Cohen Breaks From GOP, Says Minimum Wage Should Be Tied To Aid For Small Businesses


Republican Senate candidate Bob Cohen today said he supports increasing the minimum wage in New York if it’s tied to tax relief for small businesses.

Cohen is seeking the GOP nomination for an open Senate seat in Westchester County being vacated by Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, D-Mamaroneck, Westchester County. Diane DiDonato-Roth is also seeking the Republican nomination.

The Democratic candidate is Assemblyman George Latimer, D-Rye.

Cohen’s announcement is a break from Senate Republicans, who have opposed an increase in the minimum wage. Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, said a minimum-wage increase would not be tied to their proposal to give tax breaks to small businesses.

“The $7.25 minimum wage is too low to support struggling families working for those wages, and I will support efforts to raise the minimum wage alongside mandate relief to ease the property tax burden on small business owners if I am elected to the Senate,” Cohen, who narrowly lost to Oppenheimer in 2010, said in a statement. “The minimum wage would be best determined at the federal level to insure uniformity among the states, but lacking that, we must act to to help those struggling at the bottom rung of the economic ladder, as well as the small business owners who pay their wages.”

Increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 to $8.50 an hour is popular. A Siena College poll last week said 78 percent of New Yorkers support a minimum-wage increase.

Cohen is the second Republican candidate in the Senate to back a minimum-wage increase. Eric Ulrich, a New York City councilman who is running against Sen. Joseph Addabbo, D-Queens, came out in support of a minimum-wage increase. Republican strategist Bill O’Reilly is consulting both candidates.


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  1. Latishsa Sadaam Fitzgerald Hiawatha Schwartz on

    I am thinking of running with a multi-ethnic agenda.

  2. Robert Buckspaulin on

    Just came across Diane DiDonato’s response. It’s up and running on Yonkers Insider. It’s awesome! Love her voting record and had no idea Bob was that corrupt with the RSA! And thanks to John Russo, who has now forever put the image of Bob Cohen in a red nose and floppy shoes, in my head.


    DiDonato Roth Campaign Statement
    On Bob Cohen Minimum Wage Hypocrisy

    Eastchester — May 25, 2012… “Let me make this clear… I am against the minimum wage increase, as it will be an extra burden on small business owners… As a small businesswoman myself, I know first-hand that we need all the help we can get right now just to keep people working in the first place”. — Diane DiDonato Roth (R- 37TH DISTRICT)

    In a predictable display of political hypocrisy, senate candidate Bob Cohen came out today in favor of the Senate Democrat proposed minimum wage increase.

    “On the one hand Bob Cohen wants to raise the minimum wage and on the other hand his chief financial supporters and key political allies at the RSA (Rent Stabilization Association) want to raise rent on the very same struggling families Bob now says he wants to support. Could it be that the extra money these families would receive in a minimum wage hike could go right back in the pockets of suspect landlords like Bob Cohen and his cronies at the RSA?…”

    With the hundreds of thousands of dollars benefiting the Cohen campaign from the Senate Republicans and their sugar daddy special interests, it calls into question whether Cohen will actually stick to any position he advocates. Does he really believe what he says? Or is there a more cynical deal at play whereby the Senate leadership is looking the other way on this one because they hope to fool the electorate?

    This display of political hypocrisy comes as no surprise as a recent Sienna college poll released last week stated that 78% of New Yorkers support a minimum wage hike.”… I guess if Mr. Cohen came across a poll suggesting that 78% of New Yorkers favored hiring a clown for their children’s parties, the very next day we’d see him in red nose and floppy shoes.” Said DiDonato Roth campaign spokesman John Russo in a statement today.

    Whether you agree with her or not, you will know exactly where she stands – she is the real deal.

    As a small businesswoman and local elected official, Diane DiDonato Roth, knows first hand how the failed policies of Albany have directly affected our local towns and municipalities. As the only True Conservative in this race Diane, has a voting record displaying real fiscal responsibility to back up the talk.

    DiDonato Roth:

    · Voted against proposed property tax increase and will continue to do so when in Albany.

    · Voted for all town employees to contribute to their health care premiums.

    · Capped post-retirement benefits for town employees and demonstrated real fiscal restraint by eliminating costly fringe benefits to elected officials and part-time employees.

    · Declined to participate in the state pension plan and declined Town-provided health care, because we simply could not afford the costs.

    Diane DiDonato Roth is “The Real Deal”


  3. Only a TRUE conservative can rally the new base in this district; Yonkers and Eastchester. BOB – the Establishment insider – will lose again, like Dole, McCain, and Bob Cohen 2010. Only Diane will motivate the Republicans to win the seat in November. Lattimore will win the Dems in Larchmont, White Plains and Mamaroneck – don’t waste your time chasing them. Win over Harrison and Port Chester – and Diane will.

  4. Hire a real consultant on

    It’s funny, albeit sad, that Diane is so unnewsworthy that the only way she can get her press releases out is by posting them in the comments section on a blog thats read by >40 people. I hope you’re not actually paying your campaign team. No wonder Diane has >1% name recognition.

    Adding “Didonato” to the name may net her a couple of name-ends-in-a-vowel votes, if she can even qualify for a primary, which is doubtful, but we’re still looking at an 80-20 embarrassment

  5. Robert Buckspaulin on

    I knew I wasn’t voting for Bob when I met him at Hartsdale train station. He’s one of the most unauthentic politicians I’ve come across. But just last week I met Diane at the Italian club in Mamaroneck and will be in her corner until November. I’m not on her campaign and found her press release I posted above on Yonkers Insiders, so she clearly doesn’t have any trouble getting her message to the media. On top of which I’ve seen her on the cover of almost every local paper within the last 6 weeks

    After reading Phil Reisman’s article last week I gather Jeff Binder is running Diane’s campaign and from the last press release John Russo is a spokesman. Mr. Binder is a familiar name in Westchester politics and just googled John Russo. If it’s the same kid who worked for Senator McCain and Jon Huntsman, than the combination of Binder & Russo certainly knocks Bob Cohen’s mouthpiece, William O’Reilly, out of the park. If O’Reailly was half as good as people think he is than he would have already worked on numerous Presidential campaigns by now.

    Mr. O’Reilly is also a familiar name in politics up here, who has lost WAY more races than he has ever won. It seems like his response to Bob Cohen’s RSA connections is to diminish Diane and her supporters. You would think for the $6,500 Bob Cohen is paying O’Reilly every month as a retainer, that William would be able to come up with more of an imaginative response.

    How much money did the RSA give Bob Cohen?

  6. Clueless Corrupt Carpetbagger Cohen on

    Note to the overly sensitive Cohen supporters. You’ve been fooled and it’s not your fault. You couldn’t have known about Cohen’s back room deals with the Rent Stabilization Association and when it comes out he will take down the party. I hope Bob has enough sense to come clean on his own and not wait for this to implode his campaign when all the media outlets expose this story and they will.

  7. if we lose this seat, we can blame the $$$-blind leadership. all they see is Cohen’s wallet. They worship his money, and the consultants on the gravy train are gonna get some of it. But if Bob does implode like CCCC says, there won’t be time enough to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess. It is a presidential race year, and many more Dummycrats will come out to vote.

  8. Ben DerFleeces Roth on

    Don’t get too snotty “Robert”. Two can play at that game, and it won’t be pretty when we do. Be glad we are ignoring your girl. We are not amused.

  9. just the facts on

    the new 47th senate district is still a democratic leaning district…in order for a republican
    to win that person cannot be what di donato roth describes herself as along with her
    supporters..a tea party true conservative…if a republican is going to have any chance
    at all he or she has to be in the tradition of a moderate centrist republican…this has nothing
    to do with cohen’s wallet and those who think it does are barking up the wrong tree…mr o’reilly
    is a competent consultant who if you will recall did a bang up job electing rob astorino in
    a county where democrats outnumbered republicans by over 100,000 voters…but its not
    about the consultants..its about holding on to the republican senate so that at least there
    is some check on the rest of the state democratic heirarchy…there are already plenty of moderate
    republicans in albany and any republican would be better than a tax and spend andy spano
    acolyte like george latimer..the point is that di donato roth presents hereself as way too conservative to win a general election…and bob cohen is a palatable conservative who is not
    too far right to capture ethnic democrats as well as non party registered voters in that district
    all di donato roth can do is force cohen to spend valuable assets prior to the general..she does
    not have any support in the party at all and traditionally primaries are won among a very small
    party oriented group of voters…final talley will not be 80-20 there is no such thing cohen will
    get between 63-67 per cent and beat her two to one…then the point about this being a presidential year and turnout being affected will kick in…take a look a judicial elections going
    back to the late 1980’s…a number of democrats won only in presidential years because republicans lost westchester by more than 35,000 votes now they lose westchester by 65,000
    votes and more …so the issue of turnout is the key and that means that di donato roth can’t
    win..but cohen might be able to win…having said all that in a presidential year if I were
    bob cohen i would save my money

  10. just the facts on

    and one more thing:

    the minimum wage should indeed be raised..the math is the math…and those who pander
    to the right wing who simply want tax cuts don’t have a clue as to what tax cuts mean
    for a state or the nation…we got tax cuts under george bush..we also got two unpaid for
    wars (never before in history did we fight a war without paying for it) and an unpaid for
    medicare drug bill…you simply cannot cut taxes while you increase spending…that’s what
    got us into the great recession and only doing the opposite will get us out

  11. Hire a real consultant on

    Diane’s ridiculous shrink-wrapped bus and spokesperson are hysterical. You can google the name and McCain, Huntsman, the only thing that comes up is this blog entry. now if you put in Tuckahoe and 3% of the vote against Mary Jane Shimsky you might find something equally embarrassing. You just made my day. lol.

  12. just the facts on

    once again this is not about who is whose consultant…consultants advise candidates..candidates
    have their own opinions and in this particular instance the demographics are against even
    running diane against a democrat….in the middle of the county only centrist moderate
    pro choice republicans have a chance…”real conservatives’ as they like to call themselves
    rather then their perjorative reference to RINO’s have no chance because they do not
    reflect the mainstream views of the mid westchester community and when you couple that
    with the presidential contest where mitt romney will get slaughtered by obama in the part of
    the county that the 47th covers you have to realize that the tea party, even if it plays up
    in greg balls area will not play in westchester particularly harrison rye portchester new rochelle
    and that part of yonkers now in the district…bob cohen’s position on minimum wage is correct
    diane’s criticism is parroting rush limbaugh plain and simple….if you want to keep the district
    and the senate in republican hands you will tell diane to drop out

  13. Folks it’s the 37th not the 47th. I live in Mamaroneck, I’m a libertarian type, and I’ve seen George Latimer doing his thing for a long time. He is way better than the GOP commenters on this blog think.

    Now if you think George Latimer is an Andy Spano, you simply don’t know your stuff. George is truly loved-by those whom he represents. Spano never had that type of solid core support. Latimer is far better than an official than the conservative bloggers say on this log. I suspect they think they know him because he’s a democrat…but he gets big cross over Republican support on the sound sHore.

    This is anybody’s race, but if you think this is simply Cohen or Roth, you are kidding yourself. Quiet, nice, low key George Latimer can be the next state senator. DO not underestimate him.

  14. Revised Facts on

    Just the Facts has a short memory. Has he ever heard of Rob Astorino, Chris Cristie, Scott Brown, David Storobin, Scott Walker, and on and on? Tides are turning. Romney in a landslide.

  15. Jennifer Lewis on

    “Revised Facts” it’s absurd to mention Rob Astorino’s name in the same sentence with Christie, Brown or Walker. To measure up a one term county executive to that of a Governor of a state is like comparing what a major league baseball player does to that of a rookie player in single A. — A much more appropo comparison for Astorino would that of Ed Mangano is Nassau — Besides, Astorino will most likely lose to any Democrat challenger in the next election. I would lay even money that whoever “Revised Facts” is, actually works for Rob.

    Truly disappointing to see “Ben” and “Hire” lower the bar of political rhetoric. That goes for George and Diane supporters as well. If you’re excuse for getting in the mud is “he or she started it first”, than that’s not an excuse at all. Rise above it. And until any of you actually use you’re real names and publicly stand behind you’re comments than your opinions should be treated as just hollow thoughts.

  16. Jennifer, I haven’t seen any George supporters say anything negative here. All the back biting is strictly Bob and Diane backers.

  17. Jennifer Lewis on

    I’m from New Rochelle and am admittedly more partial to Mr. Latimer, but have yet to make up my mind. But it smells like some of these comments are coming from more than just avid supporters of the candidates, but rather from people inside the campaign. Take a look at the comment from “Ben DerFleeces Roth” from yesterday. Using language like “we are ignoring your girl” “we are not amused”. It’s clearly from someone associated with the Cohen camp and everyone knows Bill O’Reilly is running the show over there. I don’t know why a guy who was in rehab for 3 years would be leveling shots at the other side. Skeltons have a way of reappearing every election cycle. But Dude, you’re right. It doesn’t look like there are any shots from Latimer supporters. I stand corrected.

  18. Revised Facts on

    Speaking of “insiders,” only an insider would know anything at all about Bill O’Reilly, whoever he is, and that “he was in rehab for three years.” Try to work on your phoniness. It might cleanse the soul.

  19. Jennifer Lewis on

    Anyone with even the most mild interest in Westchester politics would have heard the name BOR in recent years. You can’t escape it. With regards to his other situation, it’s listed on his own wikipedia page and I remember reading about it in an article written about him a few months ago. One doesn’t need to be McCguyver to uncover what eveidently only “insiders” know. I didn’t see a denial about working for Astorino in your last comment.

  20. Jennifer Lewis on

    Revised opinion: There’s nothing wrong with working for Rob Astorino or any other candidate that has been mentioned. I’d just like to see some transparency(or at least an attempt at it)when it comes to pride of ownership with regards to whomever is writing these comments. Some of these websites require the use of a facebook page to leave a comment, which I’d like to see implemented across the board. I doubt we’d see half the amount of nasty comments if someone had to put their face behind their thoughts. I’m sure that most of the people behind these comments are actually good, decent people whether supporter or campaign worker, that have good intentions and just want the best for their candidate and all this sniping back and forth is beneath the process.

  21. just the facts on

    short memories are not my strong suit…mitt romney in a landslide is fantasy island
    clearly you are wishing him the presidency when every poll out there demonstrates a very
    very close race..and if you look at the electoral map you will see that romney has a path
    to victory but not an easy for westchester county there is no way mitt romney will
    carry this county on election day..and that will affect down ballot candidates on the republican
    line whomever they may be…and you can take that to the bank

  22. Revised Facts on

    Perhaps you forgot about Jimmy Carter, who had a ten point lead in early summer and in November lost in a landslide. Which bank would you recommend?

  23. Revised Facts on

    Jennifer, I had to google Astorino just to find how to spell his name correctly. So much for your conspiracy theory. And why do you demand the name of a simple taxpayer who expresses a political opinion? To throw rocks at his house, report him to the HUAC, or just pedestrian nosiness?

  24. just the facts on

    what does the 1980 race have to do with westchester’s demographics and voter registration
    in 2012? the republicans had 50-60 thousand more registered voters back then and the
    non party voters leaned right…today the democrats have a 100,000 voter registration edge
    and the non party voters lean left…I suggest you do your homework and stop throwing
    out nonsensical arguments that have no statistical basis…Obama will win westchester by 75,000
    votes…to the extent that any republican running for the state senate has to deal with that
    its not the same as running in an off year which is how astorino could pull it off..the 10
    point lead you site was a national polling lead…having nothing whatever to do with this
    county and this state…you want to measure this presidential election take a look at the following
    states…florida, ohio, virginia, north carolina, new mexico colorado, iowa, indiana, then tell
    me who has the better path to 270 electoral votes

  25. Revised Facts on

    Romney. Read the tea leaves. Every day, more and more Democrat pols look to distance themselves from Obama’s failed fiscal policies and ineffectual left wing pulpit politics. The majority of the great middle and the presently undecided will ultimately vote for steering the ship in the right direction.

  26. just the facts on

    An analysis published last week by MarketWatch, a financial news Web site owned by Dow Jones & Co., compared the yearly growth of federal spending under presidents going back to Ronald Reagan. Citing figures from the Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office, MarketWatch concluded that “there has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear.”

    Quite the contrary: Spending has increased at a yearly rate of only 1.4 percent during Obama’s tenure, even if you include some stimulus spending (in the 2009 fiscal year) that technically should be attributed to President George W. Bush. This is by far the smallest — I repeat, smallest — increase in spending of any recent president. (The Washington Post’s Fact Checker concluded the spending increase figure should have been 3.3 percent.)

    In Bush’s first term, by contrast, federal spending increased at an annual rate of 7.3 percent; in his second term, the annual rise averaged 8.1 percent. Reagan comes next, in terms of profligacy, followed by George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and finally Obama, the thriftiest of them all.

    The MarketWatch analysis was re-analyzed by the nonpartisan watchdogs at Politifact who found it “Mostly True” — adding the qualifier because some of the restraint in spending under Obama “was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans.” Duly noted, and if Romney wants to claim credit for the GOP, he’s free to do so. But he’s not free to say that “federal spending has accelerated” under Obama, because any way you look at it, that’s a lie.

  27. Revised Facts on

    “Just the Facts” is that odd kind of skewered logician who, after being repeatedly mugged, becomes more liberal. And, like Warren Buffett and those charlatans of his ilk, he prefers to surreptitiously maintain and increase his fortune by having the rest of us pay tribute to pirates.

  28. Revised Facts on

    And who the heck cares about the Dem majority in “THIS COUNTY,” one populated by hordes of small time political Napoleons filled with self-importance and bent upon nothing but self-aggrandizement and croaking loudly like miniature frogs in a small puddle.

  29. Are we accomplishing anything here? Are we changing anyone’s mind?

    5 months to go. Give it a rest for now, people.

  30. just the facts on

    because we are talking about a senate race that is wholly contained in westchester…
    you seem to be driven by your desire to see mitt romney beat the president..i doubt that
    will happen but if it does it will be because he wins the battleground statess electoral votes
    which has absolutely nothing to do with the demographics in westchester

  31. Gilligan's Eyeland on

    Hey, Dude, you don’t want to play or watch the game, go home to your “rents” and hit the “crib.”

  32. OK w me Gilligan. I’m taking Ginger and Mary Anne and we’re leaving this blog island.

    i’ll leave you here with Skipper, Thurston Howell III and Mrs. Howell so you can ride out the rest of your three-hour tour on line.

  33. Revised Facts on

    Saw Cohen at an event today. Someone from his campaign needs to tell him to start wearing hats because if his bald spot gets any bigger it’s going to develop a personality all of its own. I wonder if he gave a nick name to his bald spot, and they have cute conversations with each other about evicting veterans from his slumlord buildings in the Bronx, & Bob & his bald spot just laugh and laugh.

  34. Intellectual Puberty on

    Deadbeat “veterans” are no better than deadbeat non-veterans. – and how did Mariano Rivera’s bald spot do on the dome of the best relief pitcher in history? Grow up.

  35. Four mailings from Cohen this week and the Primary is Sept 13. However, conservatives are learning that Scarsdale Bob is pro- abortion and pro- gay rights. He will need many more mailings to cover up that liberal record

  36. just the facts on

    in that district if you are suggesting that didonato is pro life and anti gay rights you
    are really trying to give the seat away to a democrat….nice going..and great reasoning..

  37. You are not kidding! What is this Gambling ? Have some respect to The Hard Working Americans! Respect them! It’s enough fooling like “the former Empire State Zone”! The Hoax of Small Business is crazy! How many Small.Business have created Jobs in NY State? Mr. Wannabe must check the Statistics before seving Political Interest; Want to be a Representative of The People?

    This is not a correct approach or behavior towards American Labor and People! The Small Businesses are just in Name.only and 89% of those are run by the Owners themselves! They don’t even have 1-3 employees!

    And, you want to play Black.Jack! Wow!

    HABIBHASAN-An American Storyteller