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ALBANY — Former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has chosen Pelham Mayor Michael Volpe — a Republican — as her running mate in her independent bid to defeat Gov. Andrew Cuomo this fall.
In an interview with the USA TODAY Network's Albany Bureau, Miner revealed Volpe as her pick to run for lieutenant governor, pointing to him as someone who "shares (her) goals and values."
Miner, a Democrat, and Volpe, a Westchester County Republican, create a bipartisan ticket hoping to knock off Cuomo, a two-term Democratic incumbent, and his running mate, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul....
...First elected in 2010 after a term as attorney general, Cuomo is in an enviable position for re-election with more than $30 million in his campaign account.
He is running in a Democratic primary against actor and activist Cynthia Nixon, though polls show him with a hefty lead among Democratic voters.
Nixon, however, has already secured the Working Families Party nod, which means she could stay on the third-party line in November even if she loses the Democratic primary.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro has the Republican nod locked up, while Howie Hawkins is running on the Green Party line and Larry Sharpe is running as a Libertarian.
Letter to the Editor
Nixon Not the One
Jun 25, 2018
"If Washington is a swamp, then Albany under Andrew Cuomo is a cesspool," says Democratic primary opponent Cynthia Nixon.
No argument there. But Nixon is hypocritical for ignoring the pay-to-play cesspool of her friend, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Just as both de Blasio and Nixon call themselves progressives while he gives union-represented city workers only real-money pay cuts and she complains that transit workers are overpaid. Just as she criticizes Cuomo for underfunding education while ignoring de Blasio's neglect of New York City schools.
Let me make this perfectly clear. Nixon is a hypocrite. Make no mistake about that.
When Democrats and Republicans both offer terrible candidates, I refuse to limit my choices to them. I will vote for the same gubernatorial candidate I chose in the 2010 and 2014 elections, the Green Party's Howie Hawkins.
Retired transit worker
by Bob McCarthy
Some random observations about politics around here:
• Stephanie Miner, the former mayor of Syracuse, at one time maintained such a close political relationship with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that she served as his co-chairwoman of the Democratic State Committee – the same post now held by Mayor Byron Brown.
But things soured when Miner penned a New York Times op-ed railing against the governor’s borrowing plan for future pension obligations. That friendship quickly ended.
Now Miner has emerged as an independent challenger to the governor after flirting with a Democratic candidacy. Though nobody is rushing off to Las Vegas with wagers she will win in November, it’s a sure bet she will cause all kinds of problems for Cuomo’s re-election bid.
Ditto for Cynthia Nixon if she loses the Democratic primary but stays on the Working Families line. So will Howie Hawkins of the Greens, who was in town Thursday to advocate state divestiture of fossil fuel investments from the state pension fund.Read more
BUFFALO, N.Y. — While prosecutors across the state attempt to prove bid-rigging connected to the governor's signature economic development initiative, two Green Party candidates for state wide office criticized the Buffalo Billion as a whole.
"We'll see what the trial brings out and what the jury says but on the face of it, it's corrupt because big donations in, contracts out, and it's hard to prove a quid pro quo but it looks obvious just on appearance," Green Gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins said.
Comptroller candidate Mark Dunlea said he is concerned about the reports he's heard thus far from the trial, primarily that the state's economic development arm allegedly consulted with preferred developers about major projects.
"The testimony we've heard so far, it was routine for the Cuomo administration to allow companies that had given him donations to literally write request for proposals," he said.
Dunlea said current comptroller Tom Dinapoli has been silent about the Assembly's failure this week to pass legislation to give his office more oversight of state contracts. He said if elected he would be more aggressive in his scrutiny of contracts like the ones currently at the center of the trial.
"The state Assembly refused to bring the bill up for a vote even though it had passed the Senate, mainly because the governor did not want to see more state comptroller oversight," Dunlea said.
Meanwhile, Hawkins believes the Buffalo Billion model is flawed in general. Standing in front of the Freedom Wall on Buffalo's east side, he said he was skeptical the economic development money has made it to the neighborhoods that need it the most.
"The struggling working class and minority communities, this trickle-down economics don't trickle down to us. It goes to the rich," Hawkin said.
The candidates are pushing an economic development plan they call the Green New Deal which involves investing money into public works, specifically projects targeting climate change and improving the environment.
"That will create jobs directly. It will put people to work. It will put money in these communities and it will build the economy from the bottom up," Hawkins said.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - The Green Party's candidate for Governor also appeared before the Broome County Courthouse steps along with the party's candidate for State Comptroller.
Mark Dunlea officially announced his run for Comptroller.
He says the main focus of his candidacy is to divest public pension funds from fossil fuels.
According to Dunlea, only 4 percent of New York State gets it's electricity from renewable energy and that he and Gubernatorial Candidate Howie Hawkins would support legislation to move to 100 percent clean energy by 2030.
Dunlea says climate change needs to receive more attention.
"The first issue is to really force the issue of divestment in climate change. I think it's the single greatest threat to humanity at this point and we're losing the struggle against climate change," said Dunlea.
Dunlea also cited a study done by Cornell and Stanford professors that showed a transition to 100 percent renewable energy would create 4.5 million jobs during construction and 58,000 permanent annual jobs thereafter for the energy facilities.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Green Party Gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins today described Stephanie Miner's entrance into the governor's race as an effort to chip away at support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
"My general take is she's going to split the centrist vote from Cuomo," Hawkins said Monday morning. "It seems it's really going to hurt him."Read more
… The possibility she will take the plunge has left some Dems shaking their heads. They say she has little chance of winning but instead could help Republican gubernatorial candidate Marcus Molinaro’s chances, especially if Nixon loses the Democratic primary but stays on the Working Families Party line.
In that scenario, Miner, Nixon, and Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins could draw away enough votes from Cuomo that Molinaro would need far below 50% to actually win, they say.…
Some suggested having Miner on the ballot could give anti-Cuomo Democratic forces another choice should Nixon decide not to run on the Working Families Party line if she loses the primary to Cuomo.
A poll while Miner was still mayor last year showed Cuomo defeating her in a gubernatorial matchup in her home city of Syracuse.
Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins doesn’t want voters to think the choice for progressives is between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Cynthia Nixon.
Hawkins, who is launching his third bid for governor this year atop the Green Party ticket, has sought to draw contrasts in recent weeks between his candidacy and the platform of both Cuomo and Nixon.
It’s potentially a challenge: Nixon is seeking to draw liberal votes away from Cuomo in the primary and, should she remain in the race on the Working Families Party line, come November. For now, polling has shown Cuomo with mostly steady support from liberal voters.
But Hawkins has pointed out releases and elsewhere that both Democratic candidates are not necessarily good for New York on issues like the property tax cap.
The measure is a signature issue for Cuomo and Nixon has said she supports it, but wants to make it easier to override.
“Tax cap is a campaign sound bite, not a sound policy,” Hawkins said. “There is nothing progressive in Nixon’s call for an easier voter override of the cap. The cap still freezes the inequities in funding schools and local government services between low- and middle-income communities and affluent communities. It still institutionalizes rising property taxes.”
Hawkins insisted his plan would lead to a property tax cut, by shifting from local property and sales taxes to a progressive state income and stock transfer tax.
“Then the state should use those revenues to provide adequate and equitable school funding and to pay for the state’s unfunded mandates on local governments with increased revenue sharing,” Hawkins said.
At the same time, Hawkins in an email Wednesday question Nixon’s prior support for Hillary Clinton and noted the Green party outpolled the Working Families Party in the previous election — a result that ultimately determines placement on the ballot in the next election.
“Now the media is starstruck with actress Cynthia Nixon,” he said. “As she challenges Gov. Cuomo in the Democratic primary with Working Families Party backing, the media give regular coverage to self-styled ‘progressive’ Democrats, which includes Cuomo as well as Nixon, Bill DeBlasio, Zephyr Teachout, and the rest of the WFP-endorsed Democrats.”
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is in a good position to secure his third term, according to a new poll from the Siena Research Institute that looked at likely voters for November.
The two-term incumbent has a 19-point lead over Republican nominee Marc Molinaro and, heading into a September primary with Cynthia Nixon for the Democratic nomination, he is viewed favorably by 67 percent of Democratic voters....
In a direct matchup, Cuomo is backed by 61 percent of Democratic voters and Nixon gets 26 percent, which is comparable to the results of an April poll by Siena that looked at registered voters....
Nixon is endorsed by the Working Families Party, although it's not a guarantee she will be on the line in November; Howie Hawkins is the Green Party nominee for the general election.
by Peter Rugh
“As teachers, we’re trained to look at the entire child, but as soon as we enter the institution of the Department of Education, we’re suddenly compliance managers,” says Jia Lee. An opt-out parent and a teachers union activist, Lee has worked as a special education instructor at various New York City public schools for 17 years. She is running for lieutenant governor as a Green Party candidate. “The pressure is on the teacher and the administrators to make sure test scores are high,” she says....
“Really, the test scores are indicating where there are high pockets of poverty and inequity,” says Lee, rather than how well students are being instructed. She notes that there are no state standards for how charter schools evaluate their instructors. They are not compelled to use SGP.
And yet students at charter schools tend to outperform their public school peers. The reason for this, Lee argues, is because tests are often charter schools’ primary focus of instruction and because charters, which typically enroll students through a lottery system, use disciplinary measures to weed out problematic pupils. Forty-two percent of all student suspensions in New York City occurred at charter schools, although they contain only 7 percent of the city’s overall student population, according to an analysis conducted by the Atlantic based on 2014 data....
Public schools, Lee says, “are not in the business of pushing students out. We work really hard to educate all of our students, no matter what.”
... “You can’t say you believe in public schools when you aren’t funding them equitably,” Lee said.