Monday, June 14, 2010

Republican Party launches response, website, to Democrats' nomination of Cuomo for governor


Westchester, New York...May 27, 2010 - At a press conference today as part of the party's rapid response operation outside the Democratic State Convention, the New York State Republican Party and its Chairman Ed Cox launched a website devoted to informing New Yorkers about the reasons why electing Andrew Cuomo would cause irreversible harm to Empire State, its government, economy, job market, and our hard-working families. The State Republican Party and its new website,, cite Cuomo's recent attempt to reinvent his political persona entirely, Cuomo's failure as self-styled "Sheriff of Albany," and the shortcomings of Cuomo's character and ethics. It will also call into question Cuomo's decision-making and highlight his poor judgment while at H.U.D and as State Attorney General.

"Find me a single New Yorker who believes that Andrew Cuomo will lower our taxes and reduce state government spending, and I've got a bridge I'd like to sell him," said State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox. "It's clear why Andrew Cuomo stayed silent for so long these last several months; it's because he was busy trying to reinvent himself in an effort to dupe New Yorkers into thinking he is anything but the liberal stalwart he has always been. From property taxes to pension reform, Cuomo has come out of the gates hoping no one will notice the reforms he's espousing are based upon Republican policies and principles, which only the Republican Party has advocated and governed by for decades.

"I credit Cuomo for recognizing that, only by adhering to these Republican Party principles can our state government turn New York around, and reverse the downward spiral set in motion by the Democrats' one-party rule in Albany. The fact is, however, only Republican candidates, whose DNA contains the very conservative principles Cuomo now claims to advocate, can legislate effectively by cutting taxes and reducing spending, because only Republicans have experience governing in this vein, and the support of our fellow party-members in the legislature. Andrew Cuomo has never showed the stomach or the fortitude to cross his party by effectuating policies that are the antithesis of the Democrats' principles of governance. Similarly, Cuomo has made it clear to his Democrat colleagues, with a wink and a nod, while he's reciting these Republican policy proposals, that, if elected, he promises to perpetuate the same tax and spend, fee-raising budget policies enacted by his predecessors Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson. A leopard doesn't change its stripes, and New Yorkers will see through the ruse."

The fact is, an Andrew Cuomo Administration would be a direct extension of the same failed policies and fiscal mismanagement that have plagued New York State during Spitzer and Paterson's terms. After all, Andrew Cuomo is a direct descendent of his Democrat predecessors in the Governor's office, and is from the same mold as Eliot Spitzer, Alan Hevesi, and David Paterson. Ironically, the litany of problems facing New York and its government, as recited by Cuomo during his campaign kickoff, was a direct indictment of Cuomo's own party - the Democrats - who are in control of every aspect of state government and poised to coronate Cuomo later today as next in their line-of-succession.

Failed "Sheriff of Albany"

While Cuomo had promised to play the part of "Sheriff of Albany," his strategy has been to do the bare minimum and to avoid upsetting the leaders of his party. While Cuomo calls the culture of corruption that has consumed Albany a "bi-partisan" phenomenon, that claim couldn't be farther from the truth. Former Democratic Governor Eliot Spitzer even criticized Cuomo recently, for going soft on financial giants, and questioned whether Cuomo has "the stomach to pick political fights" with entrenched special interests.

During Cuomo's time as Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, Alan Hevesi, David Paterson, Pedro Espada, Hiram Monserrate, Alan Hevesi, Malcom Smith and John Sampson - all high ranking Democratic officials and Cuomo's close political associates, have been accused of corruption or obstruction of justice, several having been forced to resign in disgrace. Cuomo's close association with these fellow Democrats has precluded Cuomo, more often than not, from charging and rigorously investigating these corrupt officials, whose actions appear to warrant a far more aggressive approach.

Furthermore, out of the three Senate Democrat leaders all accused of either corruption or obstruction of justice - Conference Leader John Sampson, Senate President Malcom Smith, and Majority Leader Pedro Espada - Andrew Cuomo, in his capacity as State Attorney General, refused to investigate all but the latter. Moreover, Cuomo's investigation into Majority Leader Espada came more than seven months after the press revealed Espada's fleecing of taxpayers to the tune of $14 million for Espada's own personal gain, and only after a federal grand jury indicted Espada. If Andrew Cuomo wanted truly to lead and turn this state's government around, he could have started by rooting out corruption at the top of his own party. Instead, Attorney General Cuomo is guilty of doing too little, too late, and only at a time when it might be politically expedient. His inaction evinces a reluctance to take on members of his own party, which is a prescription for more corruption and continued violations of the public trust.

Cuomo's Character Flaws

Andrew Cuomo is still considering whether to run on the Working Families Party line, proving yet again that a vote for Cuomo is a vote to maintain the status-quo. Rather than publicly turning his back on the ethically dubious, Working Families Party (WFP) and sending a powerful signal that he means to be a real reformer who works to bring permanent change to Albany, Cuomo is instead considering whether to run on their ballot line.

Mayor Bloomberg recently characterized the WFP's impact on local government as "malignant," serving as a vehicle for funneling massive, under-the-table illegal contributions to its candidates. Rather than ensuring fairness in New York's electoral process by cutting off the WFP's automatic line, thereby forcing the WFP to collect nominating-petition signatures if it wants a presence on the November ballot, however, Andrew Cuomo is strongly considering the politically expedient route of utilizing their line on the ballot.

Secondly, a New York GOP investigation into the operations of the Charities Division of the Attorney General's office reveals further negligence on the part of Andrew Cuomo during his time as A.G. Here again, Cuomo blatantly ignored his responsibility as State Attorney General to investigate members of his own party in the Senate who, enquiries have revealed, misused their own non-profits and charitable organizations, and benefited personally from their mismanagement. Cuomo turned a blind eye to the misdeeds of several of his party's members who operated non-profits, and neglected to ensure these charities were supervised sufficiently.

Another NY GOP investigation, this time into the contributors to Andrew Cuomo's various campaigns since 2002, also reveals a personal shortcoming that is sure to dictate how a Cuomo Administration would govern. The very companies and organizations that have funded Andrew Cuomo's political endeavors over the last decade, have produced the corruption and dysfunction in Albany Cuomo makes a point to publicly deplore. The problem, however, is that Cuomo has been financed by, and is therefore beholden to, the unions, law firms, special interests, real estate groups, financiers and financial organizations whose behavior is at the center of what caused the collapse that plunged New York State into economic ruin. Andrew Cuomo, therefore, is the very last person either willing or capable to rid New York State of the factors responsible for its demise.

Bad Judgment and Poor Policymaking
In 1992, a Democratic Congress passed a law requiring the H.U.D. Secretary to ensure that housing targets were being met and the establishment of new four-year goals for mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But, instead of tightening oversight, in the words of Wayne Barrett of the Village Voice, Cuomo "took actions that - in combination with many other factors - helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments."

Andrew Cuomo aggressively promoted subprime mortgages, which turned into NINJA (No Income, No Job and No Assets) loans, even while acknowledging that the default rate on these loans would likely be greater than on standard loans.

Another example of Cuomo's propensity towards bad judgment was his initial refusal to recuse himself from the investigation into Governor David Paterson. While Attorney General Cuomo may have had the legal authority to conduct the investigation into allegations concerning Governor Paterson, the antagonism and politically charged relationship that existed between the once political rivals greatly undermined the Attorney General's ability to objectively and credibly investigate this matter.

The people of New York deserved answers free of political influence and interference. As a result, New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox called upon Attorney General Cuomo to recuse himself from the Paterson investigation. Not until, days later, when poll results showed Cuomo's refusal to recuse himself resulted in his approval ratings plummeting, however, did Cuomo finally do so.


Despite Andrew Cuomo's ongoing process of re-inventing himself, the past is prologue to the future, especially with regards to what a Cuomo Administration would mean for New York. Cuomo even recently invoked his father Mario Cuomo's Administration as a source of inspiration and a blueprint for the Cuomo/Duffy ticket. While a heartwarming dispensation for Cuomo's dear-old-dad, the gesture also contained an unintended admonition for New Yorkers with regards to Andrew Cuomo's own recidivist tendencies.

Voters in New York will recall Mario Cuomo's anti-business approach to governance, as well as the elder Cuomo's thin skin and proclivity towards interfering with the judiciary. Not only does the apple not fall far from the tree in the case of Mario and Andrew Cuomo, but New Yorkers can be sure that the time would come, sooner rather than later, when Prince Andrew will revert to the former version of himself. This is neither a new Andrew Cuomo, nor a new Democratic Party. In contrast, the Democratic Party itself represents the interests of a small group of Albany insiders, willing to say and do anything to grab power and advance their own political agenda. The vast majority of New Yorkers recognize that only real fiscally conservative policies will save this state, and they will not be fooled again.


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