State Republican Chairman Ed Cox has been bashing a special corruption commission Wednesday as nothing more than vehicle to drive Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s agenda.
That he did so again Wednesday wasn’t surprising. But in a slight change-up, Cox also criticized two Long Islanders at the hub of the Commission to Investigate Public Corruption: Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice and Regina Calcaterra, the commission’s executive director.
On a public radio program, Cox called Rice and Calcaterra “the two people running,” the panel, informally known as the Moreland Commission. And he lumped together them as politically ambitious “Democrats who have tried to run for higher office and failed.” Rice ran for state attorney general in 2010 and Calcaterra tried to run for state Senate. Before taking a job with the Cuomo administration, Calcaterra was a deputy to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone.
Cox omitted that Rice is one of three co-chairs of the panel; one of the others is Republican Onondaga District Attorney William Fitzpatrick.
In response to Cox, Rice spokesman Shams Tarek said: "The commission is bipartisan and working hard to fight corruption on behalf of all taxpayers; it shouldn't be surprising that opponents of that effort would try to distract with irrelevant political attacks."