Cuomo Sounding More Like Gov Candidate As Poll Numbers Soar
Amid reports out of Albany that New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has already advanced his gubernatorial campaign schedule to the ticket-balancing stage, the latest poll on next year’s election shows Cuomo has increased his already staggering lead over Governor David Paterson to 59 points.
The Siena Research Institute survey taken between November 8 and 12, also shows Cuomo increasing his lead over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, to 12 points, 53 to 41.
Giuliani meanwhile, has yet to give any inkling that he’s considering a gubernatorial race. The only announced GOP candidate thus far is former Congressmember Rick Lazio (Long Island).
In the Cuomo–Paterson matchup, Cuomo leads the incumbent governor 75 to 16 percent, a nine-point increase since last month. Giving Paterson a bigger headache, Lazio gained five points and now leads the governor 42 to 39.
The poll results came as reports from Albany indicated Cuomo strategists are playing around with the idea of selecting outgoing New York City Comptroller William Thompson for the state comptroller rung on the ticket. This follows closely Thompson’s surprisingly good showing in the recent mayoral election won by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The choice of Thompson over incumbent state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli would provide better balance to the ticket in two ways: it removes an Italian American and adds a black candidate, which would also play well in the black community, allaying any lingering resentment over Cuomo easing Paterson out of the top spot.
Another move being considered by Cuomo strategists, it was reported, is to choose a woman to succeed Cuomo as attorney general. On the tentative list are Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore.
Giuliani’s silence on gubernatorial or other plans for next year continued, while at the same time he was jumping back into the national arena with strong criticism of the Obama Administration’s plans to bring the al Qaeda terrorists to trial to New York City.
MALONEY PRAISES DEBIT CARD PROTECTIONS: Congressmember Carolyn Maloney praised the Federal Reserve Bank’s changes to debit card overdraft rules, saying the powerful Fed “recognized the need to address outrageous overdraft policies by requiring a strong affirmative opt-in to debit card overdraft plans. The Fed’s rule is an endorsement of the need for more overdraft protection for consumers.”
But, she added, although the Fed made the right move, it doesn’t eliminate the need for more congressional action on the issue. Maloney, co-chair of the Financial Services Committee, looking into unfair bank overdraft practices, stated: “The Fed still allows institutions to charge an unlimited quantity of overdraft fees, would do nothing to make fee proportional to the amount of the overdraft, and would not address the manipulation of posting order of charges to accounts.
“Under the Fed’s new rules, a $5 cup of coffee could still become a $40 cup of coffee after an overdraft fee is added.”
Maloney (D–Queens/Manhattan) pointed out, “My bill does all that—it caps the quantity of fees at one per month or six per year, requires that fees be reasonable, and prohibits posting-order manipulation; and includes all transactions, not just debit cards. Those are provisions I believe make for the strongest consumer protections, and that’s what I believe the House will be passing.”
BIG SPENDERS, BIG WINNERS, BIG LOSERS: Nine of the top 12 biggest spending winning and losing candidates in this year’s City Council races were from Queens, a Daily News story reported lastweek. Heading the list, according to filings with the Campaign Finance Board, was Kevin Kim of Bayside, who spent $483,726 to win the 19th Council Democratic primary and in losing the general election to Republican Dan Halloran, who spent just $93,248 in his victorious campaign.
Right behind Kim was another losing candidate, Yen Chou, who spent $377,027 to win the Democratic primary, but then lost the 20th District (Flushing) general election to Republican Peter Koo.
Trailing Chou in the spending department was Koo, operator of a chain of pharmacies, who spent $331,270 in his winning effort against Chou to succeed Comptroller-elect John Liu.
Coming down from Albany where he served in the Assembly for many years, Councilmember-elect Mark Weprin spent $270,237 to win both the Democratic primary and the general election in the 23rd District (Hollis) to succeed his brother David, who was an also-ran in the Democratic primary for city comptroller.
Councilmember-elect James Van Bramer made his first election effort memorable as he spent $261,936 to win both the Democratic primary and general election in the 26th District (Long Island City). Eric Gioia previously held the seat.
Former Councilmember Karen Koslowitz spent $261,872 to win the Democratic primary-general election to return to her former 29th District (Forest Hills) seat, succeeding Melinda Katz, another also-ran in the Democratic city comptroller primary.
Incumbent Councilmember Helen Sears unloaded $248,268 in losing the Democratic primary for the 25th District (Jackson Heights) seat to Daniel Dromm, who spent $248,236 on the primary and then the general election to succeed Sears as 25th District councilmember.
Paul Vallone spent $246,178 in a losing quest, the Democratic primary for the 19th District seat in Northeast Queens. Kevin Kim won that contest, but lost the general election and spent the most of any candidate.
PERALTA: ‘HELP DISADVANTAGED IN BUDGET’: Complaining, “New York’s most vulnerable residents have borne the brunt of deep budget cuts in recent years,” Assemblymember Jose Peralta charged that Governor David Paterson is following the same pattern in his proposed 2010 budget.
“These budget cuts place an unfair burden on the state’s most vulnerable citizens,” the Corona lawmaker charged. He pointed to the governor’s proposed cuts of $1 billion in aid to public schools, consisting of a reduction of $686 million in grades K-12 and $177 million in higher education as well as $471 million in health care.
“Instead of making drastic cuts, we should explore measures such as the strategic use of the state’s $1.2 billon Rainy Day Fund, the bulk purchasing of prescription drugs and cost-saving energy initiatives”, Peralta declared.
END OF RUNOFF ELECTIONS?: Citing the $15 million cost for the most recent runoff election, in which less than 8 percent of registered Democrats voted, state Senator Joseph Addabbo (D-Howard Beach) is sponsoring legislation to end the practice.
“Legislation introduced would eliminate the outdated practice of primary runoff voting, saving taxpayers millions of dollars in these difficult economic times,” Addabbo said. “The one who gets the most votes in an election should be the winner.”
KOO NAMES TRANSITION TEAM: Councilmember-elect Peter Koo (R-Flushing) has named James McClelland and Jennifer Lo, his campaign manager and campaign treasurer in his recent victorious campaign, as leaders of his transition team.
FUNDRAISER/BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR DROMM: Councilmember-elect Daniel Dromm has scheduled a fundraiser/ birthday party Thursday, December 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Natives Restaurant, 82-22 Northern Blvd., Jackson Heights. The proceeds will be used for his 2010 inauguration as the new 25th District councilmember.
NOLAN SUPPORTS PRESERVING ST. SAVIOUR’S: A statement released by Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (DRidgewood), stated: “I have been a longtime supporter of the preservation of St. Saviour and its property [in Maspeth]. This community initiative to save this property and turn it into park space is a great plan. I thank Councilmember Liz Crowley and Borough President Helen Marshall for their leadership on this project and look forward to hearing feedback from the community.
VETS DAY GIFT DRIVE A SUCCESS: Assemblymember Ann-Margaret Carrozza thanked her volunteers for their help in her “record-setting” Veterans’ Day Gift Drive, to which the community “generously contributed more donations this year than were collected during the last several gift drives combined”.
Hundreds of donations of handwritten cards, candy, new clothing, playing cards and toiletries were received from churches, synagogues, civic organizations, schools, senior clubs and many local residents, the Bayside lawmaker said. The beneficiaries were veterans hospitalized at the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System at the New York Veterans Home in St. Albans.
Next on tap for Carrozza is her 13th annual toy drive to help Queens families. Drive deadline is Thursday, December 17 to donate a new and unwrapped toy or let workers know of a family in need.
Drop gifts off at Dr. Robert Mittman’s office, 38-21 Bell Blvd., Bayside or at M&S Italian Food Specialties, 34-23 Francis Lewis Blvd., Bayside.
For more information, call 718-357- 3588, or stop by Carrozza’s office at 213- 33 39th Ave., Suite 238.