A Chinatown civic leader has made a rather startling claim that he was interrogated by the Cuomo administration prior to a visit by his Republican opponent. Rob Astorino made a campaign stop at the Lin Sing Association this morning, when senior director Eddie Chiu told the gubernatorial candidate and reporters in attendance that somebody from the Cuomo administration called Chiu to ask him about the campaign stop.
Via the Observer:
A Chinatown civic leader claimed today that a member of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office interrogated him before Republican rival Rob Astorino made a campaign stop at his association’s headquarters this morning.
Eddie Chiu, the senior director of the 114-year-old Lin Sing Association, told Mr. Astorino and reporters that a person from Mr. Cuomo’s office, whom he declined to identify, called him yesterday to ask about Mr. Astorino’s planned campaign stop at the group’s headquarters. Mr. Astorino, who is mounting a long-shot bid against Mr. Cuomo, toured Lin Sing, along with several other Chinatown businesses, this morning.
“They call me, ‘Mr. Chiu, we know somebody is going to visit you tomorrow morning.’ … They’re worried about me having a big group here or all the media here,” Mr. Chiu told Mr. Astorino and several Chinatown business leaders during a round-table discussion. “It’s very strange.”
Mr. Chiu later explained that the person, whom he would only describe as a female liaison to the Chinese-American community, spoke to him for a few minutes.
“They wanted to know, ‘Are you going to endorse him?’ I said, ‘Not yet, it’s too early.’ And then [she asked,] ‘You got a lot of people, a lot of reporters?’ I said, ‘No, I’m the only guy here,” Mr. Chiu told the Observer. “They just wanted to know what I’m doing here this morning and then [if I would] endorse him or [if] a lot of people [would be here], like when de Blasio was here, we got 400 people.”
The Cuomo administration denied making the phone call, but did not deny they spoke with Chiu. According to a Cuomo administration official, they just so happened to be speaking with him the night before Astorino’s visit, involving “a separate conversation on other issues.”
Astorino would later joke that Cuomo was “trying to trail everywhere I go.”