In September 2013, more than a year before Cuomo was up for reelection, Tishman Speyer President and Co-CEO Rob Speyer summoned a select group to discuss the 2014 election: State Republican Chairman Ed Cox, Republican Senate Conference Leader Dean Skelos, then–state GOP Executive Director Michael Lawler and Republican Senate Counsel Robert Mujica.A Cuomo spokesman calls it a delusion, but I'm trusting the reporter's multiple sources.
Speyer began the meeting by telling the attendees that he had “been friends with Andrew Cuomo for 20 years,” according to sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity, so as not to upset any of the parties involved. The governor had asked him to call this meeting, Speyer explained, because like them, Cuomo wanted to keep the State Senate in Republican hands. If the party ran a candidate who could potentially beat Cuomo in 2014, however, the governor would spend $40 million to defeat that candidate and Senate Republicans.
Skelos responded first: The person they were considering was Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, he said. At this point, Astorino had not yet won re-election in Westchester.
“Well, that is the one candidate you can’t run,” said Speyer.
It was “a load of shit,” Lawler jumped in to say, that they could not run a real candidate without risking losing the governor’s support for the
After a heated back-and-forth, the meeting ended with no agreement.
Some time later Speyer received a call from Cox, who is the son-in-law of former President Richard Nixon: Astorino was their candidate, Cox said, and he was running. Jumping quickly off the phone, Speyer called back 20 minutes later with a direct message from Gov. Cuomo: “FUCK YOU! FUCK REPUBLICANS! AND FUCK RICHARD-FUCKING-NIXON! I WILL GO AFTER YOU!”
Sunday, November 30, 2014
Zack Fink has an astonishing article in City & State, PARTNERS IN POWER: THE UNLIKELY ALLIANCE OF ANDREW CUOMO AND CHRIS CHRISTIE, which includes this passage:
It's another reminder of Cuomo's Machiavellian style and the fact that, like Christie, he makes decisions with an eye on higher office.