You may recall that nasty mailer that went out to primarily Jewish families in New York City in the closing days of the Democratic primary battle between Cynthia Nixon and incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo. It was a dirty trick of the lowest order, but Cuomo quickly came out and said he had nothing to do with it. As the local media dug into the story, however, that answer seemed less and less likely to be true. Now yet another shoe has dropped and the New York Post has unearthed communications showing that it was almost impossible for Cuomo to have been ignorant of it and, in all likelihood, personally approved it.
Gov. Cuomo’s inner circle was aware of the slimy mailer that sought to link Cynthia Nixon to anti-Semitism, casting new doubts on his campaign’s repeated denials about the smear against his Democratic primary rival.
Campaign manager Maggie Moran was copied on discussions about the mailer and her top aide, Adam Steinberger, was involved in its creation two weeks before the election, interviews and documents obtained by The Post show.
Cuomo’s office was looped in, too: Jill DesRosiers — top lieutenant to Cuomo’s right hand, Melissa DeRosa — was copied on the e-mail, according to sources familiar with the exchanges.
The list of people from Cuomo’s inner circle who definitely knew about the smear attack is lengthy and includes some who are constantly at the Governor’s elbow. One of Cuomo’s longest serving, top advisors, Larry Schwartz, shows up in a chain of emails which went out days before the mailer was released. In fact, he expressed concerns over the dirty trick but still gave the thumbs up when asked if he was “sure this is okay,” saying Not sure, but not going to hold it up.
Is this going to have any impact on the general election? Of course not. But there’s another group which may be in some real trouble and it’s the Working Families Party. They backed Cynthia Nixon, and now that she’s lost they are hard pressed to get her off of their ballot line for the general election. The party stated in July that they had a complex scheme to accomplish this, running Nixon for the Assembly in her home district and (presumably) endorsing Cuomo. But that plan is falling apart fast.
First of all, the clock is ticking, but Deborah Glick, the representative from the 66th district, says she hasn’t heard from Nixon and there’s no sign that she’s applied to run in that race. Also, a deal to endorse Cuomo fell through, so the WFP may now be looking for yet another unknown candidate to run for governor, assuming they can get Nixon off the ballot line. But if the WFP doesn’t receive 50,000 votes for governor cast on their line, they lose their automatic place on the ballot in the next election. The entire situation is a mess. At this point, the only way to get Nixon off the ballot cleanly would be for her to move out of the state by next month, but that seems even more unlikely.
Welcome to New York. It’s a place where arcane election laws make everything… interesting. Let’s hope we all survive it.