Carl Heastie: The Man Who Would Oversee Cuomo’s Impeachment
Mr Heastie only took his new, more forceful stance against Mr Cuomo on Tuesday after an emergency virtual meeting of Democrats in the Assembly he leads. No one, according to lawmakers on the afternoon call, spoke in favor of Mr Cuomo after the Attorney General Letitia James’ report corroborated the allegations of several women who accused Mr. Cuomo of inappropriate behavior.
The fact that the governor’s list of accusers grew to include a state soldier – the one who said Mr. Cuomo had left her feeling “completely raped” – made it much more difficult for anyone to tell him. defend, lawmakers said.
Mr Heastie, a member of the Assembly since 2000, has witnessed the downfall of a long list of Albany politicians. A former president of the Bronx County Democratic Party, he became the first Speaker of the Black Assembly only after Sheldon Silver, his predecessor, was arrested and charged with cashing in millions of dollars.
Mr Heastie, like so many others who have traveled around the capital, has vowed to change his culture of corruption. “We don’t own this house,” Heastie said in his first Capitol Hill address as a speaker. “We’re just tenants here.”
He must now navigate the complex process of evicting the building’s most powerful occupant. Mr Heastie’s caucus includes women – and some men – who have been calling for Mr Cuomo’s ouster for months, as well as a group of mostly black lawmakers who have urged more caution and stuck to the alongside Mr. Cuomo as the investigation unfolded. Republicans almost universally want Mr. Cuomo to leave, but Mr. Heastie has signaled he will wait until Democrats alone can muster the votes to impeach.
John DeSio, a Democratic strategist who has worked in Bronx politics, said Mr Heastie’s decision to remain primarily on the sidelines of the investigation allowed him to better balance these competing legislative interests. “Carl has a reputation for keeping things tight and in this case it has served him well,” he said.
While this has been a source of frustration for those who wanted to step up pressure on Mr Cuomo this spring – especially after Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins called for Mr Cuomo’s resignation – this seems to have strengthened Mr. Heastie is standing with the other members of the assembly.
#Carl #Heastie #Man #Oversee #Cuomos #Impeachment