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Cuomo's cameo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, at the wheel of

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, at the wheel of black Dodge Charger, as MSNBC's David Gura was doing a live shot in front of the New York Stock Exchange. Credit: MSNBC/YouTube

Daily Point

Governor in the driver's seat

The cable networks Tuesday were staked outside the New York Stock Exchange reporting on the reopening of the trading floor, which had been shut  for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic. As MSNBC’s David Gura did a live shot in front of the iconic building, a cameo by the state’s now-a-national-household-name governor who had just rung the opening bell surprised the correspondent. Andrew M. Cuomo, at the wheel of black Dodge Charger, with his daughter Michaela Kennedy Cuomo and Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa as passengers, stopped at the security checkpoint briefly before being waved through.

It’s not the first time Cuomo has been spotted behind the wheel of a car; he drives his blue 1968 Pontiac GTO, which he personally rebuilt, around Albany. But when Cuomo gets the itch to tool around New York City, he doesn’t take the keys of the prosaic elected official’s SUV but the unmarked Charger, which the State Police seemingly added to its fleet of gubernatorial vehicles a few years ago to accommodate its car-crazed boss.

— Rita Ciolli @RitaCiolli

Talking Point

Getting nods while Perry Gershon turns lemons into lemonade

With under a month to go to the Democratic primary for New York’s 1st Congressional District, the candidates are racking up endorsements. Recent ones include:

— 1199 SEIU and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union for Bridget Fleming

— National Institute for Reproductive Health for Nancy Goroff

— And on Friday, Perry Gershon’s campaign got a call from the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America about receiving the union’s endorsement. Gershon also got the nod from the Long Island Environmental Voters Forum. 

The dash to the finish also means the usual thrown elbows and political maneuvering. Take this small journey for the Gershon campaign, starting with the Democrat’s second virtual town hall of the month of April, when Gershon was asked a question about Rep. Lee Zeldin bringing protective gear to Long Island. 

Gershon was complimentary at first: “I think sincerely Zeldin has helped bring [personal protective equipment] here.” But then he asked: “Is it worth essentially bowing down to Donald Trump and being part of his society where he rewards the people who say good things about him and he penalizes the people who don't?"

That earned the East Hampton businessman some attention from The Washington Free Beacon, the conservative website funded by a big GOP donor. 

“New York Dem: Securing PPE May Not Be Worth ‘Bowing Down’ to Trump,” blared a headline earlier this month.

Zeldin’s campaign spokeswoman, Katie Vincentz, characterized Gershon’s comments as “alarming” for potentially letting politics “get in the way of securing the masks, gloves, and other essential items” needed during the crisis. 

In that April event, Gershon went on to explain that he was concerned about states having to compete with each other for protective gear during the pandemic, begging for presidential help.

But the quote questioning the utility of working with Trump was the Beacon’s topline takeaway, relatively juicy in a moderate district, where “just get things done” can play well across party lines. 

Gershon’s campaign, however, took the attention as a compliment that the former 2018 challenger was sticking out among the four candidates vying for the Democratic nomination in CD1. 

“Boy those Republicans are really worried about Perry taking on Zeldin,” said spokeswoman Kim Devlin in a statement. 

That brings us to an email detailing the whole month-long controversy sent out by Gershon’s campaign on Thursday. 

“When do you know you're striking a nerve? When the other team starts to punch back,” the email said, citing the Beacon piece. Then, the ask: 

“Will you chip in $15 right now and help us finish the month strong?”

— Mark Chiusano @mjchiusano

Pencil Point


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Quick Points

  • The Long Island Rail Road posted its best-ever on-time arrival record of 98.3%, though officials were quick to point out the railroad carried only 3% of its usual riders. So, in other words, the reason for delayed trains is not the railroad but the riders?
  • China is stripping away some of Hong Kong’s autonomy 27 years before the “one country, two systems” model was set to expire, per an agreement with Britain when Hong Kong was returned to China in 1997. For once, China isn’t playing a long game.
  • Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo says New York is “decidedly in the reopening phase.” Given the number of people not following safety guidelines, will it turn out that what’s really reopening are new coronavirus cases?
  • Funny how some people who boasted of COVID-19 cases being much lower than models predicted are saying nothing about those models now that cases have blown past the revised models.
  • People pushing to reopen churches because they believe they can safely attend services might be literally asking for a miracle.
  • How do you know President Donald Trump is trying to convey to the country that it’s time to get back to normal? He spent the weekend playing golf, promoting baseless conspiracy theories, ridiculing Stacey Abrams’ weight, mocking Nancy Pelosi’s looks, and calling Hillary Clinton a “skank.” Normalcy, Trump-style.
  • The coronavirus has been devastating to senior citizens. President Donald Trump has been losing support from senior citizens. Sometimes cause-and-effect is a pretty straight line.
  • Sixty chickens were stolen last weekend from a Southold farm. It was a fowl but eggs-citing caper. Police believe the suspect was hen-pecked.

—Michael Dobie @mwdobie