The worst kept secret in New York politics is out: the Attorney General has officially announced he is running for governor. From nydailynews.com "After months of speculation of when he will make the formal announcement, Cuomo tossed his hat into the ring on his campaign website Saturday morning." Alas, any changes at the top will do nothing to cure the number one problem in both New York, as well as all other states: insolvency. Too bad New York is so bankrupt that pretty much nothing can help, least of all those tens of billions in NOL carryforwards at Wall Street's investment banks which will make sure New York State corporate tax receipt coffers are empty for years to come. For the best indicator of not only Cuomo's campaign but the market's sentiment on New York in general, keep an eye out on New York Citi/State CDS.
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"New York State is upside down and backwards: high taxes and low performance," Cuomo said in his video.
"The New York State government was at one time a national model. Now, unfortunately, it's a national disgrace." Cuomo blamed Democrats and Republicans for New York's fall.
"We need to get the state's economy running and to do that, we need to make the government function again," he said. "Gridlock and partisanship must give way to competence and integrity."
His formal entry into the race comes just three days before Tuesday's start of the state Democratic convention in the city. Cuomo, the only Democrat in the race for governor, is scheduled to become the party's designee officially on Thursday.
In his video announcement Saturday, Cuomo focused on the need to reform Albany's ethical cesspool and fix its fiscal mess. "We are in a financial emergency," he said.
"We must act that way. And we must get our fiscal house in order." He pledged to cap state spending and local property taxes and freeze state income and corporate taxes and salary increases for state employees.
He also vowed to eliminate at least 20% of state agencies and said he opposes additional borrowing to fix the state's budget problems. Cuomo also promised comprehensive reform that requires full disclosure of outside income, independent ethics watchdogs, and campaign finance reform.
In 2006 he ran for election as attorney general and won, succeeding "Sheriff of Wall Street" Eliot Spitzer. While Spitzer used the office to take on Wall Street, Cuomo, citing public corruption, said he also wanted to take on State Street, where the Capitol is located. Polls show him trouncing each of the three Republicans looking to take him on - former Rep. Rick Lazio, Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy and businessman Carl Paladino.
His entry into the race means he will now have to answer tough questions about what he would do to improve the state - questions he has until today deflected with a standard answer that he is focused on his job as attorney general and not politics.
A car enthusiast, Cuomo, 52, was once married to Kerry Kennedy, which at the time was the merging of two political dynasties. But the marriage, which produced three daughters, ended in an ugly divorce. He is now dating Food Network star Sandra Lee.