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Rochester mayor picked for Lt. Governor

May 26, 2010

Gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Cuomo set high standards for his running mate so he wanted  “someone who could be governor of New York if something happened, something unfortunate,” he said, mentioning “competence, performance and integrity.”

Since no women or  Hispanics met these attributes or were on his political radar,  he selected Bob Duffy, Mayor of Rochester, N.Y as his running mate for Lt. Governor.  Described as a union and crime-clashing Mayor,  Mr. Duffy is a career police officer who joined the Rochester Police Department in 1976 moving up  to become the Rochester Police Chief in 1998 until  stepping down 2005, after being sworn in as the Mayor of Rochester, New York on January 2006.  A former Republican, he switched party lines in the early nineties as he moved up  the career ladder in law enforcement as a Democrat.

Although,  hailed as a good choice in  Democratic political circles others expected the ticket to be a more diverse  and balanced one  if he had chosen a female preferably a hispanic or black from upstate New York. What message is this sending out to these other groups?

Already,  pols in the Latino community welcomed yet criticized the choice for its lack of diversity one Senator Rubén Díaz, Sr. who surprisingly  suggested Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown for Lt. Governor.  Hmm, could it be Duffy is  pro-choice and pro-gay marriage that Senator  Díaz voted against the latter  last year in the Senate? Ironically, Díaz allegedly has two gay brothers according to “Christopher Lynn, a former top Giuliani aide and founding member of the gay and lesbian Stonewall Democratic Club in New York City.”

Although, Brown’s name was on the short list,  AG Cuomo instead chose the Mayor of Rochester a man with much less experience in the political arena than Brown who began his political career  as an aide in the Buffalo Common Council, Masten District Council Member,  and  State Senator.

But Cuomo still has a rough road ahead endorsed Tuesday by the Independence Party  it facing a grand jury investigation for allegedly funneling funds Mayor Bloomberg gave  last year when he was running for office to a GOP operative according to the NY daily News.

Also, Cuomo supports lifting the cap on charter schools from 200  to over 460 after he met privately with hedge fund investors already donated thousands of dollars to his $16. 4 million campaign war chest. His handling of  former Senator Monserrate ouster from the New York State Senate also raises doubts among some Latino leaders and other groups concerned with how the political drama played out in court as AG Cuomo defended the Senate, calling him derogatory names.

Others criticized him when he selected Judith S. Kaye, the former chief judge of New York his father former Governor Mario Cuomo appointed to the bench to investigate the ordeal with Governor David Paterson involving his aide and the domestic violence incident still under investigation.

If the GOP selects a viable candidate with a larger campaign chest than Cuomo and a woman for Lt. Governor, it may present an uphill battle for him especially if former disgraced Governor Eliot Spitzer is right when he said of Cuomo back in April for the New York Times in an interview “as a man whose decisions have often been driven by political considerations and whose worldview has largely been shaped by the culture of Albany,” one voters want to forget as the $9.2 billion dollar deficit looms over the  State certainly his  political Achilles’ heel.

Buffalo Mayor Bryon Brown

Mayor Bob Duffy, Rochester, N.Y.

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