Governor Kathy Hochul Kathy is dedicated to public service

Original article posted on the Buffalo News

New Yorkers are faced with an interesting race as they contemplate the normally uninteresting campaign for lieutenant governor. The candidates are former Congresswoman and Erie County Clerk Kathleen C. Hochul and Timothy Wu, a Columbia University law professor who is a political novice. Wu’s utter lack of political experience is just one of the reasons that Democrats should support Hochul in the September primary.

First among those reasons is that Hochul will be an advocate for Western New York at this critical time in our history. Unlike Wu, she has strongly supported the governor’s economic initiatives that are transforming Buffalo Niagara. She also is eminently qualified to take over as governor. Wu is, in that regard, the left’s version of Sarah Palin: unqualified for the main purpose of the office but attractive to party stalwarts who want nothing more than someone to parrot their own views.

Finally, the election of Wu would create an intolerable conflict for anyone who wants New York to be governed well. Because of New York’s strange election rules, while Wu is the running mate of Zephyr Teachout, it is plausible that he could end up running with Cuomo, whom he has been criticizing. If that happens, he would be of zero use to New Yorkers in general and Western New Yorkers in particular.

Teachout has virtually no chance of defeating Cuomo, and candidates for chief executive – state or nation – should be allowed their choice of running mate. With Cuomo the overwhelming favorite, voters should also support Hochul, the candidate who is actually qualified for the job.

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Original article by Patricia Doxsey on the Daily Freeman

KINGSTON >> Saying women’s issues are everyone’s issues, Democratic elected officials, candidates and supporters gathered Tuesday to promote the Women’s Equality Party and the creation of a Women’s Equality line on the November ballot.

“We’ve got some problems and we’ve got issues that are unresolved,” said Kathy Hochul, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor.

Hochul was at BSP on Wall Street in uptown Kingston with incumbent Democratic senators and assembly members from throughout the region. Notably absent from the event, was Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, D-Kingston.

In addition to stumping for the creation of the new party, Hochul and others blasted the state Senate for declining to take up the Women’s Equality Act, saying the inaction was nothing short of an assault on women’s rights.

“These are our daughters,” said Hochul. “We’ve got to stand up for them.”

Hochul said the formation of the Women’s Equality Party and the addition of the line on the November ballot will give candidates who support women’s rights a line outside of the regular political line to run, and will give voters who don’t necessarily want to pull the Democratic line, but want to show their support for women’s rights, a way to show their support.

“It’s a place where people are going to be able to state their priorities,” said Hochul.

The Women’s Equality Party has a 10-point platform that includes pay equity for women, banning sexual harassment in all workplaces, ending family status discrimination, strengthening human trafficking laws, and supporting legislation that would codify a woman’s right to choose as protected in the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court ruling.

“We can send a very strong message when people vote on the Women’s Equality Party line,” said Sen. Cecilia Tkaczyk.

Tkaczyk, D-Duanesburg, said that one way to ensure the Women’s Equality Act is voted on is to elect more women to the state Senate.

“We only have 11 women in the New York State Senate and we wonder why we’re struggling to get a women’s equality agenda through,” she said. “We would not have to fight for a women’s equality agenda if we had more women on the Senate floor.”

Tracey Brooks, head of Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York warned that sitting out of the upcoming election is not an option and urged the packed room to bring 10 friends each to the polls in November.

Original article by Patricia Doxsey on the Daily Freeman

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Original article by Benjamin Oreskes on

As two kids fought over one of Villa Italia’s cookies, three mayors of Schenectady sat with Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Kathy Hochul.

Over tea, pastries and the Italian nougat candy called Torrone, former mayors Brian Stratton and Karen Johnson joined Mayor Gary McCarthy to discuss with Hochul the business challenges facing entrepreneurs, local casino bids, and how to sustain economic growth in upstate New York.

The public officials then toured the bakery’s kitchen with owner Bobby Mallozzi, who explained to Hochul how his father started the business in 1965.

Wearing an incredulous expression, the former congresswoman looked at the pastries then at the employees. “How do you guys stay so slim?” she asked.

Hochul has crisscrossed the state in recent weeks — a turnaround from early summer, when it seemed Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s campaign was trying to keep her under wraps or confine to her Western New York home turf.

As she met with Electric City leaders Friday afternoon, Cuomo’s campaign announced that the Friends of Kathy Hochul campaign committee raised about $530,000 since July 15. Cuomo’s campaign raised $601,315 in the same period.

Hochul, endorsed by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday, was asked about the charged leveled by her Democratic primary rival Tim Wu that her previous policies on immigration and gun control were more in line with those of Republican House Speaker John Boehner.

“Sometimes politics is so darn silly — I don’t even pay attention to that,” she said.

Hochul expressed no concern that the Sept. 9 primary could attract more liberal voters who are seen as Wu’s potential base. Hochul said that a debate between the two is under consideration, but threw cold water on the prospect: “There’s a very short time frame now.”

Wu’s running mate Zephyr Teachout spent Friday in a Brooklyn courtroom defending her candidacy from a residency challenge brought by Cuomo’s lawyers.

“My simple statement is everyone has to play by the rules,” Hochul said. “There’s a reason why we have residency requirements.”

In the kitchen, Mallozzi walked Hochul through the steps of cake production. She then picked up a mold used to make football-themed cakes and asked what it was.

Upon learning its use, she turned to the other officials and joked on a pressing issue in Western New York, “As long (a potential buyer) promises to keep the Bills in Buffalo, we’re going to send them a cake.”

Original article by Benjamin Oreskes on

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Original article by Kate Taylor of The New York Times

Allies of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Thursday that they were starting a new party to rally female voters, which would have its own ballot line in the November election — with Mr. Cuomo on it.

It was both a salvo directed at the Democratic governor’s Republican opponent in his run for re-election and a nose-thumbing to his critics on the left.

The announcement of the Women’s Equality Party was made on the Upper West Side of Manhattan by Mr. Cuomo’s running mate, former Representative Kathy Hochul, who was joined by a former chairwoman of the state Democratic Party and the leaders of two local women’s organizations, NOW-NYC and Naral Pro-Choice New York.

Saying that women’s rights were under attack by conservatives in Congress and on the Supreme Court, Ms. Hochul called on women in New York to rally together and show their strength by supporting the Women’s Equality ballot line.

“We will not tolerate elected officials who block our basic rights,” she said. “We will not stand to be treated like second-class citizens. And we will not allow our votes to be taken for granted. It is time women stand up and make our voices heard.”

Mr. Cuomo’s aides have long said that they plan to attack Rob Astorino, the Westchester County executive and Republican candidate for governor, over his opposition to abortion rights, which they say is out of step with the position of the vast majority of New Yorkers.

By focusing the campaign on women’s rights at a time when many women around the country are frustrated by the debates about contraception coverage and the recent Supreme Court decision in the case involving Hobby Lobby, the new ballot line may help Mr. Cuomo increase his edge among female voters.

In recent elections, women have made up 53 percent of New York voters, and statewide Democratic candidates have enjoyed as much as a two-to-one advantage among women, Bruce N. Gyory, a Democratic consultant who is not involved in the race, said.

“The more attention you can put on those issues, the more it’s likely to drive that gender gap into a gender gulch,” Mr. Gyory said, adding that the creation of the new ballot line was a good strategic move for Mr. Cuomo.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Astorino suggested that Mr. Cuomo was hypocritical in talking about women’s rights, given the sexual harassment scandals that have troubled the State Assembly, which Democrats lead.

“Governor Cuomo should be ashamed of himself for playing politics with women’s rights,” the spokeswoman, Jessica Proud, said.

If the new ballot line is primarily intended to hurt Mr. Astorino, it could have the added benefit for Mr. Cuomo of diminishing the number of votes cast for him in the general election on the Working Families Party line, assuming that there is a limited number of voters who will vote for the Democratic candidate on a non-Democratic party line. The Working Families Party had threatened to endorse someone else for governor, until Mr. Cuomo promised to support some of their goals, including shifting control of the State Senate back to the Democrats.
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The Senate, which is currently controlled by Republicans and a group of breakaway Democrats, was responsible last year for blocking the final plank in the Women’s Equality Act proposed by Mr. Cuomo, which would have codified in state law the right to abortion as established by Roe v. Wade.

Zephyr Teachout, an associate professor at Fordham Law School who is running against Mr. Cuomo in the Democratic primary, remarked upon that on Thursday, saying Mr. Cuomo had thwarted women’s rights by supporting the Republicans in the Senate.

“Governor Cuomo thinks he can buy women’s votes by cynically creating a new party to advertise values he hasn’t fought for in office,” she said in a statement. “A real Democrat would have already passed the Women’s Equality Act and would be fighting for paid family leave.”

Mr. Cuomo’s allies will have to gather 15,000 signatures to establish the new ballot line. Volunteers at the event were already armed with clipboards, and Ms. Hochul signed one sheet onstage.

Ms. Hochul has not appeared at a public event in weeks, and some journalists have accused her of being in hiding. Approaching a group of reporters to take questions after the event, she said, “Congratulations, you found me.”

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