “we go with you, Charles, there will be no jobs.”

With the exception of Paladino, the candidates, a varied and eccentric bunch, largely agreed that tax cuts hurt the middle class, that New York government was crumbling under corruption and waste, and that city agencies like the MTA and the Board of Education require better regulation (or, in some cases, elimination). Kristin Davis, a former Madam, accused the MTA of being a “mismanaged patronage pit” and unlike the MTA her “former [escort] agency delivered on time and reliable service.” Barron chimed in. “Abolish the MTA, we dont need it.” But Davis, once a small business owner herself, would not agree that additional taxes would help revive the economy. “Additional taxes are not the answer…businesses will leave this state faster than Carl Paladino at a gay bar.”

Continue reading…

Carl Paladino Apologizes As Gay Nephew Goes AWOL

The New Yorker

For a while it seemed almost impossible, as if maybe Carl Paladino’s bullheadedness had precluded his capacity for shame or remorse, even if everyone tells him he’s wrong. But yesterday, after he’d spent all of Monday unrepentantly defending remarks like “I don’t want [children] to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option. It isn’t,” Paladino apologized. His statement read:

Yesterday I was handed a script. I redacted some contents that were unacceptable. I did also say some things for which I should have chosen better words. I said other things that the press misinterpreted and misstated. I sincerely apologize for any comment that may have offended the Gay and Lesbian Community or their family members. Any reference to branding an entire community based on a small representation of them is wrong.

He then proceeded to lay out how he really feels about the gays.

1) I am a live and let live person.

2) I am 100% against discrimination of any group. I oppose discrimination of any kind in housing, credit, insurance benefits or visitation.

3) I am 100% against hate crimes in any form.

4) I am in support of civil agreements and equal rights for all citizens.

5) My position on marriage is based on my personal views. I have the same position on this issue as President Barrack [sic] Obama. I have previously stated I would support a referendum by New York voters. I have proposed Initiative and Referendum so New Yorkers can decide important issues like this.

6) The portrayal of me as anti-gay is inconsistent with my lifelong beliefs and actions and my prior history as an father, employer and friend to many in the gay and lesbian community.

Even in his apologies, there is a lot to quibble with. Paladino is a “live and let live person” and “against discrimination,” but is opposed to gay marriage and “disgusting” gay-pride parades. He implies that he supports civil unions (President Barack Obama’s position), but said on Sunday that he would not only veto a gay-marriage bill passed by the state legislature, but even a civil-union bill (at the 6:57 mark in this video), which the gay community doesn’t even want anymore.

It seems clear that Paladino still has zero chance of attracting any gay support. Perhaps not even from his token gay family member. Paladino’s nephew, 23-year-old Jeff Hannon — who, as Paladino has been eager to point out over the past two days, works as a staffer for the campaign — hasn’t shown up to work this week, and tells the Post that he’s “obviously … very offended” by what his uncle has said.