Molinaro, McLaughlin raising campaign funds citing Cuomo woes
At least two local Republican politicians are raising money for their own campaigns off of the scandals surrounding Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat. Patricia Doxsey is reporting for the Daily Freeman that Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is raising money for his campaign coffers on the growing Cuomo scandals. However, the former Republican gubernatorial candidate in an interview March 8, denied he was running. "I'm not not running [for governor]," Molinaro said. However, he is considering his options for the future, Molinaro added that he is also being courted as a potential candidate for Congress. Molinaro has been outspoken in his calls for Cuomo's removal over the governor's handling of the coronavirus pandemic in nursing homes last spring and more recently, over allegations of sexual harassment. In a March 1 press release, Molinaro said he refused "to be silent" against the "injustices" by the administration and urged residents to "chip in ... today to speak out and stop Gov. Cuomo's abuse of power" by donating to Molinaro's campaign. "I’ve asked people to donate so we can continue to send a message," he said. Molinaro, who as a state Assemblymember was part of Cuomo's 2010 transition team and served as a member of Cuomo's 2011 Mandate Relief Redesign Team, said he has been warning about corruption in the Cuomo administration since 2016. He believes it appropriate to use the scandal to raise funds for his own political future whatever that may be. Meanwhile, Mike Goodwin reports in the Times Union that Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin is selling "Impeach Cuomo" mugs and window decals. McLaughlin frequently Tweets that Cuomo must be removed after five sexual harassment complaints from women. But many others have repeated a complaint against McLaughlin that he sexually harassed an Assembly staffer. In September 2017 the Times Union published audio of a female legislative aide on the phone with McLaughlin accusing him of roughing her up. McLaughlin has denied the charge. In the recording between the then-Assemblyman and the aide, McLaughlin called her "an awful f__ing human being," "still fat" and "a vicious c__" and said, "I hope this is hurting your feelings, because it's meant to." He later told the paper he regretted the remarks, which he termed "heat-of-the-moment stuff." Read more about these stories in the Daily Freeman and the Times Union.