Cuomo You Don't!
Rob Astorino, the county executive of Westchester who has been exploring a possible run for governor, formally announced his bid today in a video posted on his campaign website.
Mr. Astorino, a Republican with relatively small fund-raising operations, faces an uphill battle against incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is further boosted by the Democratic-leaning nature of the Empire State.
deal or no deal
One October day on the campaign trail last year, Rob Astorino was heading to a street festival in Mount Vernon, a heavily African-American city just across the border from the Bronx. Not a place where a Republican politician is a natural sell.
After hearing word that several local residents had jokingly threatened to fight him in a nearby boxing ring, the Westchester County executive just went with it.
“Who wants to fight me? Who wants to fight me?” he asked the crowd when he arrived, according to his re-election campaign manager, Phil Oliva.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo met behind closed doors today for about an hour in Albany, but appeared no closer to a resolution on their heated dispute over how to fund an expansion of pre-K.
Speaking to reporters in the capital, Mr. de Blasio repeatedly described the conversation as “productive” but said his plan to up taxes on the city’s wealthiest residents remains the “only reliable plan on the table.” Mr. Cuomo insists he can fund pre-K across the state with existing funds.
A Campaign Grows in Albany
Assemblyman José Rivera said he did not mean to offend anyone with a bizarre video that appears to show the Bronx lawmaker discussing the sexual benefits of “mamajuana” and ogling young women in the Dominican Republic.
“Assemblyman Jose Rivera did not mean to offend anyone, if anyone was offended by the video,” his chief of staff, Jasmin Clavasquin, told Politicker this morning.
Rain on my Parade
Gov. Andrew Cuomo today released a batch of ads, which focus on some of his signature policy initiatives.
The three advertisements, paid for by the governor’s campaign account, promote Mr. Cuomo’s support of property tax cuts and his opposition to Common Core testing.
Their release comes just as Mr. Cuomo’s possible Republican rival, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, ramps up his gubernatorial bid.
The International Man
In an apparent slip of the tongue, Mayor Bill de Blasio today said he had skipped yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the Rockaways because it excluded some groups–even though he had marched in the same event last year.
“My approach has been to embrace parades that are inclusive. And that’s the standard we’re going to hold,” he said today during the St. Pat’s for All Parade in Sunnyside, Queens, when asked why he’d skipped Saturday’s event, which drew criticism from some in the Sandy-ravaged neighborhood.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, today weighed in on the escalating tensions in the Ukraine, where a standoff with the Russian military has led to a full-blown international crisis.
The new mayor, who seems eager to comment on foreign policy topics, including Israel and sanctions against Iran, sharply criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin for his incursion into the Crimean peninsula.
Mayor Bill de Blasio today dismissed the notion that he’s dragged his feet in filling his new administration, insisting that very few posts remain vacant.
“I’m not a lawyer … but I will be on the watch for premises that may not be accurate. A large number of agencies is a debatable point,” said Mr. de Blasio when asked about the criticism at a press conference today announcing three new hires.
Steve Banks, the chief attorney at the Legal Aid Society, has been appointed to lead the city’s Human Resources Administration, and Nisha Agarwal will serve as commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced this afternoon.
Mr. Banks has lead the organization, which provides free legal service, since 2004. Three years earlier, he ran unsuccessfully against Mr. de Blasio in a City Council race.
Bill Bratton will march in this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, a decision that will separate the police commissioner from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s and the City Concil’s official boycott of the Irish-American celebration.
Parade organizers have drawn fire because they do not allow groups with signs or banners identifying themselves as LGBT to march.