Andrew Cuomo’s Political Future – The New York Times
Pressure on Governor Andrew Cuomo to step down is mounting.
President Biden, President Nancy Pelosi and all members of the New York Congressional Democratic delegation said the governor should step down, after a state attorney general investigation found Cuomo sexually harassed nearly a dozen women.
Three prosecutors, in Manhattan, Nassau and Westchester counties, also announced that they had opened separate criminal investigations into his conduct.
Jay Jacobs, the state’s Democratic Party leader – and once one of Cuomo’s closest allies – yesterday said Cuomo’s impeachment was “inevitable.” And a Marist College poll found 59% of New Yorkers believe Cuomo should resign or be impeached.
But Cuomo, who denies his conduct was inappropriate, has resisted calls to step down.
The power of partisanship
At the start of the pandemic, Cuomo’s public appearances turned him into one of the Democratic Party’s most famous national figures. His approval scores fell this year after the revelation that his administration had underestimated Covid deaths in nursing homes and after the harassment allegations that led to the attorney general’s investigation. But more New Yorkers still believed Cuomo should keep his job rather than quit, polls show.
Yesterday’s Marist poll suggests that this may change. Cuomo has never been more vulnerable in his decades in public service, said colleague Katie Glueck, who covers New York politics. But he may also have reason to believe he can hold out, given the unpredictable nature of the moment.
“It’s too early to assess how the report resonates with the public, and Cuomo is clearly betting that the goodwill he generated during the early days of the pandemic will help him survive now,” Katie said.
Some Democrats accused of misconduct in the #MeToo era have resigned under pressure from other members of their party. They include Al Franken, the former senator from Minnesota, and Eric Schneiderman, the former attorney general of New York.
In Cuomo’s case, sustained opposition from the Main Democrats could further erode his support. “President Biden’s partisan clues are that Cuomo should step down,” Katie said.
But partisanship also colors the way voters view scandals, sometimes helping politicians keep their supporters in their corner. Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia in 2019 resisted calls from fellow elected Democrats to step down after a blackface scandal, and his approval ratings in the state have since rebounded.
And if Cuomo chooses to stay in office and get re-elected for a fourth term next year, it could be up to voters – and all potential major Democratic challengers – to decide whether his term as governor should end.
The impeachment investigation
The decision to serve the remainder of his term may not rest with Cuomo. The state assembly, which Democrats control, said this week it would speed up a broad impeachment inquiry into the harassment allegations and nursing home deaths.
The investigation began in March, after several women publicly accused Cuomo. Some elected Democrats said they could no longer support him, but he retained enough support that the Assembly would not vote on impeachment anytime soon.
“The Assembly’s decision to open a broad inquiry, instead of immediately removing him from office, essentially gave Cuomo time to hold on to power,” Luis Ferré-Sadurní, who covers Albany for The Times, told us.
After the attorney general’s findings were released this week, however, many lawmakers and others who backed Cuomo in March withdrew their support. The Assembly’s decision to speed up its investigation could lead to articles of impeachment as early as September.
“Cuomo has virtually no vocal allies these days. His inner circle has shrunk considerably. The main union leaders have abandoned him,” Katie told us. “After years of dominating New- politics Yorker, he finds himself almost totally alone. “
Impeachment in New York is similar to the impeachment process for US presidents. The Assembly votes on impeachment by simple majority, and the Senate holds a trial and votes for impeachment, with a two-thirds majority threshold.
There are a few differences, however: If Cuomo was impeached, he would have to relinquish the powers of his office during the trial. The Senate vote would also include the seven judges of the state’s highest jurisdiction.
If Cuomo steps down, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, will replace him, becoming New York’s first female governor. “The attorney general’s investigation documented disgusting and illegal behavior,” Hochul said Tuesday. “No one is above the law.”
For more on Cuomo’s future, listen to today’s episode of “The Daily.”
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One of the first things you’ll notice at the Tokyo Games: empty stadiums.
Organizers have banned spectators from all Tokyo venues to prevent Covid outbreaks. “For athletes who once imagined themselves playing for hordes of spirited fans, the hushed vibe was a disappointment,” Andrew Keh wrote in The Times.
Grunts echo in the empty arenas; the hum of the cicadas serves as a soundtrack for the outdoor competitions. During a boxing match, Keh notes, the sounds of punches were accompanied by a noisy hallway door. “The atmosphere is not really there,” Briton Caroline Dubois, one of the boxers, later said.
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