Now that he's a possible candidate for governor, Suffolk Executive Steve Levy is drawing attention in the state arena. Some early takes from his visit yesterday to watch Gov. Paterson's annual address to the Legislature:
Bob Hennelly at WNYC:
Levy had a really hard time yesterday in Albany getting reporters to ask him anything other than about allegations from Latino legislators that his past statements about illegal immigration were racist. It's hard to get to your achievements on fiscal accountability when a reporter asks you...."So, are you a white supremacist?"
This is all very preliminary but the boundaries of the 2010 debate are being defined.
State Democratic Party officials say their convention will be sometime toward the end of May. And actual voters won't get to weigh in until a contested September primary, if there is one.
Gerson Borrero, veteran Spanish-language NYC journalist:
Steve Levy's intention to seek the nomination for governor on New York's Democratic ticket would be the best present Latinos could receive this year.
The inclusion of the current Suffolk County Executive in what is likely to be a nasty political brawl, and in which the Latino community, until now, has had no role, would put Latinos smack in the middle of the storm.
Just in case it has escaped observers, Levy is a member of the political party in which the majority of the State's Latino voters are registered. Levy is also a proven anti-immigrant basher of the worst kind who continuously validates his dislike for them.
LIz Benjamin, NY Daily News:
"I have a very clear agenda to rescue this state from the financial abyss. I am the candidate who has a proven record of coming into a government that was on life support and nursing it back to health."
(That, in the context of denying he's a "stalking horse" for Cuomo).