NEW YORK — New York Republicans picked former US Representative Rick Lazio yesterday as their candidate for governor and rejected a challenge from Democrat-turned-Republican Steve Levy.
“It is time we are unified,’’ Lazio said as he accepted the party’s nomination during the GOP’s fractious convention in Manhattan. “We are going to Albany and when we get there, we are going to tear down the wall of incompetence and corruption. . . . They have had their chance, and they have failed.’’
Then he took aim at Democratic nominee Andrew Cuomo, the popular and well-financed attorney general and son of former governor Mario Cuomo.
“Andrew Cuomo has been too political for too long,’’ Lazio said. “Isn’t it time we reject the status Cuomo?’’
Lazio represented his Long Island district in Congress from 1993 to 2001 and lost to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the US Senate election in 2000.
Levy is the Suffolk County executive and is still enrolled as a Democrat. He needed more than 50 percent of the votes in a second ballot to win a spot in a Sept. 14 primary but mustered just less than 43 percent.
Levy didn’t immediately endorse Lazio after their bruising fight and said he was considering a run on a minor party line.
Levy was backed by state GOP chairman Ed Cox, who said Levy offered the party’s best chance for winning in heavily Democratic New York.
Many who opposed letting Levy on the ballot screamed that it was time to support “a real Republican,’’ not someone who has supported Democrats such as President Obama.
Palin issued her support yesterday for Fairbanks lawyer Joe Miller on her Facebook page.
Palin writes, “Joe is a true Commonsense Constitutional Conservative, and we’re thankful he and his family are willing to offer us a choice in Alaskan leadership.’’
Palin trounced Murkowski’s father, incumbent governor Frank Murkowski, in the 2006 GOP primary race, which launched Palin’s national political career.
When Palin abruptly resigned her governor’s post last summer, Lisa Murkowski said she was “deeply disappointed that the governor has decided to abandon the state and her constituents before her term has concluded.’’
The two also clashed over health care overhaul and Palin’s use of the term “death panels.’’
Parts of the Democrats’ health care bills were “bad enough that we don’t need to be making things up,’’ Murkowski said. “Quite honestly, I’m so offended at that terminology because it absolutely isn’t [in the bill]. There is no reason to gin up fear in the American public by saying things that are not included in the bill.’’
Responding to the endorsement, Murkowski campaign spokesman Steve Wackowski said in an e-mail statement that she is the “best candidate to stay on the job and get things done.’’
Miller, who has served as an acting state District Court judge and a US magistrate judge, unsuccessfully ran for a state House seat in 2004. His campaign did not have immediate comment on the endorsement.
Representative Marcia Fudge, a Democrat of Ohio, and 19 fellow black lawmakers in the all-Democratic caucus quietly introduced a resolution last week that would restrict the powers of the independent Office of Congressional Ethics. The office, formed by Congress in 2008, is run by a panel of private citizens.
Black caucus chairwoman Barbara Lee of California is among the sponsors, but the full 42-member caucus did not endorse the measure. Lee declined comment through a spokesman.
The absence of support from top Democratic leaders for Fudge’s proposal — including from House Whip James Clyburn, a black caucus member from South Carolina — suggests that it will not have broad support. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered no immediate comment.
The ethics office has investigated at least eight black caucus members, including veteran Representative Charlie Rangel, Democrat of New York, and five others in that group over privately funded trips to the Caribbean.
Some lawmakers have complained that the increased transparency of the office is unfair to lawmakers who are ultimately cleared of wrongdoing.
The office, which doesn’t have the power to sanction lawmakers, essentially serves as an advisory board to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, a congressional committee run by lawmakers who are charged with policing their colleagues.