EDITORIAL: Cuomo’s island is shrinking quickly

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a vaccination site on Monday, March 8
PHOTOGRAPHER:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a vaccination site on Monday, March 8

The debate, in our minds, over whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo should remain as governor doesn’t have anything to do with whether he’s been a good or bad governor or whether the majority of residents support or oppose his policies.

It’s about whether he has the ability to continue to govern in the wake of an ever-growing list of scandals and revelations about his conduct.

The weekends haven’t been the governor’s friend when it comes to building a case for him to resign or be impeached.

Three weekends ago, Attorney General Letitia James announced her office would investigate sexual harassment allegations against the governor.

Two weekends ago, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called for the governor’s resignation and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie stopped just short of that, but noted Cuomo’s political isolation.

Just this month, the number of women accusing Cuomo of harassment went from two to six.

The New York Times and Washington Post reported that top aides to the governor manipulated nursing home statistics to downplay the impact of the governor’s policies and perhaps to help the governor sell books touting his handling of the covid crisis. And a woman accused Cuomo of groping her against her will after summoning her to the Executive Mansion.

This past weekend, the case against the governor’s ability to serve got even stronger.

First, the state’s two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, announced late Friday afternoon that they were calling for Cuomo’s resignation.

The impact of these two influential Democrats can’t be understated, particularly from Schumer, the majority leader of the U.S. Senate and one of the most powerful elected officials in the country.

Also this past weekend, we learned that longtime Cuomo adviser Larry Schwartz, the governor’s hand-picked vaccine czar, phoned county officials in the state over the past two weeks to assess their loyalty to the governor in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal. Not lost on those county officials was the possibility that their counties’ vaccine supply could be threatened if they didn’t support the governor.

Anyone who thinks this wasn’t intended to send a message doesn’t understand politics or the way Cuomo wields power.

So far, more than half the state Legislature, top Democratic leaders, New York’s two senators and most of the state’s congressional delegation, the state comptroller and New York City’s mayor have called for Cuomo’s resignation.

All the news of the last month has placed Cuomo on an ever-shrinking island, with the waves pounding the beach , the sharks closing in and no lifeboat in sight.

Regardless of the outcome of the various investigations into his conduct, it’s becoming more clear with each passing day that the governor needs to do the right thing for his political party, his office and the people of New York.

We call on him once again to resign.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

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