"New" Democrats Won't Say What's Wrong With "Old" Democrats

Democrats push 'New' image

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCNewYork
    The New Democrats in Rye.

    New York Democrats control all three branches of government in Albany.  And they're facing some serious anti-incumbent sentiment.

    Perhaps that's why the slogan "New Democrat" is plastered all over the State party convention hall in Rye.

    Signs touting the "New Democratic Party" and "New Democrat" lined the walls, even though Democrats are praying voters will send many of the SAME Democrats back to Albany this November.

    The party is hoping Andrew Cuomo will reinvigorate their party with some "new" energy. And Cuomo has signaled a shift to the right, proposing wage freezes and tax caps and promising to take on the unions.  (Not to mention the fact that his newly selected runningmate Robert Duffy used to be a registered Republican.)

    But Cuomo denied his party is seeking a makeover. "I don't know that there's a rebranding," Cuomo said Wednesday.  "What the Democratic party is all about is growth and change and evolution and it is a new day and these are new problems and new approaches and that is what they mean by 'the new Democratic party."

    In fact many of Cuomo's ideas, including ethics reform, aren't "new" either. They just haven't been able to survive the political process in Albany.  

     It's a bit of a tightrope act for Democrats to claim "in with the new" as the saying goes, without the part that cries: "out with the old."

    Speaking of "new," some Democrats at  the convention in Westchester today charged the Party could use some new procedures. 

    For instance, Bill Samuels, an announced candidate for lieutenant governor, said the nominating process does not offer voters a true choice.  Samuels was annoyed that party delegates were expected to rubber stamp Andrew Cuomo's choice for LG (Robert Duffy) just three hours after Cuomo made the announcement.   Samuels yanked his name from consideration Wednesday afternoon.  

    However, Democratic party chair Jay Jacobs argues the process is also democratic (note the lowercase "d") because in the contentious five-way race for Attorney General, the party made a decision to allow all candidates access to a primary ballot instead of letting delegates narrow the field at the convention.

    Democrat Gail Goode, a Brooklyn lawyer who wants to run against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand failed to convince party leaders to make similar accommodations that would place her on the September primary ballot.

    Her spokesman Jonathan Cohen tells NBCNewYork Goode will go the petition route, in what will undoubtedly be a tough battle for an unknown newcomer to the race.