Cuomo: Underwood should stay in place

May 11, 2018 07:07 PM

ALBANY - Stop the presses. Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, wants Barbara Underwood to remain New York's attorney general for the time being. So does Senator Jim Tedisco, a Republican.

"I don't always agree with the governor," Tedisco states, "But I'm pleased he agrees with me and a lot of good government groups across the state of New York."

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So you want to see more agreement?

"I agree with that," said Assemblyman John McDonald (D - Cohoes). "I do also believe the Legislature has a responsibility to conduct the interviews and to put forth and pass a resolution appointing an individual to fulfill the rest of the term."

That's where any agreement ends.

"We shouldn't be anointing or appointing somebody with six months to go until a general election," Tedisco asserted.

Tedisco, and other Republicans believe if the Legislature appoints someone other than Underwood, that person would have a huge incumbency advantage in the November election.

"I don't think anyone should be handpicked," opines Senator John Flanagan, the Republican Majority Leader of the Senate. "It shouldn't be picked by a Republican or a Democrat. At some point, we'll have an election."

Tedisco says he'd never support a candidate like Underwood, who is vowing to continue the policies of Eric Schneiderman regarding immigrant rights and challenging President Trump's travel ban.

"She's got six months," Tedisco pointed out, "She's not going to do any damage to the positions I take."

Even McDonald agrees, allowing the Legislature to choose the AG would be an unfair advantage.

"I'm looking for someone who'll be an independent partner and play a leading role in helping rid state and local government of ethical problems," McDonald says.

Many people are also thinking that in an age of Me-Too-ism, it would be nice to see a female attorney general. New York voters have never elected a woman to any of the top three statewide positions.


Dan Levy

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