Speaker of the House John Boehner is taking heat from all sides for delaying the decisive vote on the post-Hurricane Sandy federal aid package. Even his fellow Republicans have blasted Mr. Boehner. Many of the local Democrats who jumped into the fray used the motif of the famous 1975 Daily News cover that implied Gerald Ford told the city to “drop dead” when he vowed to veto federal aid to the five boroughs in their assessments of Mr. Boehner’s conduct. Mayoral candidate Bill Thompson explicitly credited his source material in his shot at Mr. Boehner.
“The decision by House Speaker John Boehner to postpone a vote on Hurricane Sandy aid for the New York region is a travesty of epic proportions,” Mr. Thompson said in a statement. “The move is reminiscent of the famous newspaper headline from the 1970’s when the federal government refused to help New York City in a time of need. ‘Boehner to City: Drop Dead’ is an appropriate headline for the Speaker’s actions.”
Former New York Governor George Paraki and New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox held a conference call with reporters this morning ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to University at Albany’s College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering. Mr. Pataki claimed his emphasis on lower tax rates and de-regulation led to the creation of the school while President Obama’s policies have failed at spurring private sector development.
Though Messrs. Pataki and Cox focused on criticizing the president’s economic policies, they were also asked by Buzzfeed’s Zeke Miller about the uproar over Vice President Joe Biden’s comments in support of same sex marriage yesterday and the lingering questions about where President Obama stands on the issue.
“I think it’s pretty simple, either you’re for something, or you’re against it and Vice President Biden has made it plain he’s for it. President Obama, on the other hand, is looking to have both sides where he’s appealing to those who are supportive of gay marriage, but is afraid to alienate those who don’t.”
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that the Tappan Zee Bridge would not be included on a short list of projects invited to apply for federal loans; this news came after Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that the bridge was a top priority for the state and pushed for it to be fast-tracked
The State Republican Party today released a statement blame the DOT’s rejection of the expedited project squarely on the shoulders of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his fellow Democrats, U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.
How can a project be fast tracked in October and killed in April? It’s called fast tracking a “bridge to nowhere.”
This also points to a failure in leadership on the parts of Senators Gillibrand and Schumer and Governor Cuomo to secure the necessary federal funds from President Obama.
The full court press for Police Commissioner Ray Kelly to enter the 2013 mayoral field continued last night, with Republican State Party Chairman Ed Cox going on Inside City Hall to sing Mr. Kelly’s praises and encourage him to run.
Joining the ecstatic New York Post, Staten Island power broker Guy Molinari and former Mayor Ed Koch, Mr. Cox declared, “Of course Ray Kelly would be a superb candidate.”
So Long Santorum
Now that Rick Santorum has officially ended his presidential campaign, there will be even less than expected at stake in New York’s presidential primary April 24. New York Republican Party chairman Ed Cox responded to the news of Mr. Santorum’s departure in an interview with The Journal News’ Politics on the Hudson blog by saying New York will remain important to presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney even though it doesn’t occupy a contested spot on the electoral map.
“New York is going to be very important to his campaign, not because we are a swing state with respect to our electoral votes, but because this is where the financial center with the money is, this is the media center of the United States where the media is, and this is the center for many ethnic groups,” Mr. Cox said. “So, New York going forward–as I learned as chairman of the McCain campaign–is going to be the most important non-swing state here among the 50 states.”
The race between veteran Councilman Lew Fidler and Republican upstart David Storobin was a vicious campaign that included charges of pedophilia, Nazism and election day allegations “a Storobin thug” ran over a Fidler volunteer with a van. A police spokesperson subsequently told The New York Times the claim about the van proved to be untrue. In the end, Mr. Storobin was up by 120 votes in the final pre-paper ballot tally, but both candidates declared victory and the campaign is headed to a close count and court fight. However, as Mr. Storobin pointed out in a speech at his election night party, no one expected him to come close.
“We counted 100 percent of the votes but there are still some votes, some paper votes that are left, but based on all the info that we have, I’m proud to say that we, all of us, won this race. There may be recounts and we may have to wait for official results for a few days, or maybe even a couple of weeks, but like I said, the good won, we won,” Mr. Storobin said. “Tonight, we’ll go to bed as winners when nobody outside believed that we had a shot to even compete, when every story about this campaign began with Lew Fidler, the heavy favorite.”
The New York Republican State Committee blasted Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today, accusing her of benefiting from inside information when she was in the House of Representatives. Ms. Gillibrand is currently championing the fight to ban insider trading for federal representatives, which State GOP Chairman Ed Cox claims is hypocritical.
“In purporting to be a champion of insider trading reform – in a fundraising appeal no less – Ms. Gillibrand may be being too cute by half,” he said in a statement this morning. “This may not pass the smell test.”
Can't We All Just Get Along
New York Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox released a statement this afternoon urging the GOP presidential candidates to stop infighting lest they provide ammo for President Obama to use in the general election.
“With Obama’s Chicago machine gearing up to run the first billion-dollar campaign in history, Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment is as relevant as ever: Thou shalt not speak ill of fellow Republicans,” the statement said. “Open primaries are good for the Party and good for the country. But when open debate turns to negative attacks on fellow Republicans, we provide our Democratic opponents with fodder for new attacks come the general election.”
In a release entitled “GENEVA’S ZIP CODE IS: 14456 Not CH-1201,” New York State Republican Party Chairman Ed Cox took issue with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand for raising money from Americans in Europe. Senator Gillibrand is indeed in Geneva, Switzerland today as part of a fundraising tour that is also taking her through Paris and London.
“People in Geneva, Switzerland may have more money than people in Geneva, NY, but that’s no excuse to be running around the globe on a fundraising junket while there is work to be done here at home,” Chairman Cox said.
Republican State Chairman Ed Cox met with New York’s 62 GOP county chairs this afternoon and said that 2012 was shaping up to be another 1980–when Republicans took New York in the presidential election and elected Al D’Amato to the U.S. Senate.
The D’Amato example is instructive. Mr. Cox told the county chairs, ”Needless to say, one of our highest priorities will be to increase our majority in the State Senate, and elect more Republicans to the Assembly. “We also believe that Senator Gillibrand is vulnerable, and there are at least two highly qualified Republicans interested in challenging her.”