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Long IslandPolitics

Cuomo, in Melville, urges crowd to back Clinton, Democrats

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo makes a last-minute election

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo makes a last-minute election pitch for State Senate Democratic candidates and presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Laborer's Local 66 union hall in Melville on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016. Credit: James Carbone

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo called Sunday at a Long Island rally for Democrats to give Hillary Clinton an overwhelming victory in New York while helping elect Democratic candidates for State Senate.

“We have to elect her big. We have to elect her New York loud and proud,” Cuomo said at Laborer’s Local 66 union hall in Melville. “We want to say Donald Trump may technically be from New York, but he does not represent New York. We do not believe what he’s selling.”

In an 11-minute speech in front of about 75 people, Cuomo predicted Republicans would try to stop Clinton’s agenda with investigations if she wins and the GOP holds onto control of the House and Senate.

“You’re going to take those rabid conservatives, who are going to be angry when they see Hillary win, and they’re going to try to stop government,” he said.

Cuomo said he needs a Democratic State Senate to pass ethics reforms, including a ban on outside incomes.

“The last item I need to get done in Albany to really have transformed the government is ethics reform,” he said. “I need good Democrats to do that. I’ve been trying to get it done with the Republican Senate for years. I can’t.”

He called for support of Senate candidates James Gaughran of Huntington and John Brooks of Seaford to help Democrats take the majority. He did not mention other Long Island State Senate Democratic candidates running and left before the rally was over to head to another rally in Westchester.

Suffolk County Republican Party Chairman John Jay Lavalle said the last time Democrats controlled the Senate, in 2010, the state raised taxes.

“Cuomo is just looking to once again tax Long Islanders to fund his New York City interests,” he said.

Scott Reif, Senate GOP spokesman, also warned giving control of the Senate to Democrats would give power to New York City interests.

“Senate Republicans are from Long Island and for Long Island, and families here know we will always have their backs,” he said in a statement.

Gaughran, the Suffolk Water Authority chairman, faces Sen. Carl Marcellino (R-Syosset) in the 5th Senate District, and Brooks faces Sen. Michael Venditto (R-Oyster Bay) in the 8th Senate District.

Gaughran called the attacks being used against Long Island Democratic Senate candidates a “fallacy.”

Cuomo had not previously endorsed Brooks, whose race has become a focal point for Democrats since Venditto’s father, Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, was arrested on federal corruption charges late last month.

Cuomo has been accused in the past by liberals of only paying lip service to helping elect State Senate Democrats, preferring instead to work with a Republican-controlled chamber.

Lisa Tyson, executive director of the Long Island Progressive Leadership Coalition, said it appeared Cuomo had gotten behind Democrats’ takeover of the Senate. “In the last few days, it certainly seems like he is,” she said.


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