The Rumble

14 Oct
By Amsterdam News Team:
Nayaba Arinde, Cyril Josh Barker, Stephon Johnson and Amity Paye

As the midterm elections press forward the highly anticipated gubernatorial debate next Monday – 18 Oct., is being dubbed as not only a political showdown – but also free ad time for candidates other than Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo and Republican candidate Carl Paladino.

But rather than a quaint show and tell session for Cuomo and Paladino, they will share the stage at Hofstra University with the five other candidates looking to grab the governorship: including Charles Barron of the newly-formed Freedom Party, Howie Hawkins of the Green Party, Libertarian Party candidate Warren Redlich, Jimmy McMillan of the Rent is too Damn High Party, and Manhattan madam Kristen Davis of the Anti-Prohibition Party.This will be the first, if not one of the only times Paladino and Cuomo will address each other face-to-face. With three weeks to go there seems to be some ducking and dodging in both camps. Since the official start of their campaigns after the primary, the two have been talking at each other rather than to each other through news bites and sound clips.

The mainstream media for its part has been giving little play to the other candidates.

Political consultant Bill Lynch told the AmNews, “I have been curious to know why after Charles Barron and the Freedom Party got 43,000 petitions to make the ballot, they have not been invited on to New York 1. I am concerned about that.”

Unperturbed candidate Charles Barron told the AmNews, “The Freedom Party is a viable party for November 2, 2010. We got 43.000 signatures from 23 out of the 29 congressional districts. We have state wide support. Paladino only got 25,000 signatures to get on the ballot and he had millions of dollars to spend on his campaign; and Cuomo didn’t get any because he didn’t have enough respect to come to the community and ask for petitions. He was appointed by the Democratic state party machine in Rye New York.”

Rev. Al Sharpton stated that despite the latest polls, the race is not guaranteed to Cuomo and said he dose not “take anything for granted. One cannot assume that there ate not a lot of racists and homophobes out there who will vote for this man. This should create options for others to deal with the political environment. Cuomo is a better candidate out of the two, but I have not endorsed Cuomo. The option of the freedom party is a live option.”

The Paladino Factor
After the racist Paladino’s primary victory, Black leaders got together and released a joint statement decrying Paladino’s well-chronicled statements regarding welfare recipients, communities of color and the infamous mass email he sent out that included racists jokes and depictions of bestiality.

“Mr. Paladino has effectively declared war on communities of color with a series of racially incendiary comments along the campaign trail,” read part of the statement. “We got a taste of this early on when it was discovered that Mr. Paladino had been sending racially offensive emails to associates.”

While Paladino can rest assured that he won’t receive a majority of Black votes this gubernatorial election, does that guarantee that Andrew Cuomo would receive those votes? Cuomo, as of press time, had not put forward an urban agenda that dealt specifically with issues concerning people of color. With New York City and other urban centers having more than 60% minority some may feel it’s imperative for Cuomo to speak on his policies for those of darker hue.

One of those policies involves follow through in stopping prison gerrymandering in New York State. Back in early August, after an anti-prison gerrymandering bill successfully made its way through the Senate, State Senator, and current Attorney General Candidate, Eric Schneiderman expressed hope of Cuomo honoring the bill’s passing. “Yes I do (think he’ll follow through),” he said. “I think Cuomo understands this and he will come through. If (Republican gubernatorial candidate) Carl Paladino became governor, I’d be worried. But I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Paladino once made a remark that advocated transforming New York State prison into dormitories that would house welfare recipients. They would work state-sponsored jobs and learn personal hygiene. Paladino’s remarks may scare much of the poor, but has Cuomo laid anything out on the table to counter Paladino’s remarks? That didn’t stop a few Black leaders from speaking about Paladino including NAACP New York Conference Director Hazel Dukes.

“The remark he made, we didn’t make it up,” said Dukes when speaking of Paladino’s welfare/jail/training rant. “We heard it plain as day. I hope that Mr. (Andrew) Cuomo doesn’t get involved in mudslinging [with him]. We need to focus on the serious issues that face our state. We are in a crisis.”

And if his comments against Blacks and poor folks were not enough Paladino added Gays to the mix last week. He said he didn’t want his kids “brainwashed” into thinking homosexuality is acceptable, expressed annoyance with the gay pride parade, and berated Andrew Cuomo for taking his children to the parade.

And after a howls of rage from the gay community he countered criticism last week on the “Today” show saying, “I say that unequivocally I will be a governor for all people of the state of New York and I’ve never moved off that position.” And even his website is entitled, “Paladino for the people.”

But Paladino’s controversial statements concerning almost every minority group have struck a nerve and become a gift for Cuomo, who is coasting ahead in the polls with Como having an 18 point lead over the bombastic Paladino in the latest Quinnipiac poll..

But while this change in the poll results has many saying the election has already been decided, not all agree.

“I have nothing to say on any of [Paladino’s] controversial statements. I want to see what he does in terms of business. Cuomo would not get my vote,” said Jo Linda Ruth Cogen, a Former Republican district leader of the 70th assembly district and New York state coordinator of Republicans for Black Empowerment.

“The election is not set. I don’t think people are not going to be voting on remarks, they are going to be voting on politics.”

The Charles Barron Aspect
And while the mainstream media has given the impression that there are only parties in the race this is not the case. Bill Lynch declared about the Barron bid. “I am not saying that they are being marginalized, but I am saying that even after getting 43,000 petitions they are not being taken seriously.”

The Freedom party has declared its own urban agenda their platform speaks to Black and Latino communities, and to the poor, the under-employed, progressive whites, working families, and the disenfranchised; it cities issues such as the poor public education, health care disparities, the; “painfully high rate of unemployment in both Black and Latino communities, as well as the widening income disparity between Blacks and whites.”

With eager anticipation of Monday’s debate, issues Barron will tackle include high unemployment, poor education and disturbing healthcare issues.

Optimistically, Barron said establishing the Freedom Party is imperative – and his becoming governor isn’t out of the question either. “We have over 3 million Black and Latino registered voters in this state. The Freedom Party is really the only option if we want our issues heard. No one is going to deal with our issues from a fiscal angle; from job creation, to economic development, to more equitable distribution of wealth, foreclosure, healthcare disparities, to police brutality.

Barron hass strong words for his opponents, “Paladino is dangerous, but he is not going to win, so don’t let anyone try and fool you with that ‘lesser of two evils’ argument. The person we should be concerned about is Cuomo, because he has a negative history with our community. When his father Mario was governor, he built more prisons than any other governor in the history of this state, and Andrew was right there with him.”

As for detractors who bemoan that a vote for the Freedom Party takes away from Cuomo and the Democratic Party, and opens the door for Paladino to stomp right through, Lynch determined, “I don’t think the Freedom Party will take votes from Andrew Cuomo, I think everyday Paladino is running votes to Andrew Cuomo.”

“I am glad that he has been invited to the debate and I think that Charles will hold his own,” said Lynch. As for all the important question of garnering enough votes to establish the Freedom Party as a viable political option after the November 2nd General Election, Lynch said, “Of course I think he’ll get 50,000 votes. If the Working Families Party can do it, I don’t see why he can’t get over 50,000 votes.”

Cuomo By Default?
Cuomo spent late Wednesday morning doing a photo op with a family in Rockland County. But his political problems don’t begin and end there. They begin and end in the urban areas of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo.

After days of what his opponent’s camp calls “dodging,” Cuomo’s campaign said in a statement that he’s ready to answering the tough questions.

“We look forward to a vigorous debate of the issues that matter to New Yorkers,” Council to the Cuomo Campaign Ben Lawsky said in a statement. “To say that the Andrew Cuomo has not agreed to debate is demonstrably false and misleading.”

The Cuomo camp so far has not released an urban agenda but the Cuomo camp claims that a detailed urban plan is almost ready to be released. The Amsterdam News editorial page has been looking for the Cuomo campaign to outline their positions with communities of color for weeks.

Despite their weak showing in the polls and Paladino’s incendiary statements Paladino camp said it’s ready for debate and notes that he has accepted other debates while Cuomo has not.

“It’s on, Andrew, and you better be ready to answer your record,” Paladino campaign manager Michael Caputo said. “Carl is also pleased that all the minor party candidates will be included and said from the beginning that excluding the African American and woman candidates was unfair.”

So far this is the only debate scheduled before the election.


One Response to “The Rumble”


  1. World Wide News Flash - October 16, 2010

    The Rumble « POLITICS NOIR…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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