My friend Catbird assumes I have a lot to say about Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and the allegations of sexual harassment, and I do. But it’s tricky to write about such a dynamic situation.
There have been legal activities at many levels for a few months. In March, the Assembly began a broad impeachment inquiry. It chugged along slowly, in part because it was examining several scandals involving Cuomo, including his handling of nursing home deaths during the pandemic.
But when the 168-page report by the office of state Attorney General Leticia James came out, indicating that he broke several state and federal laws, it acted as an accelerant.
While there was some desire for him to resign months ago, those calls have become louder and broader. The chorus includedng the entire NYS Congressional delegation, several Democratic governors of neighboring states, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and President Joe Biden.
Go away, Andy
A Marist survey last week reported that 59% of New Yorkers, including 52% of Democrats, say they want Cuomo to resign. And “about the same number say the Democratic governor should be impeached and removed if he doesn’t resign. Fewer than one-third of New Yorkers surveyed say” he should serve out his third four-year term.
Check out the Times Union podcast for August 6. Cuomo has until Friday to provide evidence defending against the sexual harassment allegations
” Violated, demeaned, humiliated, a horror movie: Those are some of the words 11 women used to describe how Gov. Andrew Cuomo made them feel when he touched, kissed, or hugged them or asked invasive questions.
“Many of these women who spoke to investigators hired by the New York attorney general’s office were state employees. Others encountered Cuomo in professional settings or at public events.”
I find the women who have spoken publicly to be quite credible. Additionally, it’s fairly clear that he lobbied for an attractive female state trooper to be assigned to his detail, though she didn’t have the requite three years of experience.
The 63-year-old governor was married to Kerry Kennedy, the seventh child of Ethel and the late Robert Kennedy, from 1990 to 2005. They had three daughters, twins Cara and Mariah, and Michaela. The marriage, according to several sources, including this Vanity Fair piece, was challenging.
The New York Post – not a newspaper of record – ran an article back in April about the split between Cuomo and his significant other from 2005 to 2019, lifestyle personality Sandra Lee. FWIW, the piece suggests that the governor was unfaithful.
It’s a crime
While the AG’s report addressed civil law, it might have empowered one of the women named to file a criminal complaint with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. An assistant to Cuomo, D-N.Y. is listed as “Executive Assistant #1” by the report.
His denial of all actions was pretty much what I expected. In my view, he won’t resign unless he’s impeached by the state Assembly, and maybe not then, despite this Seussian admonition.
Lawmakers in the Assembly could impeach Cuomo with a simple majority vote, and I expect that to happen.
I’ll admit that his COVID press conferences in 2020 were often useful, especially in contrast to the blather from other sources. But the pandemic led to other scandals, which theoretically could be folded in as charges. He “appears to have used gubernatorial staff and resources to write his 2020 bestselling book ‘American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.’ That might violate state ethics rules and possibly the Public Officers Law. “
The trial portion after impeachment is cumbersome and rarely used, so Cuomo may take his chances. Here’s what must happen. “A trial would be held in the state Senate, where Democrats are also in the majority.
“If convicted, Cuomo would be removed from office and potentially barred permanently from seeking statewide political office. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul would replace him as governor.”
Yes, I voted for him (but not lately)
As I’ve noted, I knew that he was an SOB. That’s why I voted for him in his successful run as NY Attorney General in 2006. I even picked him as governor in 2010, though not in the primaries. But not since, either in the 2014 and 2018 primaries or the general elections.
Someone had asked what did it say about New York, with three of its last governors embroiled in some sort of controversy. Are we competing with Illinois? Eliot Spitzer was also AG before he was governor, then was felled by sex crimes; he resigned.
His replacement, David Patterson’s flaws were far less severe. One of his top aides was involved in an alleged case of domestic abuse into which Patterson attempted to intervene. His chances for election to a full term disappeared.
The only NYS governor to be impeached was William Sulzer was impeached and removed from office in 1913. “The political machine took on a brand new governor, and won.” Curiously, I read a book about Sulzer’s successor Martin H. Glynn.
Yes, I do wish that Andrew Cuomo would resign. But I’m not holding my breath.