Following Primary Snub, New York Times Endorses Cuomo

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22 May 2014, Huntington, Long Island, New York State, USA --- New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo listens to applause as he's introduced as his party's nominee for re-election, at the state's Democratic Convention, in Melville, N.Y., Thursday, May 22, 2014. In a speech accepting his party's nomination, Cuomo cited his work to pass gay marriage and gun control and called Republicans the party of negativity and fear. (AP Photo/Richard Drew) --- Image by ? Richard Drew/AP/Corbis
Photo: Richard Drew/AP/Corbis

The New York Times hasn’t done Andrew Cuomo any favors recently. Over the summer the paper published a front-page exposé about the governor’s allegedly shady handling of the anti-corruption Moreland Commission, and it refused to endorse him in the primary because he failed to “clean up Albany.” (The move gave Cuomo’s opponent, Zephyr Teachout, a bump, though it didn’t endorse her either.) However, with the general election upon us, the Times is urging New Yorkers to reelect Cuomo, “despite our criticisms,” saying he’s a “strong governor who has shown he can end legislative inertia when it suits him. He needs to use those powers to clean up New York State’s government.”

The paper’s endorsement starts out by praising the governor for getting the state legislature to approve same-sex marriage in 2011, and passing the strongest gun-control measure in the country following the Newtown massacre in 2012. It goes on to explain why these achievements didn’t sway the paper two months ago:

The decision not to endorse in the primary between Mr. Cuomo and his challenger, Zephyr Teachout, a national expert on political corruption and campaign reforms, reflected our disappointment with Mr. Cuomo’s failure to make good on his promise — made four years ago — to clean up Albany. It is our hope that, if Mr. Cuomo is elected to a second term, he will devote the next four years to achieving genuine, meaningful reform of Albany’s political culture, which remains mired in corruption.

Another factor: The Times isn’t impressed with his Republican challenger, Rob Astorino. Noting that he is against abortion rights, wants to weaken gun-control laws, and has proposed tax policies that favor the wealthy even more than Cuomo’s, the paper concludes, “the Westchester County executive, does not have broad experience and, on many issues, is out of step with most New Yorkers and the needs of this state.”