Pot-ential 2014 challenger not high on Cuomo

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A former marijuana trafficker who once served as publisher of High Times magazine may challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2014.

Richard Stratton, an author and film producer who spent eight years in prison on pot and hashish trafficking convictions in the 1980s, filed paperwork today with the state Board of Elections signaling his interest in challenging Cuomo, the first-term Democrat.

In a statement, Stratton — a Republican who would seek the Republican line — acknowledged he was taking “the first step towards a possible run for Governor.” He first acknowledged his interest earlier this year in an interview with City & State.

“While I realize that I’m not exactly a household name with many New Yorkers, and my resume is by no means typical of our state’s previous Governors, I’m confident that my message will resonate with New Yorkers across the political spectrum who care about our state’s future and are looking for out-of-the-box solutions for the various problems facing New Yorkers,” he said.

Stratton has something of a cult following as an author, writing his first novel — “Smack Goddess” — while incarcerated. Since then, he’s worked on various writing, television and film projects, and was publisher of High Times in 2004 and 2005.

Also of interest: Lake Placid attorney Brian Barrett is helping Stratton with his potential campaign. Barrett is the son of Pat Barrett, the former chair of the state Republican Committee who co-chaired Cuomo’s successful 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

“We’re our own people and I always love and support my dad, but obviously on occasion we have some idealogical differences,” Brian Barrett said in a telephone interview. “This is one of those times. But he supports what I’m doing and I support what he’s doing, always.”

Stratton’s full statement is after the jump:

“Today, I’ve taken the first step towards a possible run for Governor. While I realize that I’m not exactly a household name with many New Yorkers, and my resume is by no means typical of our state’s previous Governors, I’m confident that my message will resonate with New Yorkers across the political spectrum who care about our state’s future and are looking for out-of-the-box solutions for the various problems facing New Yorkers. We simply can’t afford to continue to spend millions to incarcerate the 13,000 non-violent drug offenders that are currently jailed in this state. I am committed to being the voice for New Yorkers who are interested in drug reform, marijuana law reform and, most importantly, those who are sick of paying for the incompetence and corruption of New York State politicos. I’m fed up with paying for the pensions of State Senators who get sent to jail for corruption, and I am appalled at having to pay to imprison someone who was carrying marijuana. This madness needs to end. When I’m Governor of New York, we will bring the insanity of our present war on our own people to an end.”

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  1. Are there any “real political candidates” who can take the control seat in this dysfunctional New York State Government in Albany?

    I would give Andrew Cuomo an F, as Governor of New York, the infrastructure and roads are crumbling, he spends more time in the Hamptons than in Albany, and he is out of control in his wasteful spending, meanwhile, 23 million Americans are unemployed and have less than the illegal immigrants who live in New York on Welfare!

    Andrew Cuomo is the illuminati’s worse nightmare, and so is Barack Obama, these two politicians are in agreement with each other, hey New Yorkers and red neck America let’s keep the poor, “Poor”, and put the rest of the money in our nonprofits politician pockets, and we’ll continue crushing the economy more and more everyday, until the taxpayers are completely homeless and jobless, that’s what these Democrats have achieved in the last 4 years for the people in New York State and the struggling American people. These two men are lobbyist, they both became extremely rich in a short time.

    America is jobless, homeless, bare ass, bare foot, and pregnant. The only change these politicians gave us in the last four years, is all nickels and dimes, they are nickel and dimming us, American people, we have nothing left.

    I give Andrew Cuomo an F for failure. I give Barack Obama an F for Failure.

    Here is a true saying, bulls-t will get you to the top but it’s not gonna keep you there.

    I’m gonna predict that these two politicians are out, they’re out! I know the illuminati sign is three fingers, but, the America people are only holding up one finger to this United States Government!

    Also would like to add:

    This is the problem with the New York Media, the politicians own them. How can the citizens trust the news media to inform them about the truth inside political and public corruption issues. There is no trust in a government, when politicians like Andrew Cuomo are buying a news media’s confidence with offering high salaries and making news reporters like, News 12 Westchester Anchor Brian ConyBeare, and NBC Spokeswomen Allison Gollust, high salaries with the taxpayer dollars. The important question is this, what’s the point to hire these high paid news reporters into his administration? There is a method of madness in this type of unethical practice in government.

    The Westchester County District Attorney Janet Difiore, hired another News 12 Westchester reporter Tracy Everson, Deputy Communications Director, Westchester District Attorney’s Office, paying her a high salary on the backs of the taxpayers. http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tracy-everson/15/731/254

    Westchester County residents pay the highest taxes in the United States, and if politicians cannot speak to the press openly and honestly about the issues, than, they should not be in public office. They should stop wasting the taxpayers hard earned cash on covering up the truth, it’s time these greedy politicians face the public and answer the questions for themselves.

    The question is this, are these job titles and high salaries necessary in New York, when the infrastructure and roads are crumbling and 23 million people are living on unemployment? This is wasteful spending of tax dollars.

    ~ The Westchester News