With a Democrat primary challenge from Zephyr Teachout looming, the New York Times decided to withhold endorsement for Governor Cuomo, saying he ‘failed to clean up Albany’ and it’s culture of corruption.
Via the Times Editorial Board:
More than four years ago, while announcing his campaign for governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo stood in front of the Tweed Courthouse in downtown Manhattan and said Albany’s antics “could make Boss Tweed blush.”
New York had had enough corruption, he said, and he was going to put a stop to it. “Job 1 is going to be to clean up Albany,” he said, “and make the government work for the people.”
Mr. Cuomo became governor on that platform and recorded several impressive achievements, but he failed to perform Job 1. The state government remains as subservient to big money as ever, and Mr. Cuomo resisted and even shut down opportunities to fix it. Because he broke his most important promise, we have decided not to make an endorsement for the Democratic primary on Sept. 9.
The Times also sent a message to voters that, although they won’t endorse her due to a lack of experience, choosing Teachout in the primary would “send a powerful message to the governor and the many other entrenched incumbents in Albany that a shake-up is overdue.”
While not a direct endorsement, they’re practically telling Democrats to vote against him.
The Times previously endorsed Cuomo for governor in 2010.
The Huffington Post reports that while it isn’t a surprise based on their expose of Cuomo, the Times lack of endorsement is “a crucial blow to the governor’s image touting himself as a true progressive dedicated to reform.”
In July, the Times was also the first to break news that multiple sources corroborated stories that Cuomo’s office interfered with the Moreland Commission, an ethics panel set up by the governor himself. Top aides were even cited as demanding members of the ethics panel “pull back” subpoenas issued to groups close to the Governor.
Cuomo’s meddling got him in even further trouble when he allegedly orchestrated a response to the accusations of corruption, something that led U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara to issue a scathing letter in which he threatened the governor and members of his administration with obstruction of justice and witness tampering charges.
Should Cuomo get past Teachout in the primary – a likelihood – he would face Republican Rob Astorino in November.
Astorino has suggested that Cuomo officials will eventually be indicted on criminal charges for their coercion of members of the ethics panel.