11:28 AM, Aug 27, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The editorial board at the New York Times says it's not endorsing in the Democratic primary for governor of New York. In a lengthy editorial, the Times writes that the sitting governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, "broke his most important promise" to root out corruption in the Empire State. The paper had endorsed Cuomo in his first run for governor in 2010. Here's an excerpt from Thursday's non-endorsement:
More than four years ago, while announcing his campaign for governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo stood in front of the Tweed Courthouse in downtown Manhattan and said Albany’s antics “could make Boss Tweed blush.”
New York had had enough corruption, he said, and he was going to put a stop to it. “Job 1 is going to be to clean up Albany,” he said, “and make the government work for the people.”
Mr. Cuomo became governor on that platform and recorded several impressive achievements, but he failed to perform Job 1. The state government remains as subservient to big money as ever, and Mr. Cuomo resisted and even shut down opportunities to fix it. Because he broke his most important promise, we have decided not to make an endorsement for the Democratic primary on Sept. 9.
While the Times doesn't outright endorse his primary challenger, professor and activist Zephyr Teachout, the paper suggests Democratic primary voters give Teachout their votes in protest. The refusal to endorse comes as several influential groups, including the New York State AFL-CIO, are holding off on endorsing Cuomo.
The governor isn't expected to lose the September 9 primary, but it remains to be seen how strong—or weak—his Democratic support is following reports that federal prosecutors are investigating Cuomo and his office over its interaction with a anticorruption commission Cuomo himself set up. Some allege the governor's office improperly interfered with the commission's investigations into firms and people close to Cuomo and that eventually Cuomo shut down the commission earlier than planned to avoid further scrutiny.
“He puts together an anticorruption commission and corrupts it,” Rob Astorino recently told THE WEEKLY STANDARD. “That tells you everything you need to know about New York.”
Astorino is the Republican candidate for governor, and although he isn't likely to earn endorsements from the unions or the New York Times, the Westchester County executive is hoping to capitalize on Cuomo's corruption woes to pull off the upset win of the year. Here's more from this week's issue:
Astorino hopes “Cuomogate” will prompt voters to stop simply “rolling their eyes” and realize how widespread and expensive the problem has become. “The corruption is, in many ways, paid for by the average New Yorker in a stealth corruption tax,” he says. “The slimy deals they cut for themselves in Albany have to be paid for. Who pays for that? We all do in higher taxes, a poorer business climate.”
Astorino needs the anticorruption message to resonate not just in the conservative upstate region but also the New York City suburbs, where residents are paying their “corruption” tax through, among other things, high property taxes. Between 2008 and 2012, property tax rates increased by more than 28 percent statewide but by 35 to 40 percent in the suburban New York counties. Democrats have recently had success in these counties—Westchester, Rockland, and Orange, and Nassau and Suffolk on Long Island—but only marginally. Cuomo in 2010 and Eliot Spitzer in 2006 won the New York suburbs handily, but in 2012 Barack Obama won most of these areas by only a couple percentage points.
While Democrats have had a loose hold on the suburbs, the GOP can’t win statewide elections without them. The only Republican governor of New York since the 1970s, George Pataki, won all five major suburban counties, and with them, he was elected three times. Pataki didn’t have to win New York City, and neither does Astorino. “The battle is in the upstate and in the suburbs,” he says. His model is similar to the one Pataki used in his successful 1994 challenge to Andrew Cuomo’s father Mario; Astorino says it was encouragement from his mentor Pataki that finally pushed him to run.
“We had breakfast in December,” Astorino tells me. “He said, ‘I don’t know where your head’s at, but I’m here to convince you that you should run and you can win.’ ”
Read the whole thing here.
Aug 18, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 46 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
It was something of a puzzle, according to the headline in the August 7 New York Times: “Islamic Militants in Iraq Are Widely Loathed, Yet Action to Curb Them Is Elusive.” On the one hand, the article pointed out, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, “is on nearly every nation’s public enemy list, as well as the United Nations’ list of terrorist organizations facing sanctions.” What’s more, ISIS’s barbarism has been publicized and its threat to others is clear.
Don’t waste time writing a Letter to the Editor unless it’s adulatory.Aug 18, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 46 • By KENNETH L. WOODWARD
On June 23, something very rare appeared in the pages of the New York Times: an admission by a Times columnist that he had made a reporting mistake. The columnist was David Carr, who acknowledged that he had erred in an earlier piece which implied that the Washington Post had not paid sufficient attention to Eric Cantor’s upset in the Virginia primary.
10:50 AM, Jul 27, 2014 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
A leading drug policy researcher, David Murray, has a must-read piece up at the Hudson Institute website, "Comparing Marijuana and Alcohol: Seriously." Murray's article is a devastating deconstruction of claims that marijuana is relatively safe, or at least safer than alcohol. And, as he points out, it thereby undermines much of the basis of the New York Times's blithely irresponsible editorial endorsement of marijuana legalization.
10:02 AM, Jul 14, 2014 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
The New York Times does it again. On Sunday, Ethan Bronner, the paper’s deputy national editor, handed us his analysis of what has unleashed another round of horror in the Middle East. It seems that the cause is Israel’s decision to build a wall which creates “growing human distance between Israelis and Palestinians who once knew each other intimately and are now virtual strangers.”
2:58 PM, Jul 13, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
At the New York Times, Maureen Dowd is outraged at what she calls Chelsea Clinton's "cashing in to help feed the rapacious, gaping maw of Clinton Inc." Here's an excerpt, from her July 12 column, on the former first daughter's $75,000 speaking fee:
1:01 PM, Jul 2, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The Republican party is on its way to rediscovering conservative ideas , reports no less an authority than the New York Times. In an extensive piece for the Times magazine, Sam Tanenhaus profiles the group of reform conservatives (including several frequent WEEKLY STANDARD contributors) who are shaping the GOP's policy agenda:
1:52 PM, Jun 18, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama had lunch today with columnist Paul Krugman and several economists, the White House announced.
The pool reporter passed along the White House's announcement:
The President hosted top economists for lunch to discuss ways to accelerate economic growth, expand opportunity, and improve the competitiveness of the American economy. The following economists attended:
10:35 PM, Jun 5, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
It's no surprise New York Times editorials reflexively defend President Obama, but the decision to refocus the blame on Bowe Bergdahl's fellow soldiers for his apparent desertion is pretty astonishing. And yet, here we have the Times is fretting about "The Rush to Demonize Sgt. Bergdahl":
8:41 AM, May 27, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
A self-described nerd, he is known to travel with policy journals and send all-hours inquiries to think tanks …
10:02 AM, May 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty praised former New York Times editor Jill Abramson's Wake Forest graduation speech: