Wednesday, September 29, 2010
By Azi Paybarah
As New York Post State Editor Fred Dicker noted in an interview with front-running gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo, it's usually the leading candidate in a race who wants to have a debate with as many rivals at once, in order to turn the opposition into a noisy, inaudible cacophony.
But to hear Cuomo tell it, it's his Republican rival, Carl Paladino, who wants to invite the minor-party candidates into their debates.
In response to a reporter's question about debates, here's what Cuomo said this afternoon during a press conference on the City Hall steps:
"I understand the advantages of a one-on-one debate. I also understand the argument for inclusiveness that the Paladino camp is making that everybody should be invited."
In addition to Cuomo and Paladino, there are a number of gubernatorial candidates on the ballot, including: Charles Barron (Freedom Party) Howie Hawkins (Green Party), Steve Cohn (Tea Party) and others.
Monday, September 20, 2010
By Azi Paybarah
It's Steve Cohn.
Cohn is an attorney in private practice, registered member of the Independence Party, and, thanks to a few thousand petitions filed with the State Board of Elections, a gubernatorial candidate running on the “Tea Party” line.
“Lets put it this way – the Tea Party nominated me,” Cohn said in an interview Monday afternoon. (He also spoke with WNYC in late August.)
After handing in about 50,000 signatures to appear on the ballot as the Tea Party candidate, Mr. Cohn said, “I think it’s inaccurate” to refer to Mr. Paladino as the Tea Party candidate.
“I have never spoken to Mr. Paladino, but my sense of it is that his policies don’t necessarily reflect the policies along the Tea Party line. Now, we all say we’re against public corruption. It’s easy to say because it sounds good, but it’s hard to endorse it when you might be part of the problem.” Mr. Cohn then went on to rattle off a number of charges levied at Mr. Paladino, a commercial real estate developer who has rented space to government agencies.
“I cannot say whether all the transactions in and of themselves would undergo scrutiny and come out clean,” said Mr. Cohn.
But Cohn offers this surprising defense of Paladino:
“We’ve all forward emails,” said Mr. Cohn. “I’m sure that every single person has gotten emails and forwarded on that may have been cute, funny or may appeal to somebody without any real intent to abdicate the content of the email. So, I think we take things too far and this is just one example of it.”
“If it was just forwarding it on because he got it and just passed it on – I just think it’s making a mountain out of a molehill,” said Mr. Cohn.