By Howard Koplowitz
State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a native son of Queens, officially announced Saturday he is running for governor and took aim at a dysfunctional state Legislature in a video posted on his Web site.
“Our state government in Albany is disreputable and discredited,” Cuomo said in the 21-minute-long video. “New York state is upside down and backwards.”
The video was released the same day Cuomo announced his campaign Saturday in City Hall Park.
Cuomo, the son of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, grew up in Hollis, attended Archbishop Molloy High School in Briarwood and was a onetime resident of Douglaston in his adult years. He ran a failed campaign for governor in 2002, withdrawing from the race the day before the state Democratic convention began.
Cuomo placed blame on both parties for the culture in Albany, which Queens is well aware of following the resignations of former state Assemblymen Anthony Seminerio and Brian McLaughlin after admitting to corruption charges, the misdemeanor assault conviction of former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate and former state Comptroller Alan Hevesi’s alleged corruption involving the state pension fund.
“Sometimes the corruption in Albany can even make Boss Tweed blush,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo used the video to outline his personal views and called himself “fiscally prudent and socially progressive.”
“I want to be the candidate of the people,” he said. “Let my opponents play their old-style politics with party bosses and endorsement deals. I want to run my campaign the way I ran my office for the past three years — I work for you, directly.”
Referring to the state’s economic turmoil, Cuomo said he could make New York “a great comeback story” and alluded to his failed candidacy in 2002 and his public divorce with Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Robert Kennedy.
“And sure it’s hard to come back,” he said. “I saw it in my own life. A few years ago I ran for governor and lost, and I then went through a very difficult time in my personal life. It was a public humiliation,” he said. “People said it was over for me, they said my public service career was finished, there was no way I could come back.”
“So, yes, I know it will be hard, but I also know we could do it,” Cuomo said.
He jumped in the race with no Democratic opposition after Gov. David Paterson announced in February he was abandoning his campaign.
Vying for the Republican nomination are former U.S. Rep. Rick Lazio; Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, a former Democrat; and Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino.
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.