To The Editor:
Andrew Cuomo is following the infamous Rose Garden Strategy of ignoring underdog Democratic Party challenger Cynthia Nixon by refusing to participate in a series of public debates between now and September 13 Primary Day.
He prefers to hide behind his multimillion dollar weekly series of television ads. They are paid for out of his ample $32 million campaign reelection war chest raised primarily from special interest “Pay for Play” donors. This is supplemented by “public service announcements” run daily in heavy rotation by state agencies and independent authorities such as the Empire State Development Corporation at the taxpayers expense. He will do the same prior to the November 6 General Election against underdog Republican challenger Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro.
Cuomo will stall until late October with the goal of agreeing to one or two last minute debates, knowing full well that his election is already preordained. He did the same in 2014 to Republican challenger Westchester County Executive Rob Asterino. His father Mario Cuomo did the same to the late GOP Westchester County Executive Andrew O’Rourke when he ran against him in 1986. Like father, like son.
Cuomo has no interest in providing a free forum for either Nixon or Molinaro to get their respective messages directly out to voters. All newspapers and good government groups should shame Cuomo into participating in open forums and debates.
Cuomo should participate in a series of debates sponsored daily newspapers and television stations. If he doesn’t show, leave an empty chair in the room with his name on it.
Let us hope that enlightened publications such as the Five Towns Jewish Times call for an end all incumbents use of the infamous Rose Garden Strategy. Intelligent voters deserve frequent debates prior to the primary and general elections as opposed to canned TV commercials.
If Cuomo refuses to participate in series of debates with either Nixon or Molinaro, he should the subject of critical newspaper editorials. He should forfeit any chance of endorsements by media outlets.