Quinn Defends Hochul’s Pro-Choice Record While Cuomo Questions Astorino’s Taxes

Christine Quinn backed Kathy Hochul's record on abortion after taxes showed a donation to a pro-life preacher, while Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on Rob Astorino to release his taxes.

Kathy Hochul, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Christine Quinn. (Photo: Jillian Jorgensen)
Kathy Hochul, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Christine Quinn. (Photo: Jillian Jorgensen)

Former Congresswoman Kathy Hochul’s record on abortion rights is “perfect,” former Council Speaker Christine Quinn said today after Ms. Hochul’s tax returns showed a one-time donation to an anti-abortion preacher.

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“For anyone to question that, I find it insulting, outrageous,” Ms. Quinn said after a Women’s Equality Party rally at John Jay College. “This woman is a choice hero, period, end of question.”

The Observer reported yesterday that Ms. Hochul, the candidate for lieutenant governor, and her husband, a U.S. Attorney, had donated $250 in 2012 to Charles Swindoll, a Texas-based preacher with a radio ministry and strong anti-abortion and anti-gay-marriage views.

But Ms. Quinn said what matters is Ms. Hochul’s record of standing with pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood when they were under attack in her Buffalo district.

Ms. Hochul, too, touted her “100-percent pro-choice” record, as she did to the Observer yesterday, and she and Gov. Andrew Cuomo took the opportunity to question what might be revealed in GOP candidate and Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s income taxes. Mr. Astorino has released only his most recent return.

“What I find so interesting is that we’re able to have this question asked of me because I believe in transparency, and I did release five years of my taxes, my family taxes, for public view,” Ms. Hochul said. “And my question is, why hasn’t Rob Astorino? What is he hiding that he has not allowed you to ask the same inquiring questions?”

Mr. Cuomo said Ms. Hochul was “exactly right,” and made a rare reference to Mr. Astorino — whom he normally refers to as his opponent — by name.

“I have never, I can’t recall a serious gubernatorial candidate or attorney general candidate who didn’t release at least five years of taxes. George Pataki did. Any serious candidate did on both sides of the aisle, and it’s a way of saying this is who I am, basically,” Mr. Cuomo aid. “Now for Astorino, he was county executive during those years, so this should have been very simple because he was working of the public, and he was under the public ethics law. If he’s not releasing his taxes then the question is: why not, and what does he have to hide. and what was he doing while he was a public servant?”

While Mr. Cuomo has released many returns since he first ran for attorney general, Mr. Astorino’s camp pointed to 2010, when Mr. Cuomo was up for re-election and his most recent return was release after the vote.

“Incredible; this from the same Andrew Cuomo who refused to release his tax returns when he ran for governor in 2010. Rob Astorino released his 2013 tax return, plus five year’s of financial disclosures which have been available online for all to see for years,” Astorino spokesman Bill O’Reilly said.

Quinn Defends Hochul’s Pro-Choice Record While Cuomo Questions Astorino’s Taxes