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Governor Cuomo Should Debate Primary Challenger Zephyr Teachout

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Cross-posted from The Nation

From youtube.com/watch?v=gOgp6lHBhWo: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo
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Election seasons are supposed to provide an opportunity for sitting officials to explain their records, and for challengers to question them. And when a top official is facing intense scrutiny based on recent revelations -- as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is in the aftermath of reports regarding his administration's handling of a corruption inquiry -- the need for election season accountability is that much greater.

So it only makes sense that Cuomo should debate his Democratic primary challenger, Fordham University Law School professor Zephyr Teachout.

Cuomo took a hard hit when The New York Times reported on July 23 that a high-powered commission he established to root out corruption "was hobbled almost from the outset by demands from the governor's office." That followed an earlier report in the New York Daily News that "New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's anti-corruption commission killed a subpoena to the state Democratic Party that he controls."

Cuomo says it is "false" to suggest that the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption had its independence "trumped" by his aides. But the Daily News says, "Cuomo insisted Monday that the commission operated independently -- a rather stunning statement, given his past gyrations." And the Times says, "Gov. Andrew Cuomo ran for office four years ago promising first and foremost to clean up Albany. Not only has he not done that, but now he is looking as bad as the forces he likes to attack."

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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