Category: 2018 Election
Posted on 22 Jan 2018, 14:15 - Category: 2018 Election
CBS2 New York
Jury Selection Begins In Corruption Trial Of Former Cuomo Aide
January 22, 2018 at 2:00 pm
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Jury selection began Monday in the corruption trial of a former aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Joseph Percoco and his wife, who wasn’t charged, are alleged to have accepted more than $315,000 in bribes and other perks in exchange for using his official position to perform favors for an energy company and a real estate developer.
The indictment alleges that Percoco and his associates exchanged emails in which they used code words including “ziti,” which meant cash. The term was used in the hit HBO show “The Sopranos” to refer to bribe payments, CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported.
Cuomo has not been implicated in the case, but Republicans say that the Percoco trial is to Andrew Cuomo as the Bridgegate scandal was to former New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie was never charged, but some think it helped torpedo his presidential campaign.
At his father’s funeral, Andrew Cuomo described Percoco as Mario Cuomo’s third son. Percoco was also Andrew Cuomo’s right hand man and gate keeper.
Holding a banner depicting a mock up pasta box with the word “bribezoni,” New York Republican leaders stood outside federal court in Lower Manhattan doing their best to tie Cuomo to the trial, Kramer reported.
“Gov. Cuomo and Joe Percoco have been running the governor’s office like a mafia movie,” said Manhattan GOP Leader Andrea Catsimatidis.
“There is no doubt that Andrew Cuomo is an enabler of the bribery and corruption that is on trial here today,” said State Republican Chairman Ed Cox. “This is about Andrew Cuomo’s culture of corruption.”
Responding to the Republican attacks one Democratic insider ticked off a long list of Republicans involved in corruption cases, including former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, former Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, and even Richard Nixon.
“They need to respond to Skelos, Maziarz, Mangano, Venditto and Nixon, as well as Trump’s 25 percent tax hike on New Yorkers and they have no response, rapid or in November,” the Democrat said.
Cuomo has not been accused of wrongdoing and is not expected to testify. He is up for reelection in November and there is speculation that he has his sights on a White House bid.
The charges against Percoco were brought by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who was fired by President Donald Trump last year along with other federal prosecutors.
At the time, Bharara said the government’s complaint “shines a light on yet another sordid side of the ‘show me the money’ culture that has so plagued Albany.”
The trial will be the first major prosecution supervised by Bharara’s interim replacement, Geoffrey Berman.
Potential jurors so far range from a retired building maintenance worker to a former producer for Court TV to a hospital worker who on her questionnaire wrote “all politicians are crooks in someway.” Judge Valerie Caproni declared that doesn’t mean she can’t be fair, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.
Percoco and several co-defendants have pleaded not guilty to charges of bid-rigging and bribery related to state economic development projects.
Percoco’s lawyer calls the charges “an overreach of classic proportions.”Read More...
Posted on 22 Jan 2018, 14:10 - Category: 2018 Election
At strategy summit, GOP operatives hope to avoid primary
By JIMMY VIELKIND
12/11/2017 05:04 AM EST
ALBANY — Ideally, there will be no Republican gubernatorial primary next year. The GOP standard bearer will be able to run as an outsider, and bring his or her own money to the campaign.
Those were the takeaways from a summit of the state’s top Republican operatives, convened last week by new Manhattan Republican Chairwoman Andrea Catsimatidis at the Women’s National Republican Club.
"We had a great meeting with successful GOP operatives from around the state and discussed the importance of a unified big-tent party that can win in 2018," Catsimatidis, the daughter of supermarket mogul and former mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis, said in a statement.
According to several sources who were there, the consensus was that business consultant Harry Wilson is the party’s best bet for next year. Wilson, who ran unsuccessfully for comptroller in 2010, has told party leaders that he would pony up $10 million of his own money and has begun touring the state. He’s said he’ll decide about running by year’s end.
“The sense is there’s Harry, and then there’s a bunch of second-tier options,” said one person who attended the meeting, who asked not to be named because it was a private discussion.
Jonathan Trichter, who has worked with Wilson for the last eight years, was in attendance. As were Bill McGahay and David Catalfamo of Park Strategies, Jessica Proud of the November Team, Michael Fragin and Chapin Fay of Mercury, former Brooklyn Republican chair Craig Eaton, Rob Cole, Ed Lurie, Leticia Remauro, John Haggerty, Mollie Fullington, Obi Murray, Vinny Balascio, Jake Menges, Manhattan GOP vice chair Alexandra Nigolian, NYGOP finance chairman Arcadio Casillas and Bryan Larkin of John McLaughlin & Associates.
Haggerty, who worked on Carl Paladino’s insurgent 2010 gubernatorial bid, talked about the virtues of primaries at honing candidates for the general election. The other people in the room — who often work for warring candidates — said that 2018 was not the right time for such honing.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has said he will seek a third term next year and is sitting on a campaign war chest of at least $25 million. Republicans are bullish, though, and say they will use upcoming corruption trials — and a new federal probe of hiring practices revealed on Friday — and the still-lagging upstate economy as cornerstones of any campaign.
At one point, someone in attendance suggested the ideal candidate should “have a record.” Trichter jumped in, adamant that someone without any experience in elective office should be considered alongside any established politician.
Trichter, reached by phone Friday, declined to comment.
One person at the meeting said there also was a discussion about whether the candidate should rebuke President Donald Trump, whose poll numbers in the state are flagging. The consensus was no, for fear of losing parts of the GOP base.
In addition to Wilson, the potential gubernatorial candidates are Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse), Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua).Read More...
Posted on 12 Dec 2017, 13:33 - Category: 2018 Election
20 GOP consultants gathered to 2018 NY governor's race
BY KENNETH LOVETT
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, December 11, 2017, 4:02 AM
The following is an expanded version of the second item from my "Albany Insider" column:
In a rare meeting, about 20 Republican consultants from across the state got together in Manhattan last week to talk about the upcoming governor’s race.
The group met at the behest of new Manhattan GOP Chairwoman Andrea Catsimatidis and largely agreed that wealthy business turnaround expert Harry Wilson would be the best candidate for the party.
But they also discussed the type of candidate they would need to challenge Gov. Cuomo should Wilson not run, those in attendance said.
Among the traits that would be best, they said, is a social moderate, fiscal conservative with a record of accomplishment and the resources to help fund a campaign. A woman would also be ideal, two attendees said.
”Harry checks off all but one of those boxes,” said one consultant.
Another consultant said the takeaway from the meeting is that “Cuomo is vulnerable. Harry would be terrific, but if not Harry, someone else. People should not be scared off by Cuomo. There is a pathway to victory.”
Also considering a run is state Senate Deputy Majority Leader John DeFrancisco, Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, and Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro. The Buffalo News reported Sunday that former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra is also considering running.
Wilson in an email told the Daily News he still hasn’t made up his mind whether to run. He has previously said he would decide by Christmas.
The Republicans haven't won a statewide race in New York since George Pataki was elected to a third term as governor in 2002.
The 20 or so GOP consultants who attended the meeting made up a cross section of representation. Some were from upstate, some downstate. Some date back to winning campaigns by Pataki and ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Others were part of more current races.
Some of those in attendance included Ed Laurie, David Catalfamo, Jake Menges, Chapin Fay, Mollie Fullington, Craig Eaton.
Also in attendance was Jonathan Trichter, a principal at MAEVA Municipal Solutions, which Wilson heads. Trichter is a Democratic consultant who worked for former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s campaign and crossed party lines to work on Wilson’s 2010 unsuccessful run for state controller and has been helping the potential gubernatorial candidate as he’s moved around the state.
One source familiar with the discussions said Trichter said Wilson would run against Trump and the GOP and believes his story would transcend any anti-Trump or anti-Republican feelings in blue New York.
“His whole presentation was Trump doesn’t matter, what happened in the fall (when the Democrats made big gains in New York) doesn’t matter,” the source said. “The room came away from the presentation saying these guys are clueless. If this is their plan, God help us.”
But Trichter and four other attendees disputed the contention. They said Trichter was mainly listening and spoke up when the discussion turned to the need for someone with a record of accomplishment.
“I got the sense Trichter was listening and there to hear what our thoughts were,” one said. “I didn’t get a sense one way or the other that he had made a decision.”
Said another: “Trichter definitely had a message of what Harry would say, of what his bio would be.”
Wilson grew up upstate, has a business record of helping turnaround struggling businesses, and was tapped by Democratic President Barack Obama to help with the General Motors bailout.Read More...
Posted on 12 Dec 2017, 13:30 - Category: 2018 Election
STATEMENT FROM MANHATTAN GOP CHAIR
ANDREA CATSIMATIDIS ON ELECTION RESULTS
Despite the results the Manhattan GOP is bigger, better and stronger than ever!
While the results last evening did not bring us our desired outcome, the Manhattan GOP ran a strong group of diverse and dynamic candidates who helped make our party better.
Despite the results this cycle we built our membership rolls to the strongest they've been in many years, sent over 300,000 pieces of mail, called every Republican voter in the county twice, for the first time in more than a decade were able to feature our candidates on national TV and radio, giving them more exposure than ever before, expanded our social media presence and built a stronger volunteer database than our party has seen in over 2 decades.
Our candidates Naomi Levin - CD10, Eliot Rabin - CD12, Jineea Butler - CD13, Anthony Arias - SD26, Theodore Ashton Randle - 27SD, Pete Holmberg - 28SD, Jose Colon - 29SD, Melinda Crump - 31SD, Daby Carreras - 68AD, Corina Cotenescu - 69AD, Ron Goodman - 72AD, Dr. Jeff Ascherman - 73AD and Bryan Cooper - 74AD, all put in an extreme amount of hard work hitting the streets and talking to voters. I hope they stay involved with us in 2019 to continue to build the Manhattan GOP.
Further, I congratulate the effort shown by our strong statewide ticket including Marc Molinaro, Julie Killian, Keith Wofford, Jonathan Trichter and Chele Farley. Our slate could not have been filled with a better group of individuals who care more about the citizens of New York State.
I want to congratulate our candidates and our wonderful volunteers for a well fought battle. I stand committed to making the Manhattan GOP better, stronger and prouder from Harlem to Houston Street in 2019.Read More...
Posted on 07 Nov 2018, 9:45 - Category: 2018 Election