The New York Times Editorial Board has written an editorial on the Democratic primary for the New York governor’ race. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who is seen as a potential 2016 candidate, is running for re-election, but he has been dogged by allegations of being soft on corruption. Cuomo was elected in 2010 promising to take on the influence of money in Albany, although the Editorial Board says he has “failed” to do so.
Governor Cuomo has faced criticism for his dismantling of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption. Governor Cuomo started the commission to investigate state corruption, however the governor’s administration refused to let the group investigate cases that tied to the governor and the administration. Eventually, the governor disbanded the commission, which led US Attorney Preet Bharara to begin an investigation into whether the governor interfered with the commission.
However, the New York Times is not endorsing Zephyr Teachout, Governor Cuomo’s primary opponent. Teachout is running on a platform of anti-corruption and campaign finance reform. The New York Times lauded this focus and Teachout’s positions on those issues. Even though Teachout has the support of progressive groups like the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and is the only non-congressional candidate endorsed by Lawrence Lessig’s Mayday PAC, she has failed to gain traction in polling.
Cuomo has also attempted to dismiss Teachout as a challenger. Cuomo has had two challenges to her candidacy, by saying that she did not fulfill the residency requirement and that she did not have enough signatures. In addition, Cuomo has refused to debate her and engage in any debates. However, Cuomo has had a habit of not participating in debates. PCCC co-founder, Stephanie Taylor, commented on these actions, “Why is Andrew Cuomo so scared of Zephyr Teachout? He won’t meet with her or debate her, and he’s launching phony lawsuits instead of debating on the issues. It’s starting to look like he has something to hide.”
The New York Times refused to endorse saying that Cuomo is likely to still win his primary and then re-election in the general election. Also, they said that Teachout lacks the political strength and the knowledge of other issues in order to be an effective governor. However, the Editorial Board seemed to endorse the idea of people voting for Teachout in order to voice their displeasure with Cuomo.