Cuomo opens campaign for governor
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New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced his candidacy for governor on Saturday, saying that he was seeking to remake a state mired in political scandal and paralyzed by financial crisis.
In a direct confrontation with a Legislature controlled by his own party, Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, said he would pressure lawmakers this fall to state publicly whether they would embrace essential ethics changes, including disclosing their outside income, ceding control of redistricting to an independent panel and submitting to an outside ethics monitor
Mr. Cuomo made the announcement in two videos released by his campaign and later on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse in lower Manhattan, named for the leader of the city's corrupt 19th century Tammany Hall political machine. Mr. Cuomo said he did so because "Albany's antics today could make Boss Tweed blush."
The approach underscores Mr. Cuomo's determination to avoid the fate of the last two governors, David Paterson and Eliot Spitzer, who promised change but were quickly stymied by an obstinate Legislature, and later fell victim to their own scandals.
It may be a challenge for Mr. Cuomo, 52, to run against Albany, given his history: He is the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, for whom he served as political director, and has long ties to state politics. The elder Mr. Cuomo attended the announcement.
The younger Mr. Cuomo is hoping to leverage his broad popularity and the relatively clear field he faces for the Sept. 14 primary in the governor's race to begin overhauling the state before next year.
First Published May 23, 2010 12:28 am