By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Zephyr Teachout, battling Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a spot on the ballot in the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, spoke to reporters in Brooklyn Heights Tuesday morning on the steps of the state appeals court.
She was there to fend off Cuomo’s appeal of last week’s state Supreme Court ruling that Teachout does indeed meet the residency requirement to run for governor.
Two Cuomo campaign interns filed the appeal, accusing Teachout of "retroactively" changing her residency to New York state when she decided to run for governor, according to AP.
“He has neither the facts not the law on his side,” she told reporters on Tuesday. A decision on the appeal is expected within two or three days.
Teachout, along with her running mate Tim Wu and other supporters, said that Cuomo should come out from behind his “pile of $35 million,” and called for a debate.
“Andrew Cuomo has done everything he can to get rid of a real debate and a real Democratic primary,” Teachout said. “First, he challenged my 45,000 petitions. But my petitions were valid.
“Then he brought me to trial to try to kick me off the ballot. I sat in court for two day, while he scrutinized through his lawyers every place I lived, whether or not I shopped at the local grocery store – which I did.
“Andrew Cuomo put me on trial for not being a New Yorker, and he proved I am a New Yorker . . . It’s time to take it out of the courtroom and into a debate.”
Teachout said she wanted to challenge Cuomo on his record on education, fracking, "failure to take care of public infrastructure" and corruption.
“Andrew Cuomo said he would fight against corruption, but he’s become part of the old boys club,” she said, noting that in the 27 days since the Moreland Commission scandal broke, he “has refused to answer basic questions about the Moreland Commission and basic questions about his last four years.”
Wu criticized Gov. Cuomo’s running mate, Kathy Hochul. “She should be running in the Republican party,” he said. He also had harsh words for the governor’s closure of hospitals, including Long Island College Hospital (LICH) in Brooklyn.
“These are public facilities, not shoe stores.”
It is possible for Wu to win the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor even if Teachout does not appear on the ballot.
Bertha Lewis, head of the Black Leadership Action Coalition and former head of ACORN, said she was disappointed that Mayor Bill de Blasio chose to back Cuomo rather than support a fellow progressive.
“There are such a thing as black progressives and the reason that I’m standing here with Mr. Wu and Ms. Teachout is because the black progressives that I represent are all in for this team,” Lewis said.
Lewis said the Cuomo administration has “ignored black and brown elected officials, folks who reside in this city and this state. It’s as if we’re invisible and we don’t matter. You know what? We do matter. You have to fight for our vote. You have to make your case for our vote, and you gotta do it now.”
Rev. John Williams of New Creation Ministries in Flatbush, said that Gov. Cuomo “betrayed” the faith-based community when he failed to clean up Albany as promised.
The Brooklyn Eagle reached out to Martin E. Connor, former state Senator and current attorney to Gov. Cuomo, but did not receive a response by press time.