With state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins now calling for his resignation, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s position just got even more untenable. He can claim it’s “all politics” and vow to keep governing, but he may well be unable to do his job without selling out the people who elected him.
Over the weekend, fourth and fifth accusers came forward to finger him for off-color behavior in the workplace. New questions also arose about why his staff ignored the procedures for investigating such charges, as did claims that he sent a ringer to his mandatory training on harassment.
And the bleeding will continue. More women may speak out, or more shoes may drop on his coverup of nursing-home fatalities in the wake of his March 25 order that sent COVID-contagious patients into care homes, leading to hundreds of needless deaths.
The woman in charge of the harassment probe, state Attorney General Tish James, surely has ambitions for his job. And the Legislature may feel compelled to finally open a true independent probe of the care-home horrors.
Meanwhile, Cuomo is now negotiating a new budget with a state Senate and Assembly that have shifted far to the left in recent years. Even though a generous federal bailout will solve New York’s immediate budget problems, they still want higher taxes and other burdens on business — likely triggering a rush to the Empire State’s exits now that the lockdowns have proved that it’s easy to work thousands of miles from Wall Street.
Ominously, the governor’s pretending the cash bath from Washington isn’t enough, and already saying tax hikes are on the table.
It’s no coincidence that the loudest voices in his own party condemning the governor have been the lefties: Because he’s resisted their pernicious policies in the past, they want him sidelined.
Cuomo may well make catastrophic concessions to buy them off.
As Stewart-Cousins herself said: “New York is still in the midst of this pandemic and is still facing the societal, health and economic impacts of it. We need to govern without daily distraction.”
Ominously, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a longtime Cuomo ally, echoed her concern, albeit without flat-out calling on Cuomo to quit. The “deeply disturbing” allegations “have no place whatsoever in government, the workplace or anywhere else,” said Heastie, adding he shares the Senate leader’s “sentiment” about the gov’s “ability to continue to lead this state.”
Moderate New Yorkers who once bought Cuomo’s argument that he’s their best hope for staving off left-wing lunacy must now consider whether a new governor, unhindered by scandal and with a fresh reservoir of public support, can do better.