As in many other states, there is a governor’s race in New York.
Our choices are Democrat incumbent Andrew Cuomo and Republican challenger Rob Astorino, who is the Westchester County Executive. Why am I even bothering with this since we all know that Cuomo’s reelection is a fait accompli and the election is merely a formality?
There are a few reasons (aside from the obvious that I believe Astorino would make a better governor).
Reason #1: Governor Cuomo’s January 2014 radical statement of disdain for and exclusion of conservatives:
“Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”
An odd comment from an elected official, yes?
Though folks advised me that my efforts were futile, I believed actions should have consequences. We shouldn’t stand idly by while Democrats baselessly trash us as anti-women and anti-gay.
Republicans need to make themselves competitive in some of these blue states, a point I previously made in a post, “Reviving Republicanism in the Northeast.”
Reason #2: We have now found out that Governor Cuomo is corrupt to his core.
In the summer of 2013, Cuomo formed the Moreland Commission to root out corruption in Albany. As the New York Times reported in July:
It was barely two months old when its investigators, hunting for violations of campaign-finance laws, issued a subpoena to a media-buying firm that had placed millions of dollars’ worth of advertisements for the New York State Democratic Party.
The investigators did not realize that the firm, Buying Time, also counted Mr. Cuomo among its clients, having bought the airtime for his campaign when he ran for governor in 2010.
Upon this revelation making its way to Cuomo’s senior aide, the Commission got a call, and the subpoena was withdrawn. Corrupt we much?
More from the Times:
But a three-month examination by The New York Times found that the governor’s office deeply compromised the panel’s work, objecting whenever the commission focused on groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo or on issues that might reflect poorly on him.
Ultimately, Mr. Cuomo abruptly disbanded the commission halfway through what he had indicated would be an 18-month life. And now, as the Democratic governor seeks a second term in November, federal prosecutors are investigating the roles of Mr. Cuomo and his aides in the panel’s shutdown and are pursuing its unfinished business.
Got it, folks?
The governor set up a commission to ferret out corruption, and when the commission discovered its very creator was corrupt, they were shut down. “Nothing to see here, folks! Squirrel!”
Reason #3: Rob Astorino could be the man for just a time as this.
And not just because he’s the only Republican who bothered to throw his hat in the ring. If anyone can unseat a popular blue state Democrat governor, it might be the Westchester County Executive who was elected twice in a county with a 2:1 Democratic enrollment advantage and Republicans only make up 24% of registered voters.
A fluent Spanish-speaker, Astorino got reelected in 2013 with a majority of the Hispanic vote and and he has built strong relationships in the African-American community. These are things all Republicans should be doing.
Astorino did it without become a moderate squish who endorses amnesty and all those other things Republicans often do to blur the lines between them and the Democrats.
It’s still a tough battle and long road to hoe, but there is an outside chance of success on November 4.
I base this on three things:
- There’s still time for the corruption angle to settle in with independent voters
- Supporters of Cuomo’s primary opponent, Zephyrs Teachout, may sit on their hands (or vote 3rd party) because they don’t believe Cuomo to be progressive enough and
- Astorino hailing from Westchester County may be an omen. Many forget, but Cuomo’s father Mario was defeated for a 4th term as governor in 1994 by a state senator from Westchester County named George Pataki.
Pataki’s was a narrow victory, but he went on to serve three terms as governor, easily dispatching opposition in his subsequent runs. Can this be a model for an Astorino victory on November 4th?
I’m praying it can which is why I am whole-heartedly endorsing Rob Astorino for Governor of New York.
And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?