Aidala forms exploratory committee, eyes Schneiderman’s Attorney General seat
Arthur Aidala certainly has a flair for the dramatic.
On the morning of his 48th birthday, Aidala went on the “Bernie and Sid Show” on WABC Radio on Thursday to announce that he has formed an exploratory committee and he will soon run for public office in New York.
After Aidala filed the paperwork for the committee, the immediate speculation was that he would run for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office. However, Aidala sees Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez as fit for the job and himself as better suited to run statewide. He certainly sounded like a man with his eyes on the New York state attorney general position.
“I have formed an exploratory committee and it is a wide-open committee,” Aidala said on WABC Radio. “It’s called Aidala for New York. It’s not Aidala for DA, or Aidala for Brooklyn, it’s Aidala for New York.”
Then he added, “One of the offices I’d love to achieve would be New York state attorney general.”
After the death of DA Ken Thompson, Aidala publicly urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stick with Gonzalez as acting DA rather than appoint a new one. Likewise, he had nothing but positive things to say about Gonzalez during his radio appearance and speculated about the attorney general’s position potentially being vacant in two years.
“Everyone thinks that Gov. Cuomo is going to announce his presidential campaign,” Aidala said. “He is going to run against Trump in four years. This is his time and this is his moment.
So, in two years he’s going to give up governorship and everyone knows that Eric Schneiderman, the current attorney general, is going to run for his spot.”
Aidala also speculated that as a, “white, heterosexual, Italian-American male who works on Fox News, and who considered Justice Scalia his uncle,” he would be more fit for statewide office than locally in New York City. However, he didn’t completely rule out a potential run for Brooklyn DA, and he tried to build up his city credentials by talking about some of his more famous cases.
“I have an office in Manhattan, I live in Manhattan, my dad is from the Bronx, I went to law school in Queens, my in-laws live in Staten Island,” said Aidala, who is from Bay Ridge. “I’m a total five-borough guy.”
Aidala is painting himself as a political outsider. His political experience is mostly limited to working as an intern in high school for then-City Councilmember Sal Albanese. He also ran for a City Council seat in 1997, but he lost in the primaries by just 108 votes. During his radio interview, he credited Donald Trump’s election as motivation for him getting involved politically because it showed that outsiders can be successful in politics.
“I can’t lie, President Trump had something to do with it,” Aidala said. “Before him, you really couldn’t, or at least you felt like you had to be a lifelong politician. Look at Mayor [Bill] de Blasio. He’s been in politics for 40 years … Hillary Clinton has been in politics for 50 years. I haven’t been in politics; I’ve been around it, but I haven’t been in it. I’m not a community organizer, I’m just a guy from Brooklyn who loves his community.”
Despite his lack of political experience, Michael Farkas, president of the Kings County Criminal Bar Association, thinks that Aidala would make a great attorney general.
“Arthur Aidala would be a top choice for attorney general,” Farkas said. “As a former prosecutor and longtime private attorney with a deep understanding of New York state government, Arthur has personally handled all manner of cases, including the types of complex financial and other frauds that are key to the attorney general’s mission. He would bring a trial lawyer’s energy and perspective that would serve him well in that statewide capacity.”
In addition to being the immediate past president of the Brooklyn Bar Association, Aidala is known for his work as an assistant district attorney in the Brooklyn DA’s Office. He has runs a successful private practice that has handled notable cases involving former New York Giants Lawrence Taylor and Tiki Barber. He also famously defended William Rapetti after the 2010 collapse of a crane.
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