Frenemies agree on slamming Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, left, on New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, left, on Jan. 8, 2014 in Albany, and his Republican opponent Rob Astorino on March 7, 2014 in Albany. Photo Credit: AP / Mike Groll

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Dan Janison Melville. N.Y. Tuesday January 26, 2010. Daniel Janison,

Dan Janison has been a reporter at Newsday for 10 years, much of which was spent as a ...

The only thing odder than the coupling was its timing.

Here at the Tweed Courthouse in lower Manhattan Tuesday stood Democrat Zephyr Teachout and Republican Rob Astorino, both foes of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo -- one in the primary, the other in the general election.

The two freely admitted they'd just met and agree on few issues. But they teamed up this once to call an unusual 20-minute news conference -- where they sought to gain mutual traction by attacking the Cuomo administration as tolerating, if not expanding, corruption.

All the while, just around the corner, people were gawking from afar at a much more glaring spectacle -- police atop the Manhattan-side tower of the Brooklyn Bridge removing a white flag that someone, at some point, managed to hoist in place of Old Glory.

Tempting as it may be to take this as an ill omen for these frenemies, neither Teachout nor Astorino came close to waving white flags of their own as they stood in the sun on Chambers Street.

"Albany is working for big money instead of the people of the state," Teachout said, adding that Cuomo went back on his anti-corruption promises about redistricting, transparency and campaign finance reform, and shut down his own Moreland commission.

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"This governor is absolutely ethics-challenged," Astorino said, citing a U.S. attorney's review of the Moreland panel's actions.

Democrat Cuomo has said the commission's purposes were properly accomplished in new legislation the state enacted.

Between them, Astorino and Teachout have tangled with Camp Cuomo on many fronts -- from taxes to ethics to how Sandy aid was spent. As the heavily favored Cuomo seeks his first re-election as governor, the tone grew acidic early. Cuomo's September and November contests seem asymmetrical -- given his edge in funding, polling and electoral clout. Still, the governor's camp razzes and bashes his rivals in frequent barrages.

At the edge of the sidewalk news conference Tuesday, amid sirens screaming en route to the bridge, a few young adults heckled a bit and lofted signs with messages like "Teachout, Move Out -- to Vermont," from which she hails, and "Come Clean Astorino," purportedly on how much time he spends in his day job as Westchester executive.

Two GOP figures, cordial with Cuomo, also took shots at Astorino Tuesday. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said regarding the New York race, "We don't invest in lost causes." At Tweed, Astorino responded that downgrading him isn't part of Christie's RGA role -- and mentioned Bridgegate during his remarks, wondering aloud which governor knew what about it.

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Former Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, a Cuomo supporter, lectured Astorino in a statement that he "isn't in the position to be picking fights and doing gimmicky press conferences."

Teachout also faced intraparty static from another long shot Democrat, Randy Credico, who's expected to make the primary ballot -- and who showed up and complained about being excluded from the event.

Dissidence, like governance, has its challenges.

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