NY Post column cites sources as saying Cuomo has ordered that his running mate be kept on a short leash

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BUFFALO, NY - A New York Post columnist claims that he has it from key Democrats, that Governor Cuomohas ordered that his running matefor Lt. Gov, Kathy Hochul, be "kept under wraps,'' in part to divert attention from her prior stances on issues, which would seem to fly in the face of his own.

Fred Dicker identifies those issues as including Hochul's past support of gun ownership rights (in seeming contrast to Cuomo's SAFE Act) and her strong opposition to giving state privileges to illegal aliens, in conflict with the Governor's push for the Dream Act which would provide college grants for illegals.

As Erie County Clerk, Hochul once suggested they should be arrested if they sought driver's licenses, when Governor Eliot Spitzer proposed granting them.

However, Erie County Democratic Chair Jeremy Zellner hardly thinks Hochul's being cloistered.

"I can't speak for the campaign," Zellner told WGRZ-TV, "But I've seen her [Hochul] multiple times ever since the convention. I know she's traveled throughout the state, I mean just follow her Twitter and Facebook and you'll see she's been out at events, so I don't really think she is under wraps."

But while she may be around, it doesn't necessarily mean Hochul is readily accessible to the press, which might ask her about her prior positions which might run contrary to the Governor's.

And since the Governor announced his choice of Hochul, via a pre-produced video with Hochul delivering a scripted message, the article notes that outside of "usually brief and superficial campaign stops", she's held virtually no press conferences, nor granted any in-depth interviews.

"It makes sense as to why," said Erie County Republican party Chairman Nick Langworthy. "Kathy Hochul has contorted herself politically in many different directions over the years to fit whatever race she was running in."

At the same time though, both agree that in races involving a running mate, such as for president or governor, the oft held strategy is to keep the focus, and media attention, squarely on the lead candidate,

Moreover, they note that in the minds of voters, this race will present a choice between Cuomo and republican Rob Astorino, and not their respective running mates.

They also agree that when it comes to Cuomo in particular, holding a tight rein on aspects of his administration and campaign is not unusual.

"It would actually be the norm," Langworthy said.

When former Rochester mayor Bob Duffy was tapped by Cuomo as his running mate in the last gubernatorial election, Rochester media groused that Duffy was suddenly off limits to his home town press corps, with access to him restricted and available only at the discretion of handlers from the Cuomo campaign.

"In state wide elections, the campaign takes over and it is very tightly run," Zellner said." I'm sure that things are not just wide open for anyone to go out and do what they want to do."

"Governor Cuomo is going to have tight control over his ticket, his campaign, and his message," Langworthy said. "There is nothing you're going to hear from Kathy Hochul, if you ever do hear from her again, that is going to not be vetted by Cuomo and his team."

Two on Your Side was unable to reach Kathy Hochul directly for comment on this story, and a spokesperson for Governor Cuomo had not yet returned our phone call as of Monday evening.

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