Former Rep. Kathy Hochul, Governor Andrew Cuomo's running mate, held a rare public event Thursday on Manhattan's Upper West Side, where she unveiled a new political line of attack on the campaign trail. She later appeared on NY1's "Inside City Hall." NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
In her first TV interview since being named Governor Andrew Cuomo's running mate, Kathy Hochul tried to clarify her views on immigration, gun control and the controversial natural gas extraction procedure known as fracking.
"I believe that there are examples of where it has not been done properly," Hochul said. "The early states that adopted it did not have the proper disposal of the wastewater. That's something that I believe would be very important."
Hochul is taking the lead on an issue Cuomo has been trying to get through the state Senate: a package of 10 bills known as the Women's Equality Agenda. On Thursday afternoon, Hochul was joined by women's groups to announce the creation of the Women's Equality Party in New York State.
"We're trying to give it permanent status so this can become a long-term advocacy arm for all of us in government," she said.
But it's Hochul's views on other issues that have drawn scrutiny. In 2007, she helped lead the backlash against Governor Eliot Spitzer, who proposed creating a program to give driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants. She said she was concerned at the time that issuing licenses posed a terrorist threat. It's a view she continues to hold.
"As much as I value individual rights, I also as an elected official was concerned about national security, and I have to say, this was validated when I went to Congress and became a member of the Homeland Security Committee."
Hochul once had the strong backing of the NRA, but now supports gun control measures, including Cuomo's Safe Act, passed last year.
"I was simply reflecting the interest of my district at that time," she said. "I think that what I saw happen after Sandy Hook, what happened, the influence that was exerted on members of Congress to not even support background checks, that was a low point in the Congress."
Ultimately, Hochul's views on immigration and other matters aren't all that relevant because assuming she wins, she will be working for the Cuomo administration, and Cuomo himself will likely set policy.