Former Cuomo Aide Drafted Language for Inflammatory Anti-Semitism Flier

David Lobl, a former special assistant to the governor, wrote the emails providing text for the flier, which falsely suggested that the governor’s opponent, Cynthia Nixon, was anti-Semitic.

Comments: 64

  1. I feel bad for the people of New York, Cuomo's been a good governor but something like this, he has to step up to the plate and take the blame for this. It might have been written by someone else and approved by someone else but like the captain of the boat he has to take responsibility for those under him. This then begs the question, if there are members of his campaign staff making mistakes like this are there also members of his administration making similar mistakes in the operation of the government.

  2. @BTO, define "good governor". If you mean an endless series of ethical lapses and outright violations of law by his administration and his closest advisors, and stonewalling or cancelling any efforts at ethics reform (remember the Moreland Commission ?) then yes, I guess he has been a "good governor". Cuomo looks more like Trump every day. Two peas in a pod.

  3. I believe Andrew Cuomo was the sponsor of the “Cuomo or the Homo” flyers aimed at Mayor Koch in his campaign against Mario Cuomo. Could this be more of the “Objection”/“Sustained”/“Withdrawn” tactic in court?

  4. Why your newspaper still endorses this man is baffling. If you feel that Cynthia Nixon isn't up to the challenge of being the governor of NY, fine, don't endorse her. But to continue to back a governor who is not only corrupt but too inept to know that this smear campaign would background is insulting to not only Cynthia Nixon, but to your readers and the voters in NY. If these traits are what you deem to be the signs of a good leader, no matter how experienced he may be, than I'd rather take my chances with his opposition. Nixon shows that she is honest, something Cuomo doesn't know he meaning of.

  5. I cast the blame on: - Andrew Cuomo - the NYS Democratic Committee - Mr. Schwartz - Mr. Lobl, & all of their associates who are so fearful (a la Trump) of losing power that they resorted to this despicable campaign slime. As a lifelong Democrat, & an admirer of Mario Cuomo, I am appalled that Albany's moral rot, political corruption & ethical vacuum has extended this far into our political structure. It's been brewing a long time. We are paying the price. I no longer feel any allegiance to this state's Democratic Party. That I am on the independent/progressive Democratic side (not the Jeff Klein side) makes more sense than ever. Given the poor & dilapidated state of the MTA, of our bridges & roads, of education statewide, & a laundry list of so many services lacking in so many respects, the beneficiaries of this Cuomo administration have been real estate, Wall Street, & the lottery. The rest of us are barely making it. Andrew Cuomo will never - repeat never - get my vote for anything. This state's & city's establishment Democrats had better do a moral & ethics check before they leave home every morning. They seem to be missing something vital in their gear.

  6. @Janet W. Thank you Janet W. Now that you have passed judgement, I would like to pass sentences. Cuomo, every member of the NYS Democratic Committee, Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Lobl should each be sentenced to 1,000 hours of riding the New York Subway.

  7. Back in the days when we proofread things on paper, signing off on a campaign flier which damaged someone's reputation was just as serious as it is today. Back then, If I had damaged someone's reputation, I don't think my boss would have bought that I "forgot" a piece of paper has two sides.

  8. I had been on the fence about this primary with regard to the race for Governor. I am very aware of Cuomo's political talents and general Democratic leanings, balanced, unfortunately, by his inherent sleaziness and self-interest. Nixon has appealing views but as the Times editorial suggests, she may not have the experience and political acumen to handle the job as effectively as he opponent. But with these latest low rent moves - the utterly unnecessary lying campaign flyers in a contest where recent polling puts Coumo ahead by 40 points(!), IDC money still flowing to supposedly "former" members of the IDC from arguably illegal sources - I am temporarily abandoning my policy of voting strictly strategically and will proudly fill in the dot on my ballot for Cynthia Nixon, and all the other No IDC NY coalition candidates.

  9. Has Cuomo ever offered a full personal apology to his opponent for this outrageous slander against her? Acknowledging this egregious attack as a “mistake” seems like a tepid response at best.

  10. Harry Truman said that "the buck stops here," but for Andrew Cuomo, it's always someone else's fault. Even though two top aides wrote and approved this flyer, he knew nothing about it nor has he known anything about his corrupt top aides Alain Kaloyeros, Joseph Percocco and Todd Howe. He's more like Sergeant Schultz ("I know nothing") than President Truman.

  11. Oh, please! Of course an aide drafted it! That's how it works! That doesn't in any way change the fact that Cuomo went with it, whether or not by email or a verbal approval. The flyer went out. Bad. Period. Cuomo was nasty during the debate. Bad. This is how he is. Now vote! --- Things Trump Did While You Weren’t Looking

  12. Like Paul Manafort, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, I'm sure he was only with them a short time and had very little responsibility.

  13. And this is who the Times endorses, all under the guise that he has "potential". When you are running for a third time, shouldn't "potential" be something in the rear-view mirror ? Apparently the NYT would give this guy 30 years to find his sea-legs, if only they could. I'ma lifelong Dem who wishes he could move to NY just to vote against this progressive poseur.

  14. @Ken Lawson Governor Cuomo's "potential" is for more sleazy attacks on opponents, more diversion of funds allocated to the MTA to other projects, and uncivil treatment of anyone he regards as an opponent. He did not deserve the TImes's endorsement.

  15. @Ken Lawson As Linus laments in an old "Peanuts" cartoon, "There's no heavier burden than a great potential."

  16. It is hard to understand the NYT endorsement of Cuomo. Indeed Nixon may not be that experienced, but the contrast with this governor who endorses corruption, fails on congestion pricing and has a crew that sends out anti-semitic leaflets is telling. At some point the sleaze gets too much to stomach.

  17. Ah, there we go, casting a vote for someone as only a vote against someone. Those who voted for Trump only because they didn't like Hillary know what I'm talking about! In my eyes, Nixon offered nothing to me and New York. Another novice politico.....on track for the demise of well-fought issues and emphasizing their own. Give me the experienced politician. A good politician knows how to govern. The words, "honest" , "ethical" , "hands clean" are not known in that world. but I'd rather have them with their warts and all govern for the people and create change for the best for the people and to protect our rights and our democracy.

  18. It's never Cuomo, of course A former aide, there's no remorse, Former aides that are jailed By Cuomo not hailed It must have been some other source!

  19. Andrew Cuomo was purportedly behind the infamous poster “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo” when his father Mario was running against Ed Koch for NYC mayor in 1977. Old habits die hard...

  20. Not related at all.

  21. And Cuomo was "shocked, simply shocked" to find out that his "enforcer" (the Times' term) Joseph Percoco and "brother" was guilty of wire fraud and solicitation of bribes? Sure, Andy! And of course sleazy tactics are nothing new to Cuomo; he's generally "credited" with the "Vote for Cuomo, not the homo" campaign line used against Ed Koch in his dad's (unsuccessful) campaign for mayor. Cuomo, one of the "three men in the room" of corrupt Albany politics belongs were the other two (Silver and Skelos) are: indicted, convicted, and in jail for manifest corruption.

  22. Yes, the flyer is outrageous. But something else is even more outrageous. This flyer was put out by the Democratic Party, not the the Cuomo campaign. The Party should not be picking sides during the primary process. It should be up to the party voters to pick the candidate, not the party leadership in some smoke filled room. This process stinks to high heaven.

  23. @NIck Agree. Sounds like what the DNC did to Bernie.

  24. @NIck Absolutely right. Unfortunately, that is how the Democratic Party works at both the state and national level. It goes through painstaking efforts to prop up established party members, completely oblivious of how the political winds are shifting. The Times recently ran a story about the success of primary candidates running with no coordination with or master narrative from the national party. I can't say I'm surprised. Remember Debbie Wasserman Schultz literally giving the Clinton campaign the questions ahead of a primary debate!? (Hint: If you need to go to such desperate measures to prop up the candidacy of one of the most famous women in the world with every possible advantage of money, connections, and "super-delegates", you REALLY need to question that person's strength in a general election, and ask yourself why you are so hellbent on supporting them.) Exact same thing with Andrew Cuomo. Another party stalwart, the beneficiary of a famous last name, richer than Midas, and possessing a tested and robust campaign team...and the Democratic Party needs to resort to such despicable actions to protect him from (drumroll) a first-time candidate most famous for her work in Sex and the City. That says a lot more about Andrew Cuomo than it does about Cynthia Nixon.

  25. Yet one more story about the ethical rot and mismanagement in a state led by the man the New York Times endorsed as deserving another chance. How many chances does one man get to lead a state known by the Times itself for its "dirty politics, nearly as sleazy as it gets?"

  26. My daughter's class was recently told to read the NYT daily by their teacher but dis anyone edit this article? The writing is as convoluted as the journalism is feeble. Why refer to two aides anonymously in the opening paragraph only to reveal their identities in the second paragraph? Why compound the confusion by mentioning "two campaign aides" in the second paragraph who presumably are not the two aides mentioned in the first? Why not investigate the statement by Lis Smith that Lawrence Schwartz did not see the "false claims on the reverse side" by laying out the structure of the email that he received? Emails don't have sides so it would be useful to know if the false claims were stated prominently in the beginning or inconspicuously in the middle of the email. Was a PDF of the flyer attached? If so, "reverse side" makes sense. What does the following statement mean, "...Mr. Schwartz said that he was very upset by the mailers, noting that he is Jewish." Is it to suggest that he is more upset because he Jewish or is it just thrown in like a vital statistic, e.g. "Mr. Schwartz said that he was very upset by the mailers, noting that he is 6 feet tall." There is no problem with either scenario but because of the way the article is written, we will never know which it is. The article ends with a statement by "Rebecca Katz, a senior campaign adviser" but fails to mention which campaign (Cuomo's or Nixon's or Clinton's, for that matter) Ms. Katz is an adviser for. Oh well.

  27. Anyone who thinks that political correctness is how you fight the emerging hard right-wing and their GOP flunkies is delusional. Oh but wait! the IDC thinks America is already "great" not least for the way money is magically flowing out of the working middle dazed and confused classes into zombie banks and crooked political causes. In deed, our native cousins understood it a long time ago. The whiteman speaks with forked tough, at is to say out of both sides of his mouth. Greed for power is a reality in our society, so the question is he our greedy power broker who can fight the fight. Nose bleeds and all. Lastly, Oiy! did Mr Lobl, a jewish insider and lobbiest, do this intentionally to embarrass Mr Coumo? who gains from the shift in power? who gets tax-payer money into the Yeshivas? Gey strashe di gens Get tough NY!

  28. Cuomo has done good things. But he's also at the very least cooperated with a culture of corruption in Albany. He's gotten budgets done on time which is good, but he's gone overboard operating with a severe and often petty iron fist that has earned the anger and resentment of most Democratic elected officials in Albany and throughout NY State. No one can modify his agenda. Policy and action all has to come from him and it all has to be credited to him. For many issues, he's got the opposite agenda as Trump, but weirdly he appears to have the same nasty narcissistic personality disorder as Donald. It ain't pretty.

  29. Agreed on the personaility side. But more than that his shutdown of the ethics inquiry now takes on an even more significant "smoking gun" with conviction of his aides. When will, if at all, integrity return to not just Albany but government in general? Term limits may be an answer - some of thses people are so out of touch with their constituents and they are getting significant salaries and perks; i.e. health insurance, pensions while middle class people struggle without those basics. The swamp that was to be drained has become a sewer and knows no boundaries whether NY, NJ or the federal .Enough!

  30. This is the 'ask forgiveness, not permission' dodge. Typical of the Governor, who is always in front of the parade, except when there is a wrong turn and then, as mentioned earlier, he is suddenly Sgt Shultz. The NY State Democratic Party wakes up and goes to sleep at the direction of the Governor. If this explanation were told in open court in answer to a question, the gallery would have to bite their collective tongues to keep from howling in astonishment and laughter.

  31. Case closed.

  32. Another example of the ethical rot endorsed by The Times' and its endorsed candidate. How can The Times justify supporting the ethically-challenged Cuomo?

  33. @Tony Well, I guess by endorsing Teachout to prosecute Cuomo’s cronies. Weird.

  34. I find it hard to believe that Governor Cuomo would condone a smear to the effect, or anyone would believe, that Cynthia Nixon is anti-Semitic. After all, the NYT and all the other media have extensively reported the fact that Ms. Nixon's wife, Christine Marinoni, is Jewish. Further, Ms. Nixon's two eldest children (from a previous relationship with English professor Danny Mozes) are Jewish. Finally, according to Forward, Ms. Nixon’s son with her wife Christine Marinoni is expected to become bar mitzvah at the synagogue they now attend, Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in midtown Manhattan, which describes itself as the world’s largest LGBT synagogue. I think most people understand that it is absurd to say or believe that Ms. Nixon is anti-Semitic. And Cuomo is much too smart a politician to instigate any such smear tactic against an opponent over whom he has such a large lead in the polls.

  35. Unless he’s desperate.

  36. The sleeze of the Cuomo and those who surround him never ends. And he is the preferred candidate?

  37. If you notice, Cuomo always seems to have a whiny, incompetent excuse for things he has not gotten done. It’s always the Fed’s fault if we can’t have universal healthcare. Cuomo takes money from Trump, the Kochs, and corporations but calls himself Progressive. He can’t fund subway system repairs or education, and he champions bills that the IDC squashes. He hasn’t met a corruption probe he hasn’t wanted to cut and run from (top aides who get convicted are also “mistakes). His campaign appeals to racial hatred and he calls it a “mistake.” For a guy who casts himself as a political strongman he sure seems to come up short on ethics and effectiveness when it matters most. Cuomo’s “mistake” was his second term as governor. His “mistake” is assuming he can brush Nixon aside with the basest smears just before the primary. If the electorate is paying ANY attention to what he is, says, and does; he’s toast. Or maybe we should believe the NYT prognosticators who went all in with HRC? If Cuomo was such a secure incumbent this trash wouldn’t be necessary. Call it a “mistake” or a tactic. Let’s see what NYers think?

  38. Will the real Cuomo stand up? Or is he not a stand up guy? The real question for voters today is whether Cuomo's strengths substantially outweigh his serious flaws, including those acknowledged by the NYTimes in endorsing him. Dirty politics and corruption aren't pretty, and Cuomo has certainly been, and is surrounded by both.

  39. Did they really think nobody would report it? Then again, spelling anti-Semetisim - a double misspelling - shows there was zero intellect, and less than zero morals, behind this stupid, craven act. Somebody should make and sell buttons saying "I WAS a Cuomo supporter". He's so uncomfortably like Chris Christie now, I'd wear one.

  40. Take responsibility and stop lying Cuomo. Your staff, your campaign aides, the buck stops with you.

  41. Wanna know why people suspect Andrew Cuomo had a hand in this? BECAUSE THE SHOE FITS!

  42. So, it was deemed okay to lie by a 'former lieutenant.' What is happening to common decency. I was more appalled when I found out that the Dems, in their attack against Kavanaugh, lied about his stand on birth control pills and his relationship with a law firm involved with Trump. I even watched in horror as the woman that lied about the former laughed and basically shrugged it off to politics. I hope that she is sued for defamation of character, but that may be impossible as she's a senator and they are above the law. Reps lie as well, no doubt, but that is no excuse. Frankly, DC is a swamp that needs to be blown into the ocean by Florence.

  43. And today -- in case anyone missed it -- NYT actually retweeting its endorsement. (Didn't Cuomo make a 24-hour trip to Israel -- w staff; taxpayer-funded -- to demonstrate solidarity w Israel's bombing of Gazans -- done to get said (retweeted) endorsement?) (It's called flight insurance.)

  44. Look. No matter how you look at it, Andrew Cuomo has his name on this -- And no. I wouldn't put it past him to let something like this "accidentally" slip out, if it meant he could score a few extra points -- or votes. So regardless of whether this was a "former" associate, or not; it was still a very obvious and nefarious attempt to undermine an opponent along carefully selected demographical lines, that could quite possibly cost Mr. Cuomo some votes in the end....In any case, it has cost him mine.

  45. Dirty game some men play. I can only hope most of us wake up to the fact that the old boys network has failed us; both the guys who are running the show as well as those who help them get away with it. Women won't play this game, not because they can't, they know it doesn't help. Women are about life which is why we need them now.

  46. This is politics at its worst. The fact that Cuomo has not help anyone accountable says all we need to know. He is a disgrace who will stoop to any level to assure himself of victory. His attitude, conduct, and size of his funding is why some people claim that the US is no longer a democracy but a plutocracy. A decent person would now step aside but Mr. Cuomo is hardly such an upstanding individual.

  47. This is the Nixon that all should vote into Office. Teachout is a standout! Both are non-politicians, movers and shakers which must make the cynical and corrupt in Albany rather uneasy.

  48. Last minute attempt by the Times to wipe the mud off of their pick for Governor. Their editorial in support of this guy, claiming that despite years of conservative governance, he'll be progressive next term was laughable.

  49. But will continue to endorse Cuomo no matter what....

  50. Please explain why it took so long for the campaign to create this scenario to lay the blame. I don't believe a word this governor or this campaign says- it takes days to make up a story that appears plausible; it doesn't take days to determine who wrore it and who authorized it. Regardless it clealrly represents the demented thnking and preferred campagin tactics of this candidate for 41 years now. The proof the campaiign believed it acceptable by this control freak candidate is in its issueance. The candidate sets the tone. And Andrew Cumom will be tarnished forever by the reprehehsensible scurrilous bigtory of his tactics from the first campaign he ran 41 years ago to his last, his last 4 years as governor tainted by this shame he can never wash off.

  51. It is all about trust,, being a mensch and taking responsibility. Make your own conclusions.

  52. If the Cuomo campaign played dirty on this one, they should be nailed on it, but you have to ask yourself whether the State should indeed be subsidizing schools that fail to meet State standards, whether the extremely Orthodox would be so horrified by economic sanctions against a State whose very existence they decry as sacrilegious, and whether any disagreement with the policies of some Jewish groups constitutes anti-Semitism per se. I was a fly on the wall at a meeting in 1989 between mayoral candidate David N. Dinkins and a group of representatives from the Hasidic community. The latter were demanding he commit to the construction of additional municipal housing units, exclusively for Jewish residents, and with two kitchens, because the City should be responsible for the trouble involved and the marginal costs involved in separating milchik utensils from fleishiks, and this from people whose poverty, in many cases, is voluntary. Ms. Nixon insists she is the "mother of Jewish children," though by the logic espoused some of the voters in targeted Williamsburg, this is an impossibility. Children born to a shiksa, by their definition, are by definition considered goyim. More shibboleth in this debate than substance. If Gov. Cuomo's campaign, or he himself, were responsible for a flier misstating Ms Nixon's views, he was acting fraudulently, but in fact there is a whole lotta pandering going on--as our President would say--by people on both sides!

  53. This smacks of the false and altogether not believable tropes that were emanating from the Christie Bridgegate debacle..and then he let the two closest members of Christie's inner circle, Bridget Kelly and Bill Baroni take the fall, the embarrassment and jail time while he floated right past them. His dirty prints were all over that. Karma is its own victory..I'm so glad he looked the fool on that republican presidential stage. Cuomo...He didn't know? Unpaid volunteers putting out political flyers to thousands? "Volunteer" And like the gentleman Rafael said on Twitter, who has sent out millions of mailers for the Democrats across the country, "a flyer of that stature for this issue at this time doesn't go out without the highest approval"..."back of the flyer" indeed... it's created and printed on two separate pages. Are you kidding me? Until that day I was never so undecided as I was for an election like this one and his vote was hanging on a thread anyway. I'm sick of corrupted lying liars in my government. I'm voting for Nixon

  54. Not really an issue. US election rules are very clear on this matter. If a flier is composed by a non-US person, it is election interference, if not, it is perfectly within the rules of bona fide electioneering. Hope this clears thing up.

  55. The bigger problem here is that people like Mr. Lobl and Kenneth L. Marcus of the Education Dept. (who is going after the student activists at Rutgers), are trying to twist any criticism of Israel's treatment of Palestinians, or any calls for divestiture and economic sanctions, into "anti-semitism" or even criminal speech. Is it really necessary to anticipate where this all leads? It leads to Muslim- and Arab-Americans using the same tactics to criminalize any criticism of Islam, and so on and so on and so forth for every racial or ethnic group on the planet. The snowball effect of this kind of speech and thought policing is as limitless as it is dangerous to fundamental freedoms.

  56. Cuomo should reimburse the NY State Democratic Committee for the cost of this disgusting smear. It’s shameful!

  57. What happened to Ms Nixon is unconscionable - if Mr Cuomo wasn't aware of the mailing from his Campaign, he should have been. It's his campaign! More importantly, we've seen close associates of Mr Cuomo, on more than one occasion, who have been involved in either illegal or unethical behavior. The Governor isn't the worst politician by any means, however, I've been disappointed with many of his decisions, statements, and overall temperament. He sometimes seems like he seriously needs to attend an Anger Management Program.

  58. Apparently these people have never heard about avoiding "Lshon Hara" -- the Evil Tongue. All of this is especially offensive coming as it does during High Holiday season - the so-called Days of Awe when Jews, as the liturgy says, are considering the big issues i.e. who shall live and who shall die, etc.

  59. Yet another example of Andrew Cuomo's corruption and the corruption of the people around him. It all comes from the top. It is always to deny, deny, deny. Shame on all of them.

  60. "Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s former top lieutenant approved an inflammatory flier that suggested the governor’s Democratic rival, Cynthia Nixon, was anti-Semitic, the campaign said on Wednesday. And it was another former aide to the governor who crafted the mailer’s language, according to an email obtained by The New York Times." Does that make it OK Gov. Cuomo? Talk about cheap shots.

  61. Of course he knew about it! Ask anyone that took advantage of the city, state and HUD subsidies that Landlords begged for their new "pretend luxury" vacant buildings in the mid 70's. They can tell you about the enormous rent increases incurred when Andrew became HUD Secretary and had to repay favors for the real estate industry's generous campaign contributions (particularly N.Y. candidates). It might be observed that trump was one of the slimeball donors.

  62. Baseless charges of anti-semitism against a progressive, non-corporate-puppet candidate. Hm, a page out of the playbook of the Blairite wing of the British Labour Party it seems, re their recent bogus smears against Jeremy Corbyn. It’s a warning to progressives to be ready for this kind of nonsense.

  63. Lawrence Schwartz "inadvertently signed off on the flier".. if anyone in a corporate setting did that they would be held accountable and be fired...

  64. My first thought was how dare I be racially profiled to receive this flyer in the mail? Did someone sit around looking for Jewish names, or is there a "Jew" list? A few years ago I received a flyer from a politician that was so blatant I called his office and asked if he was running for Congress here or in Israel. My next outrage was that the State of New York give $200,000,00 to Yeshivas. And political pandering is this why the DoE can't inspect to make sure these children are learning according to the standards they need to succeed in life. Not to mention the separation of the sexes. And how dare they assume that because of my neighborhood and last name that I am in lockstep with what they think I believe when I don't. And how much is the state giving to Catholic and other religous schools? If people want their children indoctrinated, let them pay for it. But please, let all children receive a competent education that lets them make up their own minds. That money that should be going to public schools. My reaction to this flyer was to rethink my choice and go to the polls to vote for Nixon, Teachout and Williams.