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New York Times Picks Tim Wu For Lieutenant Governor Over Cuomo's Running Mate

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- While declining to make an endorsement for New York state governor in the Democratic primary in The New York Times has endorsed Tim Wu for lieutenant governor over Gov. Andrew Cuomo's running mate Kathy Hochul.

In so doing, the newspaper delivered another snub to Cuomo's re-election campaign.

In an endorsement published online Wednesday night, the newspaper called the office of lieutenant governor "feeble," and said the current officeholder, former Rochester mayor Robert Duffy, has "spent the last four years promoting the governor's agenda around the state."

But the Times chose Wu over Hochul on the grounds that he has "a fresh perspective and a new voice to counter Albany's entrenched players. Ms. Hochul does not, and she has a deeply troubling record on health reform, gun control and environmental deregulation."

Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School, is well-known for inventing and spreading the concept of network neutrality, or net neutrality – the principle that all Internet service providers should treat Internet data equally rather than placing restrictions on its use.

He has written numerous articles on the subject for the New Yorker, and has also written for Slate and the New Republic.

The Times noted that Wu lacks political experience, but has a plan if he is elected lieutenant governor.

"(H)e wants to use the lieutenant governor's job as a pulpit, to become the state's de facto public advocate, particularly in support of consumer issues, Internet access and economic development zones," the Times said.

By contrast, The Times described Hochul – a former Buffalo area congresswoman – as a conservative who was endorsed by the National Rifle Association when she was reelected to Congress in 2012, has opposed driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants, and has "boasted repeatedly that she had voted many times against 'Obamacare.'"

"(H)er willingness to shift politically does not suggest she would offer any kind of independent judgment. Nor does her record give any real clue about what would happen if she took over as governor," the Times editorial board wrote. "In the meantime, she has promised to 'support the administration.'"

Hochul released a video Thursday defending her support for ``core Democratic values.''

Earlier this week, the newspaper declined to make an endorsement for Cuomo or his primary opponent, Zephyr Teachout, for governor. Wu is serving as Teachout's running mate.

The Times declined to endorse Teachout on the grounds that "she has not shown the breadth of interests and experience needed to govern a big and diverse state."

But the paper also slammed Cuomo, criticizing him in particular on the issue of ethics reform. The paper accused him of failing to push for campaign finance reform and mishandling the Moreland Commission that was set up to investigate corruption.

Cuomo has been dogged by questions about his handling of the anti-corruption panel he created last year, and dismantled this spring, after the Times reported that a top aide pressured the commission not to investigate groups with ties to the governor.

Teachout on Wednesday called the gubernatorial editorial "a really powerful rebuke to (Gov.) Andrew Cuomo's four years in office."

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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