“I am writing to ask that you and any associates that may be acting on your behalf stop trying to undermine the Governor,” Rick Lazio, the only declared Republican gubernatorial candidate, wrote in a publicly released letter to Cuomo. “If you think you can do a better job than Governor Paterson, why don’t you say so publicly? You’ve been in Albany for the past two and a half years, and you have been a part of Albany culture for decades, but have never taken on the failing legislative leadership when you could have. Today’s newspaper report on your potential choice for Lieutenant Governor is a shameful, but all too familiar political ploy at a time when the state needs strong leadership at the top.”
A poll released today found Paterson trailing Cuomo by nearly 60 points in a hypothetical Democratic primary. Lazio is referring to a deficit reduction package being negotiated by legislative leaders over the next few days. A source familiar with that process told me there hasn’t been too much movement, with the major sticking point being proposed cuts to health care and education.