Watch: Democrats hit Astorino in first attack ads of campaign (Updated)

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State Democrats today released their first attack ads of the gubernatorial race against Republican candidate Rob Astorino, knocking the Westchester County executive for a ongoing battle over affordable housing in the county.

Last week, Astorino said the county would forfeit $5.2 million in federal grants rather than comply with a 2009 fair-housing settlement.

“New York has a proud history of fighting discrimination,” one of the two television ads begins. “That’s why it’s shocking that Rob Astorino has repeatedly violated federal anti-discrimination laws for years. He’s the only county executive in the nation that refuses to comply.”

Both ads end with what may be the ongoing theme by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Democrats against Astorino: “Rob Astorino, so far right, he’s wrong for New York.”

Astorino has been critical of the housing settlement, which was agreed to before he took office. He has fought the requirement that landlords would be barred from discriminating based on the source of income for rent, such as using welfare or veterans’ benefits. Astorino has claimed that the decision also intrudes on local zoning laws.

The issue has already galvanized Democrats against Astorino as he now runs for governor. The Rev. Al Sharpton said he would lead civil-rights groups against Astorino over the issue, and Sen. Ruth Hassell-Thompson today at the Capitol ripped Astorino’s position.

“I’m embarrassed that my county has chosen to violate a discrimination law,” she told reporters, asking Astorino to comply.

Updated: Astorino spokeswoman Jessica Proud knocked the ads. Cuomo served as secretary of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development agency in the 1990s, and he lives in New Castle in Westchester County.

“We are so glad that Governor Cuomo is bringing this up. It begs the question: Where has he been for the past four years while HUD has been wrongly attacking Westchester communities, including Mr. Cuomo’s?” Proud said. “Does former HUD Secretary Cuomo think New Castle violates civil rights?”

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11 Comments

  1. Hope & Change on

    CUOMO IS FAR LEFT THE PEOPLE OF NY A LEAVING HIS RULE FROM ALL SIDES OF THE POLITICAL BALLOT

  2. Westchester Voter on

    How dare Al Sharpton involve himself in this issue that he knows nothing about? Sharpton said he would lead civil-rights groups against Astorino. Bad news! If this is is what Gov. Cuomo thinks will help him in the coming election, as a registered Democrat -I think Cuomo is very wrong!! Why as a former head of HUD has he not said one word on the housing issue and made sense of it. The Urban-Centric HUD folks don’t have a clue and our Gov. should be doing more than bashing Astorino on this issue.
    I am beginning to believe a third party candidate would be a good thing.

  3. So Cuomo and his people are getting desperate early, this bogus commerical deflects the facts and the recruting of Al Sharpton. Arnorld Diaz where are you? “Shame, Shame, Shame, on you Cuomo”

  4. Hope & Change on

    Cuomo proves he is a racist by trying to recruit the minority vote through this Type of politics.

    Cuomo must go he is bad for NY releasing pedophiles to our streets to balance budget. He is bad for the country because he can’t even make a simple decision on Fracking. If Cuomo has to recruit Al Sheraton, the man who orchestrated the Phony Tswana Brawley Rape case he must be desperate

  5. I am proud that rob has not knuckled under to yet additional pressure tactics of monetary withholding by feds. They are still attempting to use Westchester as their example to run over the rights of municipalities. To take over home rule, and extend the limited powers the Constitution gave them by any subversive means necessary.
    And if Sharpton comes to town, I’ll be out there with signs of Tawanna, or informer ,or tax evader, or any of his frauds held high. I noticed he was no where when there was the “knock out” games being perpetrated by young male blacks against white people.
    He is out of control. And so is that sham governor Cuomo who is ruining our state.
    I would only hesitate to vote for rob because I would hate to lose him protecting Westchester.

  6. Westchester voters, don’t forget both Andrea Stewart-Cousins and George Latimer were leading the county board rubber stamping Andy Spano’s mishandling/misuse of the HUD funds that started this mess.

    Both Stewart-Cousins and Latimer would caved to the feds and handed over all zoning issues to Washington DC.

    What a bad idea as are both of these now Senators.

  7. What a joke, Cuomo is the worst Governor of New York that ever there was, and for him to even talk about any issues is a joke because that is what he is a big joke. He makes a fool of himself without even talking. It could not get any worse than that. Rob Astorino is the way to go, not another 4 years of Cuomo, who hides behind everything and everyone. New Yorkers should really look at the whole picture and see really what Cuomo is about and it is for sure not the people of New York but himself and all his celebrity friends.

  8. You can forget about Astorino being Governor after his alienation of the Jewish vote and making stupid remarks about fracking. The State Committee is looking for someone else.

  9. I’ll try to make it short. HUD took a look at map of Westchester with demographics info and decided that there were alot of towns without a sufficient number of blacks and latinos, and they determined that this could only be due to racism. So they demanded that the county do something about it and dangled $60million. Andy Spano took the money, dragged his feet and lost an election. Rob comes in and thinks it stinks that a) the Feds are telling Westchester what to do, and 2) that we took the money are now obligated. So he strikes a settlement with HUD and starts building housing units, intending to build no more than is absolutely required. HUD goes after Rob because they want more than required and they want to dictate where the units go (they want to build in the “whitest” towns). HUD demands that Rob sue his towns to get zoning laws amended b/c they are racist. Rob has a study done which says that the zoning laws are fine and he refuses to sue Westchester towns. Rob sues back. HUD and Westchester are still fighting over the details. Rob is not “giving up aid”, he is trying to keep the Feds the hell out of our local affairs. With federal money comes federal demands and the demands are based on a theory that says if you don’t have a certain amount of minorities in your town, you are discriminatory. It’s a truly evil and maddening effort that HUD has undertaken and Rob has done his best to fight them.Sharpton is doing Cuomo’s bidding by hounding Rob, making it seem like Rob is note working with these nice Federal bureaucrats who just want to help people. And, of course, Sharpton is there to lob in a few accusations of racism for good measure. Rob is protecting the sovereignty of Westchester towns

  10. Michael Silver on

    Cuomo is the worst Bully and Dirty Player this State has seen in Years. Remember “Don’t Vote Homo vote Cuomo.”