Most statewide races will be a real yawn. Faso will try to score a few punches below the belt but the press won't be very helpful. Eliot Spitzer is a Democrat whose bite is bigger than his bark. Mr. Spitzer won't be able to keep the NY Post in check but you gotta love a Democrat that the rest of the MSM is afraid to mess with.
There is one statewide race that both the Zuckerman Garbage Bin and the Murdoch Wingnut Rag can sink their teeth into in their efforts to dumb down the New York City voters. Katie, Angelina and Brittany will be pleased for their baby's sake that they get a little break from the chronicles of stupidity in the Big Apple.
It's going to get bad! Please see below for information and what the Decent Newspaper has written so far.
The stage is set by the fact that Jeanine Pirro's husband was sentenced to seventeen months in prison for tax fraud and his reputed ties to mob bosses. The fact that Ms. Pirro signed some of the tax forms that led to her husbands convictions and was driving one of the 66 counts on the indictment have many New Yorkers skeptical.
Besides Pirro's obvious man troubles is the fact that she was investigated for her own spending habits during her term as Westchester County District Attorney. Her waste of taxpayer money on personal services may have resulted in substantial budget cuts in the D.A.'s office, which eventually cost six prosecutors their jobs.
Pirro herself has come under scrutiny because of three full-time county police officers that Pirro used as drivers and bodyguards. The staff was paid exorbitant overtime salaries and was used at political events; Pirro has not reimbursed the county. At the same time the budget was cut due to lack of funds and six prosecutors lost their jobs.
There was also a lackadaisical attempt to run against Hilary Clinton for the New York senate seat that left her seeming like not much of a threat to anyone.
With that resume the race should already be over but Andrew Cuomo has a few flaws that will probably be exploited by the New York City daily rags.
There is the memory of Andrew running a nasty and failed race for governor in 2002. He also left a bad taste in most New Yorkers mouths while working as an enforcer for his great father, Mario Cuomo.
Also Cuomo's messy divorce from a Kennedy, that the tabloids had a field day with may come back to haunt him. This would not be below these papers!
Not to mention some questionable behavior while he was in charge of the HUD. Mark Green has already set Jeanine Pirro up with attacks on Cuomo's record at HUD. There were questions about discrimination cases, pesticides and fraud prevention but Cuomo's big bankroll and the backing of the Party never got much traction for Green.
But the Village Voice has some real dirt in Andrew Cuomo's $2 Million Man;
The most important man in Andrew Cuomo's personal and political life, topping even his ex-governor father, is obscure, 46-year-old developer Andrew Farkas, who's ponied up over $2 million for the front-running attorney general candidate in recent years.
For a synopsis of this story, see my Green endorsement diary.
Cuomo's turning an accused slumlord into a sugar daddy was being downplayed by the rest of the New York press during the primary against Mark Green but with a Republican in the race, the tabloids may see it differently. It may even become sensational enough for the upstate papers.
In the Real Newspaper
For an example of what the scandal sheets will do with this race, a look at the "newspaper of record" gives a good example of just how ugly this will get. From last weeks Cuomo Smiles, Pirro Gleams, and War Is On, where you can almost see the news staff of the New York Times salivating;
Kicking off their general-election battle for New York State attorney general yesterday, Andrew M. Cuomo and Jeanine F. Pirro could not have smiled more, sounded nicer, or done a poorer job of concealing their true feelings: they want to shred each other.
Ms. Pirro, the Republican candidate, said she would run a "positive, issues-oriented campaign" and challenged Mr. Cuomo to do the same, and then found five different ways to describe him as totally unqualified for the job.
"There is no comparison between our records," declared Ms. Pirro, the former district attorney of Westchester County.
Mr. Cuomo, the Democrat, who has a substantial lead in public opinion polls, said he would stick to substance, but then assailed Ms. Pirro as a handmaiden of Gov. George E. Pataki, whom he had no problem calling a failure. Asked if he would push back any and all Pirro attacks, he said, "Do I ever push?" and then let a cackle rip.
Cuomo is a vainglorious candidate and even with a big lead the New York Democratic Party was the first to fire shots across the bow.
The Republican headquarters in Albany has veritable boxes of matériel from Mr. Cuomo's stormy years as an adviser to his father, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, and his tenure as housing secretary under President Bill Clinton. There are negative press releases in their computer banks. The same is true of Democrats; one party leader said that two decades of negative stories about Ms. Pirro in The Journal News of Westchester had been turned into weapons.
The pledges of a positive campaign had barely been made yesterday afternoon when the State Democratic Party chairman, Herman Farrell, tapped some of that opposition research and issued a news release noting that Governor Pataki had drafted Ms. Pirro to run, and that she had received several thousand dollars from donors to President Bush.
"While Andrew Cuomo is backed by Eliot Spitzer, Ms. Pirro is backed by George Pataki and funded by George Bush's `pioneers,' " he said. "That's all you need to hear."
The New York Times even made a story out of Jeanine Pirro's husbands speeding ticket. The guy has been dragging her down for years but a speeding ticket? From Pirro, Clearly Annoyed With Her Husband, Tries to Focus on the Race;
Jeanine F. Pirro, the Republican candidate for attorney general, criticized her husband, Albert, yesterday after he got a ticket charging him with driving 51 miles an hour in a 25-mile-an-hour school zone on Thursday -- the latest instance of Mr. Pirro causing trouble for his politician wife.
"You didn't want to be in my house last night," Ms. Pirro told reporters at a news conference in Manhattan.
That story stems from a Grand Central Station press conference, where Pirro showed a thirty second television ad that stressed Ms. Pirro's record as a former district attorney and devotes 10 seconds to attacking Cuomo's limited legal background, citing his 14-month tenure with the Manhattan District Attorney 21 years ago.
The ad has already been seen upstate since July but the Cuomo Camp was shocked, just shocked at the negativity that will be shown soon in New York City;
Wendy Katz, a spokeswoman for the Cuomo campaign, said, "We are befuddled that 24 hours after the Pirro campaign pledged to run a positive campaign and called on us to do the same, they launched a half million dollar negative media attack against Andrew."
And now today's story in the New York Times marks an escalating assault.
Jeanine F. Pirro, the Republican candidate for state attorney general, assailed her Democratic opponent, Andrew M. Cuomo, yesterday on the issue of reducing fraud in the Medicaid system. At a news conference in Lower Manhattan, Ms. Pirro noted that Mr. Cuomo, in a meeting with editors at Crain's New York Business, had called the notion of amnesty for businesses involved in Medicaid fraud "intriguing." Ms. Pirro said, "His approach is to give amnesty to Medicaid cheats. This kind of approach makes it very clear that my opponent does not understand the role of the attorney general."
This time Wendy Katz had a response that was a little different;
The fraud is in the misleading attacks against Andrew just three days after Ms. Pirro pledged to run a positive campaign.
It would appear that Andrew Cuomo will be ready to fly off the handel any day now but even if he just sits on a healthy lead, The New York tabloids will go into a mud slinging war very soon. It's what they do!
The New York Post loves all Republicans. They now get their Sunday editorial pages from The New Republic but Jeanine Pirro's husband's speeding ticket was front page news.
From the paper that is infamous for the headline "HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR" and "AXIS OF WEASELS" with the heads the United Nations General Assembly photoshoped onto the some furry critters, this race is too good to be true.
And the Daily News won't be far behind. In attempts to not lose customers to the New York Stink Rag, they have sunk to the level of competition too many times. Last week the Daily News did a story about a woman who was discriminated against for breastfeeding in major retailer. The Headline, Mom: Boobs at Toys R Us hassled me over nursing
Often the Daily News misjudges the fact that the New York Post's increased circulation has a whole lot more to do with the sports page, being a quarter cheaper and Sudoku. But they are now doing almost as much damage as Rupert Murdoch.
Now there are two papers in New York that are geared toward misinformation and sensationalism. It is amazing how much the competing New York tabloids have done to damage the faith in government of the average New York straphanger and Sudoku fan.
In this city with a very blue reputation many New Yorkers have lost all interest in government. Heard on the streets and subways are statements like "What are you gonna do? The Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans" and "They're all corrupt and dishonest. I'm not even going to vote."
It sad but Cuomo vs. Pirro will help reinforce that bad reputation that the New York Post has worked so hard to install.
It should be sensational! Pirro is almost a New York version of Katherine Harris and Cuomo is another case of political nepotism who would be nowhere without family ties.