Cuomo to Try to ‘Pick Off’ Legislators, Choose Own Replacement

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Steam Roller and ... Street Sweeper? Photo: Getty Images

Surely by now Andrew Cuomo, our state's attorney general and (literally) lifelong party cog, knows how Democrats talk. So he must have known that it wouldn't remain much of a secret if he started pulling strings to ensure that Nassau County district attorney Kathleen Rice would be the Democratic nominee to replace him in November. Today the Times tells us the extent of the efforts made by him and his allies:

They have sought to delay or foil endorsements of one of her Democratic rivals, State Senator Eric T. Schneiderman, by two powerful labor unions, and to persuade another, Sean Coffey, to run instead for state comptroller. When rural Democratic leaders assembled in Niagara Falls this month for a straw poll, Mr. Cuomo’s allies also sought to blunt the momentum of Eric R. Dinallo, the former state insurance superintendent, by asking party officials to consider switching their votes to other candidates.


Despite Cuomo's efforts, Dinallo won that straw poll in a landslide.

Meanwhile, the Journal reports this morning that Cuomo, the presumptive gubernatorial nominee, has been making it clear to fellow Democrats that "if he's elected lawmakers who resist his agenda will be punished." Yikes:

"He said he's going to pick off legislators," said a person who heard Mr. Cuomo's comments. Mr. Cuomo, who has yet to officially announce his candidacy, described a carrot-and-stick approach that would reward cooperation with political protection, resources and access. "He's counting on the fact that nine out of 10 New Yorkers are comfortable with getting rid of every member of the Legislature," said another person who spoke to Mr. Cuomo about his strategy. "He's dealing with a unique moment in a time when the frustration with the status quo makes it easier to divide."


Wow, the Bonus Buster is going to kick ass and take names! If tough-talking Eliot Spitzer was the Steam Roller, what does that make house-cleaning Andrew Cuomo? The Street Sweeper? Oh! Oh! The Zamboni!

Behind Scenes, Cuomo Tries to Influence Who Will Be His Successor [NYT]
Cuomo's Message: Don't Cross Me [WSJ]