Astorino: I’m showing Christie today’s New York Times

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Rob Astorino. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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ALBANY—Andrew Cuomo's G.O.P. challenger Rob Astorino is meeting with Republican Governors Association bigwigs in Aspen this evening, and he brought this morning's New York Times with him.

Astorino held a conference call with reporters from Colorado to say an article on the Cuomo administration's dealings with the anti-corruption Moreland Commission shows a “strong likelihood” of “indictments and criminal charges” for obstruction of justice.

“How many of the governor's allies were spared subpoenas?” Astorino said, repeating a line of attack that he has been making for weeks, including at a joint press conference in Manhattan on Tuesday.

The news was swallowed yesterday by Astorino's suggestion that Chris Christie, the New Jersey executive and current R.G.A. chairman, relinquish its reins after he indicated an unwillingness to support Astorino's challenge against Cuomo.

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“Much has been made of the governor's lead in the polls,” Astorino said on the conference call. “But it's dirty and it's corrupt and it's based on a big lie.”

The challenger said he had planned to attend the Aspen confab before Christie pooh-poohed him in Connecticut on Monday night, saying he would not spend time in support of “lost causes.” Astorino said other governors have committed to come to support him, but he declined to name names. He said he is looking forward to meeting Christie this evening.

“It's the same thing I said to him yesterday, but now I brought a copy of the New York Times with me,” Astorino said. “As I said yesterday, Governor Christie and I are friends, I admire what he's done in New Jersey. He's obviously done a wonderful job as chairman of the R.G.A. raising a record amount of money around the country, and I reiterate what I said: His job as chairman of the R.G.A. is to help get Republican governors re-elected and help get Republican candidates for governor elected. It would obviously be very convenient for him to come across the river into New York, where he is frequently fund-raising, to do things in New York. I'm sure that's what's going to happen.”

The Cuomo administration has said it acted properly by steering and advising the anti-corruption commission when its inquiries strayed toward Cuomo allies because it was never truly independent anyway.