A gun control coalition, 1199’s endorsement and still more Percoco

Andrew Cuomo 022218
Andrew Cuomo 022218
Mike Groll/Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo presenting his budget proposal in Poughkeepsie.

A gun control coalition, 1199’s endorsement and still more Percoco

Recapping the top political news of the week in New York.
February 23, 2018

There were interesting developments this week in a few upcoming elections. Former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan entered the field as a Democratic contender against Rep. Elise Stefanik, which prompted a couple other Democrats to step aside. GOP officials are still looking at Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro as a potential gubernatorial candidate, and Molinaro isn’t entirely dismissing the idea. And Democrats are dropping out of the race against Rep. Chris Collins, narrowing down the field taking on the Republican. Plus, New York City Councilman Jumaane Williams got the backing of a group of Bernie Sanders supporters for his lieutenant governor bid. That and more in this week’s headlines.

Stronger together

Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined the governors of New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island to create a multistate coalition to share information about firearms in an effort to curb gun violence. The “States for Gun Safety” coalition aims to stop the influx of out-of-state guns as well as address the so-called “gun show loophole.” During a Thursday conference call, Cuomo said the coalition is meant to fill “a void in leadership from the federal government,” adding that he hoped the federal government would take action in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Florida, but that he and the other governors were “not going to hold our breath.

A key endorsement

Cuomo doesn’t necessarily need redemption but an endorsement from 1199SEIU, the state’s largest union, was still welcome news, if expected. The governor has had some bad press recently thanks to the corruption trial of his former aide Joe Percoco. Cuomo isn’t charged in the case or accused of wrongdoing, but that hasn’t stopped Republicans from questioning Cuomo’s ethics.

Percoco trial extended

Todd Howe, the prosecution’s key witness in the Percoco corruption trial, may be done testifying, but the trial is far from over. In fact, the judge told jurors that it will likely extend into the week of March 5. The trial began on Jan. 23 and the defense has bemoaned slow proceedings from the get-go. The prosecution rested its case on Thursday, which may also end the many references to “The Sopranos” that Percoco’s lawyers want to stop.

Rebecca C. Lewis
is a staff reporter at City & State.
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