Astorino accuses Cuomo of playing the ‘race card’

Rob Astorino. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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ALBANY—Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino used Democratic attacks ads as an excuse to challenge Governor Andrew Cuomo to a debate over Westchester County's housing policies.

In a video statement, Astorino criticizes Cuomo for Democratic State Committee ads that suggest Astorino was racist for foregoing $5.2 million in money that the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development threatened to withhold because Westchester is not complying with anti-discrimination laws.

“Mr. Cuomo effectively calls me and hundreds of thousands of Westchester and Long Island families racist," Astorino says. "The reason? Because we don't agree that sensible zoning laws are discriminatory. Mr. Cuomo's ads viciously attack us for defending our communities against arbitrary federal interference and the insane property tax hikes that would come with it. How dare you throw out the race card when you know it doesn't apply, Mr. Cuomo. Have you no shame?”

Mike Morey, an aide with SKDKnickerbocker and spokesman for the Democratic “Astorino Truth Squad,” said in a statement that Astorino did not dispute any claims in the Democratic ads “because he can't.”

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“A federal judge, the Department of Justice, and a federal cabinet agency have all found the same thing: that Rob Astorino has repeatedly refused to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws that apply to every county in the country – for years,” Morey said. “There’s only one person responsible for Rob Astorino’s refusal to comply with federal civil rights: Rob Astorino.”

Here is Astorino's reply video: http://goo.gl/B0oYl9