Democratic Challenger Zephyr Teachout to Andrew Cuomo: "Game On"

Photo by Anna Merlan
Teachout talks to her supporters outside the trial last week.
"I feel great," Zephyr Teachout said, actually seeming to mean it. "It's not fun to have anybody staring you down, and trying to knock you off your game. But all this has done is proved that I am a New Yorker."

It was Monday morning, a few hours before Teachout, the Democratic longshot candidate challenging Governor Andrew Cuomo in the gubernatorial primary, would find out if the Cuomo's effort to have her knocked off the ballot had been successful. In late July, two college students affiliated with the Cuomo campaign had filed legal challenges to Teachout's candidacy, arguing she hadn't lived in New York the requisite five years required to run. After a two-day trial in Brooklyn Supreme Court, Judge Edgar G. Walker was going to issue his decision at 2 p.m. In a greasy spoon diner near her campaign headquarters, working her way through a fruit smoothie and a plate of eggs over easy, Teachout was showing no signs of strain.

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Democratic Candidate Zephyr Teachout Calls Cuomo's Residency Challenge To Her Campaign "Baseless"

Photo by Anna Merlan
Teachout, in blue, with supporters at a rally before her court appearance.
There's still some debate about how long one must live here before they're considered a true New Yorker: Ten years? Twenty? But for the purposes of running for governor of the state, it's clear: You have to have lived here for five years. It's on those grounds that Governor Andrew Cuomo's campaign is mounting a legal challenge to try and knock his Democratic challenger, Zephyr Teachout, off the ballot. In Brooklyn State Supreme Court this morning, at the start of a trial expected to last several days, Cuomo's lawyers got Teachout to admit she'd used her parents' address in Vermont as her permanent address on her tax filings for the entire time she's lived in New York.

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Democratic Challenger Zephyr Teachout Wants Cuomo to "Resign Immediately" After Allegations of Meddling In Corruption Panel

As far as Albany skulduggery goes, this one is almost too on-the-nose: a New York Times investigation out today alleges that Governor Andrew Cuomo's office interfered with an anti-corruption commission, making sure it was unable to investigate any alleged corruption emanating from people or groups with close ties to the governor.

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Cuomo's Push for Minimum Wage Hike is a Good Start, But it's Not Quite Enough, Critics Say

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Low-wage workers and advocates took New York City by storm at the close of last year with mass demonstrations across the city for better wages and work-place conditions.

Thus, one might assume that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's call for a $1.50 minimum wage increase during his annual State of the State address would signal a great victory for those advocating for higher worker wages.

But it turns out that while advocates for wage increases are happy to see the governor put his stamp of approval on a potential wage-hike, many also contend that a $8.75/hour minimum wage still isn't enough for workers and their families to survive.

"Is $8.75 sufficient? Of course not , but it's a huge step in the right direction." James Parrott, chief economist at the Fiscal Policy Institute, tells the Voice. "I think people see that this is the year that this will happened in New York State. This is not going to be the end of it. This is not going to be sufficient."

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With Compromise In Sight, Gov. Cuomo Talks Gun Control In State Of The State Address

In recent weeks, we've been following the Governor's actions regarding gun control quite closely. After the Newtown tragedy, Cuomo proposed a handful of measures to hopefully curb gun-related violence; one of which would be the strictest magazine clip ban in the nation. However, the momentum hit a wall in Albany, where Senate Republicans, after initially supporting the Governor's actions, refused to hear out the Democrats' proposals.

But, on the heels of news from Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver that state lawmakers were '95 percent' done with a gun control deal, the state's top dog entered Albany yesterday to deliver his annual State of the State Address. His agenda included economic growth, the environment, Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, tourism and, most significantly for our conversation, gun control.

Although the issue didn't dominate the speech as most predicted, Cuomo's words reaffirmed the fact that he's gung-ho about passing this proposal - if he does, it'll without a doubt go down as one of his landmark achievements, in the vein of New York's same-sex marriage bill. But we'll let his words from the speech explain the current situation for you.
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Mr. Cuomo Goes to Washington (To Beg for Cash)


New York governor Andrew Cuomo's got a busy day ahead of him in Washington D.C. -- which includes meetings with White House officials, the House speaker, and the Senate majority leader -- where he'll make the case for New York's need for a $42 billion appropriation to help the state recover from Hurricane Sandy.

Initially, the governor thought $30 billion in federal coin would do the trick. Last week, however, Cuomo said the state needed $32.8 billion in reimbursements and an additional $9.1 billion to help rebuild -- and modernize -- New York's infrastructure.

This, of course, is happening as federal lawmakers duke it out over how to keep the country from going over the so-called "fiscal cliff." So $42 billion for the Empire State might be a tough figure for the governor to achieve from the cash-strapped federal government.

Cuomo's tentative schedule is as follows:

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Andrew Cuomo: Sandy Worse Than Katrina. Umm . . . Nope

Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday that the hurricane that ripped through the Northeast last month was worse than Hurricane Katrina, the devastating storm that destroyed New Orleans in 2005.

"Hurricane Katrina, in many ways, was not as impactful as Hurricane Sandy, believe it or not," Cuomo said. "Because of the density of New York, the number of people affected, the number of properties affected was much larger in Hurricane Sandy than Hurricane Katrina. This puts the entire conversation, I believe, into focus. . . . Now Katrina had a human toll that thankfully we have not paid in this region."

It's that last part that should put the "entire conversation . . . into focus."

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Medical Marijuana Gets New Push In New York; 'High' Hopes Ill-Advised

A Colorado-based marijuana company has enlisted the help of one of Albany's most influential lobbyists to make medical marijuana a reality in Andrew Cuomo's "progressive" New York. But the chances of the Empire State getting prescription pot any time soon aren't great.

Gaia Plant Based Medicine has recruited former Sheldon Silver aide Pat Lynch's lobbying firm to urge lawmakers -- and Cuomo -- to legalize medical marijuana in New York.

However, despite overwhelming legislative and public approval (anywhere from 60-percent to 80-percent of New Yorkers support medical marijuana, depending on which poll you look at), Cuomo has said he won't approve a bill legalizing medical marijuana.

The firm controlled by Pat Lynch, a former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was hired by Colorado-based marijuana company, Gaia Plant Based Medicine

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The firm controlled by Pat Lynch, a former top aide to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was hired by Colorado-based marijuana company, Gaia Plant Based Medicine

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Andrew Cuomo Launches Commission to Figure Out Why New York Utilities Companies Suck


It's no secret that Governor Andrew Cuomo is pretty pissed off with the lack of preparedness New York utilities companies had for Hurricane Sandy. It's also no secret that New York utilities companies have absolutely sucked at responding to power outages caused by the storm -- and Cuomo wants to know why.

The governor today issued an executive order to form a commission to figure out what caused these companies to so badly fail their customers following Hurricane Sandy, as well as their failures following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.

According to the governor's office, the commission "will be tasked to undertake a thorough review of all actions taken by the power companies before and after these emergencies, and make specific recommendations to reform and modernize oversight, regulation and management of New York's power delivery services."

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NY GOP: Andrew Cuomo's Election Day Executive Order Disenfranchises Upstate Hurricane Relief Workers

Some of you did, anyway.
Yesterday, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order allowing residents of "federally declared disaster counties" to vote at any polling place they want.

Included in the governor's order are relief workers who "reside in one of the federally declared disaster counties."

Problem is, not all the relief workers "reside" in federally declared disaster counties -- which include Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester, and all the counties in New York City. Many relief workers -- transplanted utility workers, National Guardsmen, etc. -- reside in counties that aren't federally declared disaster counties and therefore don't qualify to vote at any polling place under the governor's executive order.

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