NY: Seven Candidates for Governor to Debate on Monday Night

This Monday, Hofstra University on Long Island will be hosting a debate for the seven ballot-qualified candidates in New York's gubernatorial election.  In addition to the candidates of the Democratic and Republican parties, the forum will include Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, Libertarian Warren Redlich, Kristin Davis of the Anti-Prohibition Party, Charles Barron of the Freedom Party, and Jimmy McMillan, whose ballot line is entitled Rent is Too Damn High, a popular sentiment in New York City.  Celeste Katz writes the Daily News:
The 90-minute debate starts at 7 p.m. and will be telecast live and commercial-free on News 12 Long Island, News 12 Westchester, News 12 Hudson Valley, News 12 The Bronx, News 12 Brooklyn, Time Warner Cable’s NY1, NY1 Noticias (with Spanish interpretation) and YNN. The debate is also being made available to National Public Radio stations throughout New York State.
New York's establishment press can barely contain its contempt for the fact that the event will include candidates other than those from the corporatist, establishmentarian parties.  From an editorial at the New York Times:
As things now stand, Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic nominee for governor of New York, and Carl Paladino, his Republican opponent, will participate in just a single debate before next month’s election. Well not exactly a debate. More like a group news conference. The event will also feature five fringe candidates . . . With Election Day less than three weeks away, the Cuomo and Paladino camps owe it to New Yorkers to agree to one face-off — even better, more — limited to the only candidates with a chance of winning.
The Wall Street Jounal is equally dismissive of the contest's third party and independent candidates, but at least allows for the possibility that the future is not decided in advance.  From the WSJ:
Messrs. Cuomo and Paladino might be mistaken should they dismiss their opponents' capacity to shape Monday's event. For one thing, several have significantly more campaign and debate experience than Mr. Paladino, a first-time candidate for public office. Mr. Hawkins, the 18-time candidate, previously sparred in a Syracuse mayoral debate, and Mr. Barron is a nine-year councilman.
It is worth noting that the upstate New York press appears to be taking the job of reporting on the debate and the seven candidates for the office much more seriously than their downstate counterparts, considering shades of difference and stark contrasts between the positions of the various candidates, rather than focusing on superficial externalities.  The Ithica Journal writes that the "third party candidates for New York governor add an interesting element to the election."  Buffalo's WGRZ reports:
The seven gubernatorial candidates appearing on the Nov. 2 ballot will have a chance to make their case to voters Monday in a televised debate at Hofstra University on Long Island. But with the crowded stage, the debate has the potential to be jam-packed with platforms, policy positions and stunts.
It should make for an interesting debate.  


pete healey said...

"It should make for an interesting debate", you say. I say, well maybe. The main reason why this debate is set up this way is that Andrew Cuomo is 15-20% ahead of Paladino and doesn't have to debate him directly at all. So, of course adding five distractions is good for him. And the third party candidates have a very small opportunity to distinguish themselves, very small. They'll each get about ten minutes of their own and I'm guessing most of them won't put their best foot forward.

libhom said...

Having third parties speaking will be good for NY in the long term, since the Democrats and Republicans have failed us.

One thing I've wonder is what the teabaggers would do if they knew their hero accepted a huge government bailout for his real estate business. Cuomo would be wise to bring it up.