Andrew Cuomo has to give up his attorney general job no matter what happens next week, and Democrat Eric Schneiderman, a state senator from Manhattan for 12 years, and Republican Dan Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney for seven years, want to replace him. A Sienna College poll had Schneiderman ahead of Donovan by about seven points. But that was about two weeks ago. As Long Islanders might remember well, Schneiderman bested Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice in a contentious primary. Donovan ran unopposed. (He has not endorsed Carl Paladino, whereas Schneiderman is definitely counting on Cuomo’s coattails.)
This AG race has to be really tight because it’s turned so nasty. Schneiderman had blasted Donovan as being too cozy with Wall Street, and it’s worth noting that former New York Stock Exchange Chairman Richard Grasso, who was hounded by Cuomo’s predecessor Eliot Spitzer, gave Donovan’s campaign $5,000. Schneiderman says he’ll go after white collar crime with a vengeance. Donovan has attempted to link Schneiderman to the leading state Senate Democrats stuck in the muck of the Aqueduct casino contract mess as detailed in a scathing report just released by Inspector General Joseph Fisch. The IG report did not implicate Schneiderman, but that hasn’t made the issue go away.
Now Schneiderman’s campaign is trying to dredge up phone logs and correspondence from when Donovan was an aide in the Staten Island borough president’s office, and his name was reportedly mentioned by now-imprisoned former New York City police commissioner Bernie Kerik as somebody who could guarantee a deal with a mob-controlled trash hauling company. Donovan has said he doesn’t know why his name came up. Anyway, both campaigns are FOIL-ing for a fight, and we haven’t heard the last of this.