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Entries in Andrew Cuomo (14)

Tuesday
Jan152013

New York, Maryland Governors Hot on Gun Control

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images | MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The two governors leading the debate on stricter gun laws -- New York's Andrew Cuomo and Maryland's Martin O'Malley -- want to enact legislation that would make their respective states the toughest in the country.

Cuomo laid out his legislation in a State of the State address last week and it was passed by the state Senate on Monday, while O'Malley described his plan on Monday at a gun summit at Johns Hopkins University.  Both of their plans are bold and expansive.

Cuomo and New York lawmakers struck a deal on Monday to pass the first gun-control measures since the rampage killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last month that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

The agreement will tighten New York's loophole-riddled existing ban on so-called assault weapons and, among other things, would limit the capacity of magazines to seven bullets, down from 10.  The legislation would also require background checks of ammunition buyers and gun sales, including private ones; tougher penalties for illegal gun use; a one-state check on all firearms purchases; and programs to cut gun violence in high-crime neighborhoods.

New York's plan will also aim to keep guns from people who are mentally ill.  The legislation would empower judges to require people determined to be a threat to others get outpatient care.  The plan also requires that when a mental health professional determines a gun owner is likely to hurt himself or others, the risk must be reported and the gun removed by law enforcement.

During a late night press conference on Monday, Cuomo said, "Enough people have lost their lives. Let's act."

Like Cuomo's plan in New York, O'Malley's proposal in Maryland is expected to pass the state's Democratic-controlled state legislature.

"There is a sickness in our country.  That sickness is gun violence," O'Malley said Monday at the beginning of a two-day gun violence summit at Johns Hopkins University.

"Perhaps there is no way to completely prevent the next Newtown tragedy.  But then again, perhaps there is.  None of us can predict the future. ... And, yet, we know every life is valuable," he said.

O'Malley added that his plan "isn't about ideology."  Instead, it's "about the dignity of every individual life.  The dignity of every one of those little kids."

The former Baltimore mayor's plan would ban military-style "assault weapons," which, he said, "have no place on the streets of Baltimore or in any other neighborhood in our state."

It would also limit the size of magazines and, among the tougher proposals, would include a requirement for most prospective gun buyers to provide fingerprints to state police, undergo a background check and complete a mandatory gun-safety course in order to obtain an owner's permit.

Buyers of shotguns and hunting rifles would be exempt from the measure.  Currently, only Maryland residents seeking a concealed-carry permit must submit their fingerprints.

As with New York's plan, it would also address mental health.  And O'Malley's plan calls for data-sharing, investments in treatment and the creation of a treatment program called the Center for Excellence on Early Intervention for Serious Mental Illness to "utilize more effective early intervention strategies."

Also, like Cuomo's plan, O'Malley did not embrace the National Rifle Association's call for armed guards outside of every school, but he did say he wanted to create a new Maryland Center for School Safety that would bring together both law enforcement and school officials.

It is a $25 million project to improve school safety in the form of auto-locking doors and mandatory guest check-in requirements, among others proposals.

In his address, Cuomo noted that he is a gun owner himself and his proposal "is not taking away people's guns."

In Baltimore Monday, the Maryland governor also said his goal was not "to ban all guns."

"At the same time, we know that it makes no sense to blame everything but guns for the violence in our neighborhoods," O'Malley said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan092013

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Proposes 'Toughest Assault Weapon Ban in the Nation'

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(ALBANY, N.Y.) -- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid out a plan Wednesday to give his state some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.

In his annual State of the State address, Cuomo promised to "enact the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation, period," following the shooting deaths of 20 students and six adults at an elementary school in nearby Newtown, Conn., last month.

"I know that the issue of gun control is hard," Cuomo said during his address in Albany, N.Y. "I know it's political. I know it's controversial....I say to you: Forget the extremists. It's simple, no one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer and too many innocent people have died already. End the madness, now!"

Cuomo's voice rose as he urged the passing of "safe, reasonable gun control," asking New York to "set an example for the rest of the nation."

He then laid out a seven-point plan, calling it "a gun policy in this state that is reasonable, that is balanced, that is measured."

"Gun violence has been on a rampage," he said. "In one word it is just enough."

He added that he is a gun owner himself, and his proposal "is not taking away people's guns."

In an address that was close to an hour and a half long, Cuomo called for requiring federal background checks of all gun sales, including private ones; the ban of high-capacity magazines; enacting tougher penalties for illegal gun use, guns on school grounds, and gun activity by gangs; keeping guns from people who are mentally ill; banning the direct Internet sale of ammunition; one state check on all firearms purchases; and programs to cut gun violence in high-crime neighborhoods.

Cuomo claimed New York once led the country in gun control when, in 1911, it passed "Sullivan's Law," which required a permit to possess a handgun.

New York has an existing assault weapons ban, but many high-powered rifles that have a capacity greater than 10 rounds don't come under the ban because it exempts magazines manufactured before 1994. If a magazine is not stamped then it can't be banned.

Cuomo's new legislation would ban large-capacity magazines regardless of the date of manufacture.

One of the points of his plan that may get the most attention, especially in the wake of the Newtown and Aurora, Colo., mass shootings, is keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. The Democratic governor's plan would ensure that when a mental health professional determines a gun owner is likely to hurt himself or others, the risk must be reported and the gun removed by law enforcement.

According to the New York Daily News, Democratic New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver told reporters in Albany before Cuomo's speech that an agreement on tougher legislation between lawmakers and the governor was close, adding he might keep Assembly members in Albany to complete a deal.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who attended the address, has also been outspoken on the issue of gun control since the Sandy Hook school shooting.

This week, his group, Mayors Against Gun Violence, released a new television commercial to push for action from the federal government. The ad featured Roxanna Green, the mother of Christina Taylor-Green, a 9-year-old killed two years ago this week in Tucson, Ariz., in the shooting that severely injured Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

In the ad Roxanna Green asked, "How many more children must die before Washington does something to end our gun violence problem?"

Bloomberg also released a statement after Cuomo's address saying he was "struck by his passionate leadership on gun violence."

"New York State has led the nation with strong, common-sense gun laws, and the governor's new proposals will build on that tradition," Bloomberg said. "They will help law enforcement keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous people and save lives. We strongly support his proposals to close loopholes and strengthen existing laws, and we look forward to working with him and the State Legislature to adopt them."

Cuomo's address came on the same day Vice President Biden began two days of meetings at the White House with victims of gun violence, gun safety advocate groups and gun rights groups, including the National Rifle Association, and gun sellers, including Walmart.

Biden told reporters before the meeting that they were at the White House "to deal with a problem that requires our immediate action, urgent action," adding that he and President Obama "are determined to take action."

"I want to make it clear that we are not going to get caught up in the notion, unless we can do everything, we're going to do nothing," Biden said.

Cuomo wasn't the only governor to speak out about gun control Wednesday. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy also used his State of the State address to stress "more guns are not the answer," and to announce the formation of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission made up of experts in mental health, education, law enforcement and first response.

"Freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher, and security should not mean a guard posted outside every classroom," Malloy said, referring to the NRA's proposal to have armed guards outside of every school in the country.

"We also know that this conversation must take place nationally," Malloy said. "As long as weapons continue to travel up and down I-95, what is available for sale in Florida or Virginia can have devastating consequences here in Connecticut....Our focus will be first and foremost on protecting Connecticut's families."

Another Northeastern governor, Republican Chris Christie of New Jersey, did not touch the subject of gun control in his address Tuesday. When asked on ABC News' Good Morning America Wednesday why he didn't bring up the topic, he said, "Given what's happened to our state, the majority of the time should be talking about Sandy."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov012012

Superstorm Sandy: Governors Use Twitter to Help Save Lives

@GovChristie/Twitter(WASHINGTON) -- In past weather emergencies, Americans have tuned in to radios and televisions to get information on how to handle disasters, but with Hurricane Sandy, some governors used Twitter as a new way to reach their citizens.

Governors in every state where President Obama declared an emergency, except New Hampshire, tweeted about the storm throughout the day Tuesday, and their efforts continued on Wednesday.  Some sent out photos of damage, survival tips, traffic updates and other information.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted a YouTube video of National Guardsmen unloading supplies Tuesday evening.

"Hoping NYers are staying indoors&safe -->let your friends+fam know you're OK via social media, #Facebook status #Sandy," he tweeted earlier in the day.

Cuomo continued Wednesday to tweet minute-by-minute updates on New York City transit and excerpts from his news briefing with Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.

Andrew Raseij, founder of Personal Democracy Media, a group that covers the intersection of tech and politics, said in this kind of emergency, tweeting can be important for governors.

Raseij praised New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's use of the platform.

"If he's out on social media warning people to evacuate before the press conference and that reaches somebody who leaves their home and then the power goes out and they can't even watch the press conference, then he's reached somebody and saved their lives," Raseij said.

Christie Director of Outreach Lauren Fritts said tweets from the governor's account these past few days were meant to inform and comfort New Jerseyans.

"If you know anything about Gov. Christie, it's that he likes to communicate with the people of New Jersey his way," Fritts said in an email Wednesday.  "Recognizing that many New Jerseyans are unable to watch TV or listen to the radio, we use the governor's twitter account (a common app on most smartphones) as a way to connect him with the people across this state."

Christie's tweets varied between informational updates and emotional expressions of empathy with the people of his state.

"Hurricane #Sandy is now moving twice as fast as I had originally been briefed-we are now expecting landfall in AC in the next hour," Christie tweeted just after 5:30 p.m. Monday.  

Later, in reference to people ignoring his evacuation warning, he posted, "I hope and pray there will not be a loss of life because of people's decisions to stay."

Raseij said, "It's very clear that Gov. Christie's emphatic use of social media saved lives in a moment of crisis."

Some, like Govs. Cuomo and Christie, have gone beyond the basic tweet, tagging other accounts and using hashtags to make their updates more searchable.

Raseij said social media posts are more effective when elected officials craft their own, rather than relying on a staffer to write the messages.

"Obviously, the authenticity of the elected official who uses it themselves creates far more affinity with citizens and, particularly in times of crisis, gives the public a sense that they're being led," he said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul062011

White House Has No Plans to Dump Joe Biden in 2012

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- The White House on Tuesday disputed a report by The New York Post which claimed that President Obama was thinking of replacing Vice President Joe Biden with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo as his 2012 running mate.

It's been a banner year for Cuomo, the son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo.  The Democrat has successfully reached out to Republicans in an effort to solve the state's budget woes while also taking the lead in passing a law that allows same-sex marriage in New York State.

William Powers, a former New York Republican Party chairman, told the Post, "I don't think there's any doubt Obama is going to pick him as his running mate.  The president is in trouble and Biden doesn't bring anything to his ticket."

But as much as Cuomo has expressed an interest in running for national office, possibly in 2016, there's little chance that he would leave his job two years into his term even if the White House dangled the vice presidency in front of him.

As for Biden, he seems comfortably ensconced in his role as second in command, although he might be convinced to take the role of secretary of state since Hillary Clinton has said that she'll retire at the end of 2012, whether or not Obama is reelected.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jun222011

Special Election Will Determine Congressman Weiner's Successor

Mario Tama/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In an attempt to put Congressman Anthony Weiner's sexting scandal quickly behind them, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for a special election on Sept. 13 to find a replacement for Weiner, who officially resigned last Thursday.

The special election will he held on the same day that New York is holding its primary for statewide elections.  Local party chairmen will decide who the candidates will be, rather than holding separate primaries.

On the Democratic side, New York City Council members Eric Gioia and Melinda Katz are the expected candidates, while New York City Councilman Eric Ulrich is the likely GOP pick.

The candidate who wins shouldn't get too comfortable.  Weiner's Brooklyn-Queens district is in the process of being redrawn, meaning that his old congressional seat could disappear before the 2012 regular election.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov232010

Former Obama Auto Czar Continues Feud With NY Attorney General

Photo Courtesy - Jemal Countess/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Former Obama administration auto czar Steve Rattner, who last week blasted Andrew Cuomo as a "bully" who had filed a "politically motivated" $26 million lawsuit against him, has taken his feud with New York's attorney general to the airwaves.

On Monday, Rattner told talk show host Charlie Rose that Cuomo had issued "threats" against him, was relying on emotions instead of facts in filing the suit, and questioned whether Cuomo, who becomes New York's governor in less than two months, has the right temperament to hold high elected office.

Rattner, a long-time force in Democratic politics, also told Rose he was never a Cuomo supporter. "I was never part of the Andrew Cuomo fan club," said Rattner. "I was frankly never president of his fan club or even a charter member."

Cuomo announced Thursday that he was suing Rattner over allegedly paying kickbacks to win investment business for his firm, Quadrangle Group, from the New York state pension fund. In dual lawsuits, Cuomo is demanding that Rattner return $26 million, and wants to ban Rattner for life from the securities industry.

The news came the same day that the federal Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Rattner had agreed to pay $6.2 million to settle civil charges over the same influence-peddling scandal. He is also barred for two years from the securities business.

In a response to Cuomo's suits, Rattner denied wrongdoing and said he intended to clear his name "by defending myself vigorously against this politically motivated lawsuit."

"While settling with the SEC begins the process of putting this matter behind me," said Rattner, "I will not be bullied simply because the Attorney General's office prefers political considerations instead of a reasoned assessment of the facts."

On "Charlie Rose," Rattner repeated the bully charge, and his insistence that he had not broken any laws. He also said he had been willing to settle with Cuomo, but that the attorney general had "dragged this out."

"I've been willing to settle this all along at a -- you know, on reasonable terms, but I'm not going to settle them on terms that make no sense," said Rattner. "The SEC looked at facts and came to a set of conclusions. Andrew Cuomo chose instead to rely on his emotions."

"This is not the kind of behavior I think we want out of an attorney general or a governor," added Rattner, who also charged that Cuomo's handling of the case was "frankly close to extortion" and involved "threaten[ing] & [to] prosecute me to the ends of the earth."

Rattner also seemed to suggest that Cuomo's decision to sue him may have been influenced by Cuomo's gubernatorial opponent Carl Paladino, who during the campaign had tried to make an issue of Cuomo not "going after" Rattner.

"My supposition," said Rattner, "but you should get the attorney general in here and ask him, is that it comes down to emotion and politics. I don't know how else to account for it."

In his introduction to the interview with Rattner, Rose dislosed that he and Rattner were long-time friends.

Asked to comment on Rattner's accusations on Rose's show, Cuomo's office said Tuesday that they were not planning to add anything to a statement issued last week.

On Thursday, Cuomo spokesman Richard Bamberger responded to Rattner's criticisms by noting how many times Rattner had invoked the Fifth Amendment, which protects a witness from self-incrimination, while testifying. "Mr. Rattner now has a lot of say as he spins his friends in the press, but when he was questioned under oath about his pensions and dealing he was much less talkative, taking the Fifth and refusing to answer questions 68 different times."

"Anyone who reads the extensive facts laid out in our complaint," said Bamberger, "will understand that Rattner's claim that he did nothing wrong are ridiculous and belied by the fact that he is paying the $6 million today."

The SEC alleged that Rattner and Quadrangle Group provided political favors and kickbacks to win business from the New York's $125 billion pension fund. The SEC alleged that one of the favors was distributing DVDs of a low-budget film called "Chooch" produced by a pension fund official and his brothers.

David Rosenfeld, associate director of the SEC's New York Regional Office, said Thursday, "Rattner delivered special favors and conducted sham transactions that corrupted the [New York state] Retirement Fund's investment process."

Cuomo 's two lawsuits accuse Rattner of paying kickbacks to help Quadrangle land a $150 million investment from the state pension fund.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov022010

ABC News: Democrat Andrew Cuomo Will Take N.Y. Governor's Race

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- ABC News projects that Democratic candidate Andrew Cuomo will defeat Tea Party favorite Carl Paladino for the New York gubernatorial seat, in what has been a sometimes violent campaign of mudslinging from both sides.

In what was once a close race, Cuomo, the current attorney general, slowly crept up in the polls to take a double-digit lead over Paladino, who was plagued by controversy in the final weeks of his campaign.

The Republican candidate was dogged by reports of racy emails he sent containing inappropriate images and racial slurs. Paladino also made headlines when he threatened a New York Post reporter.

Cuomo will succeed Gov. David Patterson, who did not seek re-election after he assumed the governorship following former Gov. Eliot Spitzer's departure from office in 2008.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct182010

Murdoch-Owned 'New York Post' Endorses Andrew Cuomo for New York Governor

Photo Courtesy - Andrew Cuomo dot com(NEW YORK) -- Perhaps the New York Post editorial board didn’t take too kindly to New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino’s loaded threat to “take out” the paper’s veteran scribe, Fred Dicker.

In a surprising move Monday, the generally right-leaning Post, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorporation, endorsed Democrat Andrew Cuomo, the state’s attorney general, saying there was “something refreshing” about Paladino at the outset of his campaign until “a screw popped loose.”

“He won the primary by showing that he understood the frustrations New Yorkers grapple with daily -- and by speaking to them, directly and forcefully....Then a screw popped loose.  Paladino revealed himself to be undisciplined, unfocused and untrustworthy - that is, fundamentally unqualified for the office he seeks,” the editorial reads, adding that he gave Cuomo “a free pass” by growing silent on the issues.

Paladino’s brusque style, controversial remarks and desire to “take a baseball bat” to Albany has kept him in the headlines despite trailing Cuomo badly in the polls.  A new New York Times poll released last night has Cuomo leading Paladino 59 percent to 24 percent among likely voters.

Paladino’s fame – or notoriety – came quickly with his unlikely primary victory over former Republican Rep. Rick Lazio on Sept. 14.  However, since then, he and his campaign have received more attention for his gaffes and dismissiveness with the media than for his plan to fix New York’s struggling economy.

The much-publicized scuffle with Dicker came after the reporter approached Paladino asking for evidence to support his accusations that Cuomo had had extramarital affairs.  Paladino instead asked why the paper “sent goons after my daughter,” referencing to the Post running stories on Paladino’s mistress and their 10-year-old daughter. Paladino then threatened, “You send another goon to my daughter’s house, I’ll take you out, buddy.”  Paladino’s campaign manager ended the confrontation by intervening, telling Dicker he was working for Cuomo, was “way out of line” and is “a terrible journalist.”

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct182010

Ex-Madam Shares Stage in NY's Gubernatorial Debate

Photo Courtesy - Friends Of Kristin Davis(NEW YORK) -- Kristin Davis, the one-time Manhattan madam who says she supplied call girls to Eliot Spitzer when he was New York's governor, shares a stage Monday night with state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and all the other candidates in the only debate of New York's gubernatorial race.

Davis is running for governor as the candidate of the Anti-Prohibition Party.  She was guaranteed a place at Monday's debate when Republican Carl Paladino demanded that Cuomo debate all the third-party hopefuls and Cuomo agreed.

"It won't be hard to stand out in a crowd of middle-aged white men so bring it on," Davis wrote on her website when her participation was assured. "The good news is that I have 11 days to figure out what to wear."

Getting noticed should not be a problem for Davis, who says she is 35, sports tattoos on both arms and is routinely described by New York's tabloids as everything from an "escort empress" to a "busty bottle blonde."

Davis touts herself as an "accomplished businesswoman," putting her in line with a slew of women executives who have plunged into politics this year.  Former eBay chief Meg Whitman is running for governor of California, Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO, is seeking a Senate seat in California and Linda McMahon, who helped build the WWE pro-wrestling empire is running for U.S. Senate in Connecticut.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct142010

Paladino on Gay Rights Flap: "It's Really Done"

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Carl Paladino, the Republican candidate for governor in New York, has seen his campaign distracted for weeks by stories about racy e-mails he’s sent, extramarital affairs he’s had, and comments he’s made that seem to disparage gays and lesbians.

On ABC’s Top Line Thursday, Paladino said he’s done talking about those stories.

Asked about a confrontation he had with a New York Post reporter, where Paladino told the reporter “I’ll take you out,” he said he had nothing to apologize for – and then launched into a discussion of his plans for cutting Medicaid.

“I don't apologize for that. Absolutely not. And now we're going to go on,” Paladino said. “We're going to tell you about Medicaid. Our Medicaid is totally out of whack with reality.”

And asked why he read from a prepared text that was handed to him over the weekend – where he blasted his Democratic rival, Andrew Cuomo, for marching in a gay pride parade – Paladino cut off the question. “I'm done with that one too,” he said. “It's really done. If you want to know what we're going to do about government corruption, I'm going to appoint a special prosecutor from day one and a special prosecutor....The issue has been gone over and over. We're not talking about it anymore. I'm done.”

Paladino said the issues being raised about him aren’t important to New York voters. He said, “The press has pressed on those issues and they think the people are interested,” he said. “We think that people are more interested in overburdened government spending, taxes, government corruption, Medicaid out of control, the lack of interest in jobs and the lack of a plan to create new jobs. That's what the people are interested in today.”

He promised vast changes to Albany as governor, including deep reductions in the state workforce.

“I'm going to win, and four years from now thing are going to be very different. You're going to have a government that’s of the people, by the people and for the people,” Paladino said. “You're going to have an actually representative republic in the New York state legislature. Legislators actually reading bills before they sign them. Legislators actually debating issues and having input before the final decisions. Legislators that aren't working a day and a half a week, but five days a day, every day for the full year in order to earn those 100 percent pensions, in order to earn those 100 percent benefits that they want."

He continued, “2,751 staff members today, maybe a thousand then. In the executive branch, we'll probably get rid of about 20 percent of the agencies, the divisions, the directorates in our state government today. Agencies that are no longer viable in the 20th century.” 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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