At noon today, nearly a hundred people turned out at Basilica Hudson to hear Zephyr Teachout, the woman who is challenging Andrew Cuomo to become the Democratic candidate for governor of New York.
She began, as it seems she often does, by talking about her unusual name. Her last name, Teachout, she said was probably Dutch. She explained her first name, Zephyr, as a name her parents liked. She said she had her parents' permission to say they were hippies, although they weren't.
Introducing the topic of why she was challenging Andrew Cuomo to become governor of New York, she spoke first of Mario Cuomo, saying, "The morality that he brought to public language was deeply moving." She said she had supported Andrew Cuomo is 2010 and recalled how he had announced his candidacy for governor in 2010 in front of the courthouse named for Boss Tweed and pledged to end corruption. She juxtaposed that with what has been revealed about Cuomo and the Moreland Commission.
Teachout said of Cuomo, "He has not served as someone who wants democratic values in this state." She noted that Cuomo had made the largest cuts to education funding and accused him of "not caring for our infrastructure." She linked the two issues by calling public education "the infrastructure of democracy." She criticized Cuomo for not enacting a ban on hydrofracking, for not taking the opportunity to make New York a leader in renewable energy, and, "in the state of the Statue of Liberty," for remaining silent when there is a crisis on the border.
She also spoke about Cuomo's response to her campaign: initially not taking it seriously but then trying to prove that she has not lived in New York long enough to run for governor. In the New York Times, she called the effort to get her off the ballot "a fishing expedition." To the group gathered in Hudson today, she offered this assessment: "The more he fights back, the more we rise up." Teachout indicated that the judge is expected to render a decision tomorrow on whether or not she meets the residency requirement to run for governor. The enthusiastic applause made it clear that the group gathered at the Basilica today hoped that decision would be affirmative.
COPYRIGHT 2014 CAROLE OSTERINK