While Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's no longer commenting on the Moreland Commission matter, the gag order apparently does not extend to his lieutenant governor candidate, Kathy Hochul, who spent the day campaigning in Queens. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
Things aren't exactly coming up roses for the Cuomo campaign these days, but while the governor keeps a low profile following a rebuke from U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, his running mate, Kathy Hochul, is suddenly seemingly everywhere, backing Cuomo's position that he did not interfere with his anti-corruption commission.
"When the Republican district attorney in Onondaga says that there's been no interference, I'm going to take him at his word," Hochul said.
Hochul was referring to commission co-chair William Fitzpatrick's statement Monday backing Cuomo. Never mind that it was his statement and that of other commissioners, part of a coordinated pushback by Cuomo, that led Bharara to warn of witness tampering.
Hochul, on a whirlwind tour of Queens neighborhoods Friday, said the controversy is not on voters' minds.
"I had breakfast in Harlem this morning up at Sylvia's. Nobody asked me about it," Hochul said. "They want to know what the governor can do for them, help with jobs, help with education."
Indeed, that is now apparently the party line, echoed by other Democrats campaigning alongside her Friday.
"The people that I represent, they care about affordable housing, they care about opportunities for their kids," said City Councilman Rory Lancman of Queens.
"I think you've heard from enough commissioners. I'm waiting to hear it," said
Ironically, the Cuomo campaign had earlier been accused of keeping Hochul out of public view thanks to her conservative-leaning views on issues like immigration. In Queens, she emphasized her support for the Dream Act.
"I support it 1,000 percent, as does the governor," she said.
Cuomo has done remarkably little campaigning this summer considering it's an election year. If Friday is any indication, it may be that New Yorkers will see a lot more of his running mate instead in the weeks to come.