Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Cuomo Digs Up ConservaDem Kathy Hochul-- Promptly Hides Her From The Democratic Base


When Republican Congressman Chris Lee was caught, shirtless, online trolling for younger women, he resigned and nominal Democrat Kathy Hochul, the County Clerk of Erie County won the special election to replace him, primarily because a wealthy, well-known teabagger, Jack Davis, pulled votes away from her GOP opponent. She immediately joined the corrupt, Wall Street-owned New Dems and began amassing a conservative, anti-family record, working hard, for example, to reduce Medicaid spending.

New York Democrats hoped they had found another Kirsten Giillibrand, a pro-NRA conservaDem would could pull the wool over the eyes of progressive voters who assume Democrats are progressives. She was defeated for reelection 150,466 (51%) to 146,134 (49%) by GOP multimillionaire Chris Collins, losing Erie, Genesee, Monroe, Wyoming and Orleans counties, tying Niagara and only winning in Livingston and Ontario. After losing she slid right into a lobbying job for a bank, a totally natural fit. But in late May New York's ambitious conservative governor dug her up again and gave her the nod to run as his Lt. Governor. (Keep in mind that the first time she ran for office, she ran on both the Democratic and Conservative Party lines.) She ran on the Conservative line again-- for Erie County Clerk-- in 2010 after she had pleased the far right by her extremist anti-immigrant mania.

Yesterday, the NY Post ran an article about how Cuomo has been hiding her away from Democratic voters. "Where in the world," asks Fred Dicker, "is former US Rep. Kathy Hochul? The one-time Buffalo-area congresswoman known for her strong support of gun ownership rights and her fervid opposition to giving state privileges to illegal aliens has all but disappeared from public view since Gov. Cuomo picked her in May as his running mate for lieutenant governor."

Key state Democrats told The Post that Cuomo has ordered Hochul “kept under wraps,’’ in the words of one, to prevent her more conservative views from upending his re-election campaign among liberal New York City Democrats, especially Hispanics.

“No extended interviews, no press conferences, no TV or radio appearances, no nothing. It’s like she’s under lock and key,’’ said a senior elected Democrat.

Hochul, who received a top rating from the National Rifle Association when she ran for Congress and strongly opposed former Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s efforts to grant driver’s licenses to illegal aliens when she was Erie County clerk, was chosen by Cuomo as part of his aggressive effort to win over Western New York voters.

But Hochul has granted virtually no in-depth interviews, has made only brief and superficial campaign appearances, and has been almost totally silent on her controversial past positions-- including her declaration that she would have illegal aliens who sought driver’s licenses arrested.

“Try defending that position to Hispanics who support the state ‘Dream Act,’ ’’ said an elected New York City Democrat, referring to the Cuomo-backed legislation to spend $25 million on college assistance grants for illegals.

State GOP Chairman Ed Cox could barely contain his sarcasm when asked about Hochul’s invisibility.

“With all the contradictions between the two of them, I’m not surprised that Cuomo would want to make her disappear,’’ he said.
Zephyr Teachout, the a constitutional law professor and former national Director of the anti-corruption group the Sunlight Foundation, is running as the progressive alternative to Cuomo and she is delighted that Hochul as surfaced since it points out the contrast between Cuomo's personnel politics and her own. Her selection for Lt. Governor, Tim Wu, is is a law professor at Columbia University and is most well-known for being the father of Net Neutrality. He's also the son of two immigrants. Last night I talked with Zephyr-- whose campaign you can support here-- who framed the differences between Hochul and Wu very succinctly: "In the Hochul-Wu contest, Hochul represents conservative and fear-based politics, and Wu represents progressive and democracy-based politics." In 2010, she told me, she actually backed Cuomo's first gubernatorial bid.
I supported him-- but he has betrayed the most basic traditional Democratic principles, and governed in a way that benefits his donors and his political ambitions. He supports transferring money that should go to underfunded public schools into tax breaks for big corporations. The Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos has said that Governor Cuomo sounds like a “good moderate Republican.” When it came to picking a Lieutenant Governor for his reelection, he picked an anti-immigrant bank lobbyist, Kathy Hochul, who built her political career on open opposition to drivers' licenses for undocumented immigrants, boasting that she would send any undocumented immigrant who asked for a license to the sheriff. They are running a secretive, closed campaign, where it is difficult to get direct press access to Hochul and Cuomo limits his availability to the press, counting on the fact that they have millions of dollars in campaign contributions so they don't have to actually listen to the New York public. But the truth is that they have abandoned New York, and do not represent the public good, let alone the vision of New York Democrats.

We are running a strong, clear, open, grassroots campaign, challenging Governor Cuomo and Kathy Hochul to an open debate about what it means to be a Democrat in New York, and what kind of New York we all want to live in, and what kind of people we all want to be. Tim and I are committed to a democracy and economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and well-connected.

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At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have a citation for the assertion that Hochul fought to reduce Medicaid spending?

At 6:26 AM, Blogger ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Google came up with this Politico piece:

Hochul says she’s looking for areas to reduce the deficit—an oft-repeated refrain as she campaigned in the diners around her Republican leaning district, including ways to bring down the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare recipients and cuts to the defense budget. She’s also open to spending reductions for Medicaid, though not in the form of block grants offered to states, as proposed in the GOP budget blueprint.
I'll note that the last thing Dems should have been doing in 2011 (also 2010, and 2009) is concern-trolling the deficit. JOBS should have been the priority. And not just via trickle-down.


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