If this is true, then the Governor should resign
The NYTimes has an incredible story today about Governor Cuomo and his ethics commission.
According to the story, when the commission issued a subpoena to a firm that was related to Cuomo, Cuomo’s aid contacted a commission co-chair and told him, “This is wrong” and then “Pull it back.” The commission then did.
Cuomo has already marked himself as the reform community’s biggest disappointment — grabbing reform headlines with an ethics commission that he then hobbled, and then teasing reformers with the promise that he would get public funding of elections passed — only then to sabotage that as well.
But this — if true — crosses a pretty important line. Many of us saw the tragedy of Eliot Spitzer as just that: a tragedy, because whatever demons led him to his wrongful and hypocritical act, they sapped America of an incredible force for change.
The corruption here is different — and much much worse. If an aid to the chief corruption reformer in NY has corruptly interfered with a corruption investigation, then NY doesn’t need that “corruption reformer” anymore — because that’s not what he is.
If this charge is true, then this is a governor who believes himself above the law. THAT is the keystone of corruption.
The Democrats had a chance this year to mark themselves as the party of reform (I hope not too much, or not too exclusively, because reform will only come if supported by Democrats, Republicans and Independents all, but movements need leaders, and it is good the Dems lead). But if this charge is true, then Cuomo destroys the party’s chances here. “Here’s a young, NY ‘reformer,’ in the tradition of not Teddy, but Tammany.”
If the charge is true, then Cuomo should go: as quickly as Spitzer did, for the hypocrisy here is worse, and so the party can get on to electing its next governor — hopefully this time, one honestly focused on reform.
This may explain why Cuomo has been remarkably silent on the various scandals surrounding the Port Authority.
Gee…..I wonder why this isn’t getting anywhere near the kind of play that Governor Christie’s “Bridge-gate” did….
Bennett Barlyn, a former New Jersey assistant prosecutor, alleges he and other prosecutors were fired in 2010 for going after a local sheriff who happened to be close to Christie and the lieutenant governor.
Barlyn said the Hunterdon County sheriff and her staff were indicted on 43 counts involving corruption and abuse of power. —
Another scandal for Christie. When it rains, it pours.
This is about New Jersey, but having lived and worked in other states, I know that similar “issues” arise there as well.
In New Jersey, “cronyism” and “nepotism” are the rule, not the exception. It’s a simple and sad fact of how things work. Without going into too much detail, I know for a fact that certain offices in the state, like county prosecutors, are often filled by “friends” of the incoming (or continuing) administration. Those “friends” often fill their staff with their own “friends” to whom they owe favors of some sort, political or otherwise. That staff of “friends” often simply replaces (read: fires) the staff of “friends” from the previous administration. It’s not true in every single case, and for every single staffer, but it is a fact of life in politics in New Jersey, and elsewhere. That doesn’t make it right; it’s just the way it is. I hate to be cynical, but it appears that there is simply no way to change it, because the kind of people who might be able to change the status quo could never get elected because they won’t play the dirty games required to get elected in the first place. And if they do decide to play those dirty games, then they reduce themselves to the kind of people they’re trying to beat, incurring the same kind of political “debt” that spawns cronyism and nepotism in the first place. It’s the worst kind of Catch-22 imaginable.
Gov. Chris Christie • Apologizing to the general public during a press conference on Thursday morning (full transcript here), shortly before announcing that he had fired former aide Bridget Kelly for lying about his staff’s involvement in an apparent attempt to get revenge on a mayor who wouldn’t endorse the governor’s re-election bid. Christie took responsibility for the scandal, but swore he had no knowledge of what was taking place, and said he would travel to Fort Lee to personally apologize to the town’s mayor. The Justice Department and Senate Commerce Committee have both announced plans to further investigate the matter. source (via shortformblog)
I find it hard to believe that he really had no knowledge of what was going on.
The Governor’s running the appropriate play out of the play book on how to handle a potential scandal. As for me, I don’t have any problem with his claim that he had no knowledge of what was going on. This is the kind of petty bullshit that lower level political operatives engage in all the time in this state. They wouldn’t have bothered Christie with it because they were too busy going “neener-neener-neener-look-what-we-can-do”. Combine a little political power with the arrogance that permeates the politics and politicians in the great state of New Jersey, and it doesn’t surprise me at all the Christie wouldn’t have known of the childishness being exhibited by the morons he thought he could rely on.
At least Christie’s wearing the hat.