Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, left, shakes the hand of Endwell resident Jeff Weyant, shipping supervisor at Bob Carr 2.0 Printing and Mailing, before he reveals details about his comprehensive jobs plan during a press conference Tuesday in Binghamton.
Jon Campbell http://rochesterdemocrat.ny.newsmemory.com/
ALBANY — The race for governor played out in the courtroom and on the campaign trail Tuesday.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s running mate — former Rep. Kathy Hochul, D-Buffalo — stood Tuesday outside City Hall in Manhattan, where she said Cuomo’s campaign had secured 100,000 voter signatures to create the Women’s Equality Party ballot line this fall. At the same time, an attorney for Cuomo’s reelection team was in a Brooklyn appeals court, challenging whether Democratic primary candidate Zephyr Teachout — the only female on the ballot in the governor’s race — meets the minimum residency requirement for a gubernatorial run. And in Binghamton, Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino laid out his jobs plan, calling on the state to authorize hydraulic fracturing and make numerous regulation and fee changes to spur job growth. Teachout, a Fordham Law School professor who lives in Brooklyn, is hoping to challenge Cuomo in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, which will also include comedian and activist Randy Credico. But first she must withstand the Cuomo campaign’s legal challenge, which accuses Teachout of not meeting the minimum standards for residency over the past five years, pointing to various points where she listed her parents’ Vermont home address as her own. A state Supreme Court judge earlier this month sided with Teachout, arguing that she had continuously maintained a place of residence in New York since Fordham hired her in mid-2009. The state Constitution requires candidates for governor to have been a New York resident for five years preceding an election.
The state Appellate Division of the Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides Tuesday, and a decision is expected within days to account for the fast-approaching primary.
“They are going to lose, again,” Teachout campaign manager Mike Boland said in a statement. “They have neither the law or the facts on their side. Zephyr Teachout has put one heck of a scare into the governor and his old boys club, and they are desperate.” Meanwhile, Hochul and women’s rights activists were in Manhattan, where they touted their effort to launch the Women’s Equality Party line.
If the state Board of Elections deems the petition signatures valid, it would give Cuomo and the Democratic statewide ticket a fourth ballot line come November, along with the Democratic, Working Families and Independence party lines. That’s assuming Cuomo wins the Democratic primary; publicopinion polls show Teachout is little-known across New York. “The extraordinary number of New Yorkers who have shown their support for the Women’s Equality Party sends a clear message that voices of women will be heard and counted where it matters most — at the ballot box,” Hochul said in a statement. Pending certification, nine Democrats running for state Senate also will hold the ballot line, including Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx; Democratic Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, D-Yonkers; Sen. Ted O’Brien, D-Irondequoit; Sen. Terry Gipson, D-Rhinebeck, Dutchess County; Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, Schenectady County; and Justin Wagner, an attorney from Croton, Westchester County. In Binghamton, Astorino unveiled his sevenpoint jobs plan, which takes aim at several perennial issues at the state Capitol, such as the repeal of the much-debated Scaffold law. He laid out several new ideas, including the creation of a farmers- only EZ Pass that would allow the agriculture industry to avoid paying Thruway tolls.
The plan included making the 2 percent property tax cap put in place by Cuomo permanent and holding flat or reducing state spending over the next four years. Astorino also proposed eliminating incorporation fees for LLCs and partnerships and placing a moratorium on any new regulations. Astorino kicked off a statewide tour Tuesday to tout the plan, which he unveiled at Bob Carr 2.0 Mailing and Printing, a small business in the Southern Tier city. Binghamton has become an epicenter of the debate over hydrofracking, the Astorino-supported, much-debated technique used to help recover natural gas.