In Ad, Cuomo Aligns Himself With Spitzer and Clinton
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
The Democratic front-runner for state attorney general, Andrew Cuomo, began airing his first television commercial this week, claiming “Jeanine Pirro and the Republicans” are attacking him because “they know Cuomo’s the strongest candidate to carry on Eliot Spitzer’s fight.”
The 30-second ad features several images of Mr. Spitzer and of President Clinton, whom Mr. Cuomo worked for when he was the federal housing secretary. It also describes lawsuits Mr. Cuomo filed against gun manufacturers and the Klu Klux Klan, and his reform of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
In announcing the ad yesterday, Mr. Cuomo’s campaign included a statement from Mr. Spitzer’s campaign spokeswoman, Christine Anderson, who described Messrs. Spitzer and Cuomo as “friends.” “Of course, Eliot believes Andrew is better suited to be AG than Jeanine Pirro,” she said.
“Eliot Spitzer said last night that the role of the attorney general is that of a prosecutor, and everyone knows that the only real prosecutor in this race is Jeanine Pirro,” Ms. Anderson said.
Ms. Anderson told The New York Sun the comment was not an endorsement.
When asked for comment, Ms. Pirro’s spokesman, John Gallagher, invoked Mr. Spitzer’s name, a habit that has already angered Ms. Pirro’s Republican colleagues.
Also hitting the upstate airwaves tomorrow afternoon will be another Democratic candidate, Mark Green, a former public advocate.
Ms. Pirro’s spokesman said the Democrats were responding to Ms. Pirro’s advertisement in the upstate markets, therefore proving they consider her candidacy formidable. The founder of the company that produced Mr. Green’s ad, Jim Bonham of the Blue Donkey Group, disagreed with that analysis. He said Mr. Green simply is not as well known to upstate voters as he is to voters in New York City.
“In the upstate markets, people don’t know him as well as they know him in New York City,” Mr. Bonham said. Introducing a candidate like Mr. Green presents a unique challenge, he said. “He has done so many things in his 30 year career that the biggest challenge is trying to encapsulate them into a 30-second spot,” Mr. Bonham said.
While accepting an endorsement on the City Hall steps yesterday, one of Mr. Green’s supporters said Mr. Cuomo is an unqualified candidate. “If this were a job being advertised in the New York Times, some of the candidates running for attorney general wouldn’t get an interview,” the president of the New York City chapter of the National Organization of Women, Sonia Ossorio, said.
Ms. Ossorio later said she was referring to Mr. Cuomo and another Democratic candidate, Charlie King, who worked under Mr. Cuomo in the Clinton administration. “It’s unfortunate Ms. Ossorio is unaware of Charlie’s record of helping domestic violence victims and standing up for civil rights,” Mr. King’s spokeswoman, Catilin Klevorik said.
Another candidate in the Democratic primary, Sean Maloney, a former White House aide, dismissed Mr. Cuomo’s ad.
“We look forward to the next ad about Andrew ending world hunger and bringing peace to the Middle East, but Democrats would do well to take Pirro’s experience very seriously and this ad just plays into her hands.”