Andy Cuomo has ended all the nail biting speculation and finally decided to run for governor of New York! This is so exciting! OMG!

OK, nobody is that naïve. We all know that unless he is caught with a live boy or a dead girl, Andy’s going to be the next Guv. Hell, New Yorkers will probably not even bat an eye if he continues to shack up with Sandra Lee while in the governor’s mansion. After all, Mayor Mike gets away with it.

Look, the simple fact is that the NYS GOP has got no meaningful candidate to run against him and the Democratic Party is solidly behind him, so he can stroll around the bases blowing kisses to the fans for his home run. There’s no story here.

Except…….

The downstate papers are reporting that Andy is trying to pick his own successor as AG—Nassau DA Kathleen Rice and pick the candidate for Comptroller. These are the two offices that can investigate the Governor’s office and are virtually the only meaningful check on possible corruption by that office. I’m not suggesting that Andy has a problem there, but trying to put cronies in those offices reeks to high heaven. Henry Stern (my former boss at NYC Parks & Recreation and) current head of New York Civic points out:

A more threatening possibility is that by dictating the choice of his party for Comptroller and Attorney General, Mr. Cuomo is assuring himself that these officials, once elected, will be indebted to him and act favorably in matters in which he has an interest.

What’s even weirder, is the incumbent  Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli, has not made any gaffs in office that I’m aware of, is a pretty beloved figure on Long Island and will easily turn out the votes in that region, destroying the regional ticket balancing argument for Rice. Rice can’t turn out Nassau twice, can she?  AFAIK Tom DiNapoli  is not an enemy of Cuomo’s. So, explain to me a strategy of deliberately forcing a primary of a member of your own party who hasn’t done anything wrong?  Forcing a primary of Pedro Espada, that I would understand.

So, there does not seem to be any rationale to trying to force Rice and Coffey onto the ballot, other than to have people in those offices who are beholden to him. Way to create the appearance of scandal where there wasn’t one, big guy.

photo: saebaryo (flickr)

Cynthia Kouril

Cynthia Kouril

Cynthia Kouril is a former Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York under several different U.S. Attorneys, former counsel to the Inspector General for the N.Y.C. Department of Environmental Protection where she investigated threats to the New York City water supply and other environmental crimes, as well as public corruption and fraud against the government, former Examining Attorney at the N.Y.C. Department of Investigation and former Capital Construction Counsel at New York City Parks and Recreation.
She is now in private practice with a colleague whom she met while at the USA Attorney's Office. Ms. Kouril is a member of the Steering Committee, National Committeewoman and Regional Coordinator for the New York Democratic Lawyers Council, a member of the Program Committee of the Federal Bar Council and a member of the Election Law Committee at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She is active in several other Bar Associations.
Most important of all, she is a soccer mom.

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