Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic Primary

Governor Cuomo And District Attorney Make Announcement On Corruption CrimesThe New York Times has declined to make an endorsement in the Democratic gubernatorial primary on September 9th. This column does not always endorse, either in primaries or in general elections, but in the absence of a recommendation from The Grey Lady, Common Sense decided to step up.

For one of the world’s leading newspapers not to endorse in an important election in its home state is extraordinary. The Times is voting ‘present’. Voters have no such luxury and cannot devote a column to the question to let Governor Cuomo know why they are withholding an endorsement. 

The paper is unwilling to endorse Zephyr Teachout on the grounds that she lacks the experience to perform in a significant executive role. It cites its endorsement of Christine Quinn in the New York mayoral election last year and of Hillary Clinton in the presidential primaries in 2008 for consistency. It is a pretty weak consistency. If Barack Obama was too inexperienced to be favored over Hillary Clinton, who had served eight years in the Senate, how come the paper backed him over John McCain who had served there three times as long?

It lauds Governor Cuomo for his active campaigning for extending marriage rights and for strong gun control measures. Cuomo was right on the first point and wrong on the second, but in both cases he showed clear leadership, and pushed a reluctant legislature to act.

Cuomo’s budgets have been delivered on time and led to the state getting a stronger credit rating, while on the federal level the country’s creditworthiness has been downgraded. The governor resisted attempts to raise the punitively high incomes tax rates in New York City, already well above those in global competitors such as London and (especially) Hong Kong. 

On the question of education, though, this column finds itself very much on the side of Governor Cuomo and against the New York Times. Cuomo has supported the state’s successful charter schools against the vindictive campaigns by Mayor de Blasio. 

New York is a liberal state with a liberal legislature. This columnist does not expect to see taxes tumbling and the state government pulling out of areas which are none of the government’s business. But given the political tilt of the state, the governor has done a good job in promoting a business friendly climate. He doesn’t demagogue against commerce or wealth the way his critics do. He has shown skill in managing a legislature representing a diverse range of interests from the rural North Country to one of the world’s greatest cities.

Andrew Cuomo has been an effective servant of the state and a critical voice towards keeping the Democratic Party sane. The recapture of City Hall by Democrats – after an astonishing 20-year gap – has tilted the Democratic Party in this state decisively to the left. Primary voters can mitigate that damage by delivering a clear cut victory to Andrew Cuomo. 

There are two more months to the general election. Over the last ten years Common Sense has endorsed Republican and Libertarian candidates, or advocated a protest vote (for James Madison) but has, thus far, never endorsed a Democrat in a general election. This year Republicans will have to choose wisely if they are to avoid the impossible, and this column endorsing Cuomo for a second time. 

qlQuentin Langley is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Bedfordshire Business School as well as a freelance columnist published in the UK and all parts of the US. He blogs on social media and crisis communications at brandjacknews.com

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