ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his Republican opponent, Rob Astorino, traded barbs Monday over tax returns, tax assessments and family photos.
Cuomo’s campaign began the back-and-forth with a demand that Astorino release his last five tax returns, saying the financial disclosures Astorino files as the Westchester County executive don’t give enough detail about his outside employment with a national radio company.
Astorino’s campaign agreed to release his latest return, though not the four previous returns as requested by Cuomo’s campaign. Astorino has previously reported making about $30,000 a year advising Townsquare Media on radio programming. Astorino is a former radio producer and has said that he does the consulting work in his spare time and always reported it on his disclosures.
The Republican’s campaign also went after Cuomo, demanding that he allow a tax assessor to see recent interior renovations to the New Castle home he shares with his girlfriend, TV chef Sandra Lee. A town official has said Lee was late in getting building permits for outdoor improvements and that any interior structural work would also require permits.
Astorino then criticized a Democratic television ad that aired in western New York on Sunday, when the Buffalo Bills played the Miami Dolphins. The ad, paid for by the Erie County Democratic Party, included a photo of Astorino dressed in Dolphins attire.
“Astorino is a Miami Dolphins fan,” the ad’s narrator says. “Gov. Cuomo stood with us. He’s delivered for Buffalo.”
Astorino, an acknowledged Dolphins fan, said it was wrong of the ad’s creators to digitally remove his son from the picture, which he said documented a “cherished” trip to the Dolphins’ stadium.
“Doctoring my family photos is beyond the pale,” Astorino said in a statement.
Monday’s exchanges come as the fall campaign season intensifies following last week’s party primaries.