The Cuomo Campaign, Continued

An item yesterday on an Upstate SEIU Local’s actions on behalf of Andrew Cuomo drew some unexpected fire from Cuomo’s camp; his aide Ashley Cotton emailed that what I thought was a fairly innocuous piece, in combination with last week’s article on the campaign, “evidences either a reckless disregard for the truth or personal malice.”

The observation that raised hackles was that the “state’s SEIU” was pushing hard for Andrew, as Local 200United’s activity followed the big push from 1199. It didn’t seem unusual to link the two; after all, the top 1199 political official, also a key player on Cuomo’s campaign, previuosly ran the “SEIU New York State Council.”

But to clear things up I called Joe Rossi, the political director of 200United, a statewide human service workers union with about 12,000 members and offices in Syracuse. He said that his endorsement last night had nothing to do with 1199′s, but more with Andrew’s longstanding ties to Upstate.

“If anything [1199] may have made us hesitate, because we don’t want to look like we’re in the shadow of 1199,” he said. “We interviewed him and we made the same conclusion that 1199 did.”

“We asked the Cuomo campaign what can we do,” he said. “At this point in the Attorney General Primary, it was to do outreach to the state committee members before the convention. The first round of calls was to identify where state committee members are, and the next round will be to give them some background on Andrew.”

Just so that’s clear.