Trouble in Paradise: NY Times won’t endorse Andrew Cuomo’s reelection bid

posted at 9:21 am on August 27, 2014 by Noah Rothman

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo managed to escape an significant — even measurable — level of media scrutiny in the wake of his government’s decision to disband an anti-corruption panel. Many speculate that this move was prompted by that commission’s decision to investigate Cuomo’s government.

We all know why New York’s Democratic governor did not get the Chris Christie treatment from the press, but that does not mean he has entirely escaped the scorn of the Fourth Estate. On Tuesday, The New York Times editorial board made its endorsement in the upcoming Democratic primary in the race for governor of the Empire State: no one.

“The state government remains as subservient to big money as ever, and Mr. Cuomo resisted and even shut down opportunities to fix it,” The Times editorial read. “Because he broke his most important promise, we have decided not to make an endorsement.”

The Times did not endorse Cuomo’s opponent, Fordham University associate professor Zephyr Teachout, but seemed to welcome a strong showing from her in the race against Cuomo. The editorial board said that “a shake-up is overdue,” and a challenge from Cuomo’s left may provide one.

The impression one gets from reading the editorial that it was not Cuomo’s apparently corrupt decision to disband this corruption panel that has so irked The Times editorial board, but his pattern of governing from the center-left rather than the extreme left on the issue of reforming campaign financing to create an entirely public system.

“Mr. Cuomo proposed a better system, but, when legislators balked, he threw up his hands and claimed there was nothing he could do. Where was the energy and determination he showed on marriage rights and guns?” the editorial asked.

Mr. Cuomo says the purpose of the commission was the leverage it gave him to push an ethics law through the Legislature and he disbanded the panel when the law, agreed to in March, achieved roughly nine of 10 goals. But the missing goal – a strong public finance system that cut off unlimited donations – was always, by far, the most important method of reducing corruption, a much bigger reform than the strengthened bribery laws he settled for.

“The state remains as subservient to big money as ever,” the editorial lamented, “and Mr. Cuomo even resisted and even shut down opportunities to fix it.”

“Ms. Teachout brings a refreshing seriousness to the job of cleaning up state government, making a strong case for the urgency of rescuing politics from unchecked corporate power,” The Times editorial board added. “Having walked away from his most important goals, [Cuomo] should not be surprised if many Democrats walk away from him on Sept. 9.”

New York State’s National Organization for Women went a step further than the Times and endorsed Teachout outright on Tuesday. The attention the left-wing candidate is getting from influential groups is likely to help Teachout, but probably not enough to matter by Election Day. A Quinnipiac poll from August 14 – 17 found that 85 percent of New York’s Democratic voters had not heard enough about Teachout to have any opinion about the candidate. While she may be all the rage in liberal circles of influence, the unknown professor remains a mystery to voters.

But there’s never been anything like a losing cause to get the left excited.


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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo managed to escape an significant — even measurable — level of media scrutiny in the wake of his government’s decision to disband an anti-corruption panel.

Isn’t this about the same thing Rick Perry got indicted for?

Akzed on August 27, 2014 at 9:24 AM

“My name is Zephyr Teachout, and I am a constitutional law professor and organizer.”

Pork-Chop on August 27, 2014 at 9:26 AM

What happened, Cuomo refused to “take care” of the 174 parking tickets that Pinch has racked up over the last year?

Bishop on August 27, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Blue on blue strife- I like it.

Happy Nomad on August 27, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Isn’t this about the same thing Rick Perry got indicted for?

Akzed on August 27, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Not even close.

Happy Nomad on August 27, 2014 at 9:28 AM

What happened, Cuomo refused to “take care” of the 174 parking tickets that Pinch has racked up over the last year?

Bishop on August 27, 2014 at 9:27 AM

At the rate the NYT is burning through cash, Little Pinch is going to have to move to the Poor Door part of his building soon.

ConstantineXI on August 27, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Let me guess … its because Cuomo isn’t Communist enough for the Times. After all it was the Times that cozies up to the Soviets early on …

clippermiami on August 27, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Isn’t this about the same thing Rick Perry got indicted for?

Akzed on August 27, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Much worse. Perry wanted a convict who tried to use her position as a public servant gone from her office. Which is completely reasonable. Cuomo, who absolutely had nothing to hide — wink, wink, nudge, nudge, shut down an investigation that reached into his office.

rbj on August 27, 2014 at 9:31 AM

I didn’t think it was possible, but the NYTimes is tacking even further to the left than I thought possible.

If a letist like Cuomo isn’t liberal enough for them … good grief.

Let the Elizabeth Warren ‘She’s All We’ve Got’ lovefest begin!

forheremenaremen on August 27, 2014 at 9:31 AM

“My name is Zephyr Teachout, and I am a constitutional law professor and organizer.”

Pork-Chop on August 27, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Just what the world needs another PRETEND Constitutional POSER and ORGANIZER.

clippermiami on August 27, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Nowhere is there a more perfect product of New York State’s government culture than Andrew Cuomo. Dig into him anywhere and you find some kind of quid pro quo going on, big or small.

RBMN on August 27, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Remember that the Clintons don’t favor the Cuomos.

Fleuries on August 27, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Not even close. Happy Nomad on August 27, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Perry’s alleged offense? That he demanded the resignation of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg after she pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated, then vetoed funding for a state public integrity unit that her office relies upon after she refused to step down.

I understand that the motives and consequences are different, but they both shut down ethics offices.

Cuomo did it apparently to save his own skin, Perry did it on principle. The press makes hay of Perry’s indictment, Cuomo gets a non-endorsement from NYT. Like I said, about the same thing.

Akzed on August 27, 2014 at 9:36 AM

We need Urban Elitists’s take on this. He’ll reassure us
that the Son of Mario has nothing to hide….

ToddPA on August 27, 2014 at 9:36 AM

We need Urban Elitists’s take on this. He’ll reassure us
that the Son of Mario has nothing to hide….
ToddPA on August 27, 2014 at 9:36 AM

Until then this will have to do.

we’re more comfortable with Obama Cuomo wielding this sort of power because he seems a hell of a lot more effective and responsible with it. urban elitist on February 8, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Akzed on August 27, 2014 at 9:40 AM

Yah, imagine governors Perry or Walker ignoring an investigate committee up until the point it started reaching their own office, and then suddenly BOOM! It gets shut down and their answer to why is “Well…because.”

You wouldn’t be able to swing everdiso by his hair without hitting a media quick-reaction team going Breaking-News-Action-Alert-Apeshiite over it.

Bishop on August 27, 2014 at 9:44 AM

Remember that the Clintons don’t favor the Cuomos.

Fleuries on August 27, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Neither does Obama.

The Cuomos are the junior crime family of the Democrat Party to the Kennedys.

ConstantineXI on August 27, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Zephyr Teachout?With a name like that she must be an extreme far left loon.With her and DiBlasio sounds like a match made in lefty heaven.

jeffinsjvca on August 27, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Vinnie is going to pay the NYT’s a little visit.

Walter L. Newton on August 27, 2014 at 9:51 AM

This is one of those ‘Meh’ actions by the Times, since it’s failing to endorse in the primaries, not the general election, and Teachout — despite some good references personally from Glenn Reynolds — is running to the left of Cuomo in the primary.

If they do the same thing come general election endorsement time, then it will be worth talking about (and IIRC, the last high-profile Republican endorsement the Times delivered was Rudy Giuliani over Ruth Messinger in 1997, when the paper couldn’t hide New York’s revival in Rudy’s first term as mayor and was unable to justify endorsing the hyper-liberal Messinger to be the city’s first woman mayor.

jon1979 on August 27, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Mr. Cuomo proposed a better system, but, when legislators balked, he threw up his hands and claimed there was nothing he could do.

So Obama does the same thing and gets a free pass?

Kennyraisin on August 27, 2014 at 10:02 AM

“Ms. Teachout brings a refreshing seriousness to the job of cleaning up state government, making a strong case for the urgency of rescuing politics from unchecked corporate power,”

The irony is killing me.
The NYT complains of unchecked corporate power in an article posted in the NYT that is attempting to influence politics.

What is the NYT if not the poster child of unchecked corporate power?

airupthere on August 27, 2014 at 10:02 AM

Challenger Rob Astorino has a plan to clean up Albany corruption.
-
http://www.robastorino.com/astorino-plan-clean-albanys-corruption/
-
Let’s see if the NYT notices.

diogenes on August 27, 2014 at 10:03 AM

“Ms. Teachout brings a refreshing seriousness to the job of cleaning up state government, making a strong case for the urgency of rescuing politics from unchecked corporate power,”

The New York Times Company publishes the New York Times.

airupthere on August 27, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Zephyr Rain Teachout

WTF???

Big John on August 27, 2014 at 10:29 AM

But Andy’s the one who bought enough votes to make same sex marriage happen.

formwiz on August 27, 2014 at 10:54 AM

The left, they eat their own. Even the “Conservatives not welcome in NY state” comment can’t save him now.

jake49 on August 27, 2014 at 11:17 AM

As I said, this probably isn’t a serious matter. More like some NYT big shot got a speeding ticket and Cuomo didn’t fix it for him.

dockywocky on August 27, 2014 at 11:30 AM

I read the detailed story on this. The panel had discovered HIS people were corrupt and were pivoting in that direction. His staff kept getting in the way and trying to derail the effort.

Finally, when the group made it through those barricades, Cuomo pulled the plug.

Corrupt, corrupt, corrupt.

But then again, it is New York.

archer52 on August 27, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Isn’t this about the same thing Rick Perry got indicted for?

Its exactly what Nixon did with the Saturday Night Massacre firing of Archibald Cox. Except here there were no honorable democrats to resign in protest.

Bill-Republic of Texas on August 27, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Must be bad if the New York Slimes won’t endorse him. Nevertheless, they will do so in the general against his R opponent.

cat_owner on August 27, 2014 at 5:50 PM