Zeldin v. Thiele

It’s a bit early to start with the ’18 elections, but Newsday reports, “A potential challenger for Lee Zeldin emerges“:

“… Democratic leaders on the East End have approached Fred Thiele, a long-term member of the State Assembly, about making a run. And Thiele is considering it …”

Thiele’s record on gun issues is to support the antigun position about 95% of the time.

The good thing about him running against Zeldin is that Thiele would have to give up his Assembly seat to do it, opening up the possibility of getting someone better in his place.

Reaction to a Governor Flanagan

Some blowback at Ed Cox for talking down the possibility of Governor Flanagan:

“… State Republican Chairman Ed Cox’s quick dismissal of talk that state Senate GOP Majority Leader John Flanagan might run for governor in 2018 left some in his party “stunned” and “frustrated.” … Patrick McCarthy, a former state party executive director, was among those who couldn’t understand why his party leader publicly dissed Flanagan, the state’s highest ranking elected Republican …”

Because the notion of him running was so ludicrous it needed to be squashed before it had the chance to take hold and do more damage to the party.

“… At least two Republicans lay some of the blame for the recent uproar on Flanagan himself. They say if he knew word was leaking out that he is considering a gubernatorial run, he should have alerted Cox, who those close to him say was taken by surprise when asked about it by reporters shortly after the report surfaced …”

The public smackdown was much more appropriate.

“… The GOPer said a Flanagan candidacy would face significant hurdles, particularly among upstaters who are angry he voted for Gov. Cuomo’s controversial SAFE Act gun control law. The insider said if Flanagan wants to have a chance to win upstaters back, he’d bring legislation to the floor to repeal the SAFE Act this year. “Some might be criticizing Ed for his response, but I guarantee you there’s an equal amount who were pleased with it,” said one high-profile Republican …”

No, a whole lot of people were happy with Cox’s response.

Senate Republicans will never bring a repeal bill up for a vote because it would require many of their conference to admit they were wrong.  Even if they did there’s no reason for the Assembly to follow suit.  The Republicans simply do not have enough political clout to move much of an agenda.  They have to go along with Cuomo and the Democrats or the hammer will come down on them, they will lose control of the Senate, and that will be the end of it for the party.

Governor Flanagan

Some rumor-mongering from Newsday:

Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Long Islander who has clashed with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in recent weeks, is considering a Republican run for governor in 2018, according to three Republicans who spoke to Flanagan about the bid. “Yes, I’ve heard him say that,” one Republican said. “I think a lot of people are talking about him,” another prominent Republican said. “He’s the right age, the right demographic, has been successful in retaining the Senate majority and certainly has the respect statewide and not just as Senate majority leader.” …”

Successful?  The only reason for his “success” is because Cuomo and some Democrats want him to be in charge of the Senate.

Respect?  He’s Cuomo’s butt-monkey!

“… As a Republican he could attract the upstate support as well, but his vote for Cuomo’s SAFE Act gun control measure could hurt him among more conservative voters …”

It’s way more than that.

The idea of him running was so absurd that Ed Cox threw cold water on the idea:

“Republican Chairman Ed Cox on Wednesday in a Capital Tonight interview dismissed reports Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan is contemplating a run for governor in 2018. “Let me say, he is not thinking about it,” Cox said in the interview to air tonight on TWC News. “He is focused on his job as majority leader of the state Senate — a tough job — particularly when you have a governor who for the first time in two centuries was not delivered to the legislators.”” …”

He’s not thinking about it because so many people were laughing out loud after reading that piece in Newsday.

Hanna floating ’18 run

Outgoing Congressman Richard Hanna is floating the idea of a ’18 gubernatorial bid:

“U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna said today he will consider running for governor of New York in 2018, responding to the encouragement of at least a dozen top Republicans from across the state who approached him with the idea … Hanna declined to disclose the names of Republicans who have approached him to run for governor, but he said he has received calls from influential members of the party in the New York City area as well as Upstate …”

I don’t know him personally and I’ve only spoken to him once.  Let’s examine what he brings to the table.

Pluses:

  • Being a 3-term Congressman gives him some credibility as a candidate
  • Generally positive record on 2A issues
  • Might have some crossover appeal to Democrats

Minuses:

  • Does not have the best relationship with local Republicans
  • Not well known outside his CNY district
  • Unremarkable career in Congress

I heard talk of him running once before.  This looks like a trail balloon to determine interest in his candidacy.

Good move by Astorino & Testa

In the past the Hudson Valley hosted a number of good gun shows.  For a variety of reasons, over the years, the quality went down and shows became fewer and farther between.

One of the better ones was the Westchester show at the County CenterAndy Spano banned them from there when he was County Executive.  Rob Astorino allowed them back after he was elected.  Some complaints about the sale of militaria put them back on hold.

Now they’re back again with one set for January 21 & 22.  Predictably some folks are trying to stir up trouble:

“The chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators vowed there will be a showdown on Jan. 9 over whether a gun and knife show can take place at the County Center in White Plains … “I support the Second Amendment, but it doesn’t have to be at the County Center,” BOL Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, a Democrat from Somers, said on Tuesday …”

The County Center is a good place due to it’s location, ample parking and proximity to Metro North.

What’s Kaplowitz’s real beef?

“… Kaplowitz accused Astorino of quietly lifting his ban on gun shows to allow the Jan. 21-22 firearms show at the County Center “in a play for Upstate support” — assuming Astorino attempts a second bid for governor. “It doesn’t play well in Westchester County,” Kaplowitz told Daily Voice …”

Pure politics.  He wants to undermine a second gubernatorial bid by Astorino.

If gun shows weren’t popular in Westchester, the promoter would not have them there.  They’re not a charity, they want to make money.

“… More than 3,600 people have signed this petition calling for a ban on Westchester gun shows …”

Who cares?  As has been proven before, this is all the activism the antis are able to generate.  They cannot get people to vote based upon the issue.

“… As a counter proposal to an outright ban, the Republican caucus is instead proposing a law that would establish gun show procedures. The bill, which would follow a model established by state Attorney General Eric T. Schiederman, would make residents “feel more secure” about gun shows by having strict requirements, the GOP caucus said in a joint statement. “We can take an important step in Westchester that will preserve the Constitutional protections of citizens while assuring the public that a proven successful procedure for the event is in place,” Republican Majority Leader John Testa said in the statement …”

Good move by Astorino and Testa (who is an NRA member) calling the antis on their BS.  Bonus for working Schneiderman’s proposal into the mix as it undermines Democrats on the county board.  Republicans in Albany can learn from this.

Chuck Todd’s prediction

Some thoughts on this:

Whether backed by Gov. Cuomo or not, Democrats are already lining up to primary challenge de Blasio next year so that’s going to happen.

As to de Blasio himself challenging Cuomo in ’18, I don’t think he could successfully do that. He is not popular enough in the City, much less the entire state, to do that. I could see him getting behind someone like Eric Schneiderman should he decide to run against Cuomo.

At this point a primary fight is the only way I can see us ridding ourselves of Cuomo. The NY Republicans aren’t functioning as a statewide political party and do not have a lot of well known people they could put up against him. Even if they did, Cuomo would threaten the Senate GOP again and they would undermine their own nominee just like they did Rob Astornio in ’14. What we need is a scenario where both de Blasio and Cuomo can kill each other off.

Fallout boys

With the latest polls showing Hillary crushing The Donald in New York, both Republicans and Governor Cuomo are worried about the fallout.

First is Senator Jack Martins:

Republican Jack Martins, running for Congress in a battleground Long Island district, is among the Republicans this year who are not endorsing Donald Trump, but still voting for him this year.  In an interview with Bill Samuels’s Effective Radio on AM 970 this weekend, Martins acknowledged both Trump and Hillary Clinton are “flawed candidates.” … “Thankfully, I’ve always run as an individual. I’ve had the opportunity through elective office to take stances of different things and people know who I am, so I’ve been able to use that and show through experience that I listen, I work across the aisle, I get things done,” Martins said …”

This mealy-mouthed answer is the best he could come up with running against a guy who has been busy registering the dead?

Next is Cuomo:

“Gov. Cuomo’s new commitment to Democratic control of the state Senate after years of backing Republicans is a direct result of Donald Trump’s sinking presidential campaign and the possibility it will take GOP senators down with it, senior Democrats told The Post. They also said Cuomo’s new stance … results from his fear that anything short of genuine support for fellow Democrats this year could blow up in his face in the form of a primary campaign against him in 2018 …”

The possibility that Cuomo could get knocked out by the Trump train is one of the few positive aspects I can think of about his campaign.

“… Another prominent Democrat said private polling data showing Trump’s support in New York state sharply declining over the past two weeks convinced Cuomo “that the Democrats have a good chance to take the Senate anyway, so he might as well get on board.” “The polls indicate that several Long Island Republicans may be swept out to sea because of Trump’s unpopularity,’’ the Democrat continued, naming Sens. Kemp Hannon and Carl Marcellino (R-Nassau) as being especially vulnerable …”

Not just on the Island.  There are ~4000 newly registered Democrats in Bill Larkin’s district so he could go.  Plus he turns 89 soon.

Republicans have a chance at a pickup in Buffalo with Chris Jacobs, who is popular and wealthy, but SD-60 is still nearly 2-1 Democrat.  Even if he wins, right now I expect Republicans down 1-2 Senate seats.

Gibson bows out

Congressman Chris Gibson has decided against a 2018 run for Governor.

That leaves Weschester County Executive Rob Astorino as the strongest likely challenger for Governor Cuomo in ’18.  Each candidate had their owns strengths: Gibson being a somewhat “moderate” Republican and Astorino being better known in the NYC metro area.  It is good that he decided to end it now because we do not need a primary contest.  Personally I would have gone with Rob over Chris, but either would be an improvement over the incumbent.

Gibson announces gubernatorial campaign

Congressman Chris Gibson announced he is forming a gubernatorial committee for ’18 and made a comment about rolling back the SAFE Act prompting this comment from Assembly Majority Leader Morelle:



Antigun astroturf chimed in as well:

“… “The idea that Chris Gibson claims to be a ‘moderate’ while vowing to repeal some of the strongest gun safety laws in the nation is laughable,” the statement says. “New York State stands up to the corporate gun lobby in support of gun laws that save lives. Mr. Gibson, bought by the NRA for $14,900, is more interested in protecting the profits of a craven gun industry than he is in protecting the lives of his constituents.” …”

Bill Nojay jumps in and tells it like it is:


Can Gibson beat Cuomo?

It is quite early for this, but the Times Union has an article on Rep. Chris Gibson running for Governor in 2018.

Some excerpts:

“… Gibson assumes Cuomo will seek a third term, and he concedes the governor would be difficult to beat in a state where Democrats have a 2-to1 enrollment advantage …”

I don’t agree with this on several points.

First, I am not sure he is interested in another term.  There was a finality in his tone after his re-election last year.  Second, Democrats hate Cuomo.  He was re-elected because of a deal made with with Senate Republicans to undermine Rob Astorino.  Third, and this is the big one, I am not convinced Cuomo will be able to finish out his current term due to criminal probes by Preet Bharara.

“… Gibson would have obvious vulnerabilities, including little name recognition downstate … He’s also an opponent of the SAFE Act and gun control generally … Gibson vowed to take his views on guns directly at Cuomo, arguing that additional state restrictions will do nothing to make New Yorkers more safe.  “I’m willing to debate this everywhere,” Gibson said. “The knee-jerk reaction for gun control has never delivered, and it won’t deliver.”  That may play well upstate. But downstate? …”

As has been proven time and again, gun control proponents do not represent a voting constituency.  They tried hitting Astorino with it and he ignored them.

“… Cuomo would also have a huge financial advantage over a Republican challenger …”

This is true.  It remains to be seen if Chris has access to sufficient monies to run a statewide campaign.

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