State Sen. Eric Schneiderman (D-Manhattan) went ahead and, apparently without consulting his rivals, announced for state attorney general the other day, citing support from 3 members of Congress, nine state Senators, three Assembly members and several New York City district leaders and state committee members.
Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice -- now in the fourth month of her second four-year term in the county post – is due to run for AG herself. Her campaign's communications director issued this inarguably harsh assessment of Schneiderman:
“The budget is late, our state is on the brink of bankruptcy and State Senator Schneiderman has decided it's time to plot his political future and mount a campaign for a job that isn't even open yet. While State Senator Schneiderman used to be a mere part of the problem in Albany, this decision just made him the poster child for everything that's wrong with Albany and officials who put their political ambitions ahead of the public good. The last thing our state needs is an Albany insider attempting to institute ethics reform.”
The “job that isn’t even open yet” stuff might strike you as strange as it seems to brush aside the little technicality that the AG seat will be “open” in the fall for voters to fill no matter when or whether Cuomo decides to run for governor. All statewide posts come "open" to election in November, with any primaries slated for September.
But Rice’s overall point seems to be that the top Democrat hasn’t made a move yet -- and others in his party are perhaps more courteously waiting for him to do so before making a move. It also shows Rice is looking to capitalize on the (well-earned) low esteem in which the Legislature, and particularly the Senate, seem to be held.
More as it develops.