WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The New York State Democratic Committee launched two advertisements Monday attacking Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino for his stance on the 2009 fair and affordable housing settlement.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development set a May 7 deadline for the county to comply with the settlement. Astorino said April 23 that he would rather forfeit the $5.2 million in 2012 community development block grants (CDBG) than comply, which would mean adopting an analysis of impediments (AI) that acknowledges zoning in some Westchester communities is exclusionary.
The county has already lost the $7.4 million in 2011 CDBG grants.
One ad says, “New York has a proud history of fighting discrimination. That’s why it’s shocking Rob Astorino has repeatedly violated anti-discrimination laws for years. He’s the only County Executive in the nation who refuses to comply.”
Both ads end with the line, “Rob Astorino, he’s so far right he’s wrong for New York.”
Astorino campaign spokeswoman Jessica Proud responded to the ads and referenced Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s time as HUD secretary.
"We are so glad that Gov. Cuomo is bringing this up. It begs the question: Where has he been for the past four years while HUD has been wrongly attacking Westchester communities, including Mr. Cuomo's? Does former HUD Secretary Cuomo think New Castle violates civil rights?"
Cuomo lives in New Castle.
Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz has said the county isn't giving up the $5.2 million dollars in federal grants without a fight.
In this recent poll, released April 21, Cuomo's lead over Astorino drops to 15 points when respondents were given the option of a Working Families Party candidate.
In response to a potential three-way race in November, 39 percent of respondents said they would vote for Cuomo on the Democratic line, 24 percent said they would vote for Astorino on the Republican line, and another 24 percent said they would vote for whoever would appear on the WFP line. Another 13 percent said they did not know.