Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York
Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York (photo by Diana Robinson [CC BY 2.0] via Wikimedia Commons)

Cuomo must go

Bruce Maples
Bruce Maples

We often go after Republican politicians on here, and for a simple reason: they deserve it.

But, so that people don't think our standards only apply to Repubs, let me say this as loud and clear as I can –

Governor Andrew Cuomo has got to resign.

In case you haven't been following the news out of New York, the gist is that women started coming forward earlier this year, accusing Cuomo of various forms of sexual harassment, including non-consensual touching, hugging, and kissing, and inappropriate comments and sexual innuendo.

There were calls for Cuomo to step down at that time, but he survived those calls, mainly because investigations started up and people waited to see what the investigations would find.

Yesterday we learned what at least one such investigation discovered. New York Attorney General Letitia James hired two outside law firms to conduct an investigation, and attorneys at those two firms interviewed 179 people and produced over 70,000 pieces of evidence.

And what did they conclude? Here's the opening of their 168-page report:

We, the investigators appointed to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, conclude that the Governor engaged in conduct constituting sexual harassment under federal and New York State law. Specifically, we find that the Governor sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees by, among other things, engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching, as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women. Our investigation revealed that the Governor’s sexually harassing behavior was not limited to members of his own staff, but extended to other State employees, including a State Trooper on his protective detail and members of the public. We also conclude that the Executive Chamber’s culture—one filled with fear and intimidation, while at the same time normalizing the Governor’s frequent flirtations and gender-based comments—contributed to the conditions that allowed the sexual harassment to occur and persist. That culture also influenced the improper and inadequate ways in which the Executive Chamber has responded to allegations of harassment.

One woman told of being hugged by Cuomo while at the same time he put his hand up her shirt and touched her breast. Another told of him grabbing her butt while taking a selfie. Many noted he would ask about their sex lives. And the list goes on, and on, and on.

There is a possibility that Cuomo could face criminal charges. He will certainly face civil charges, and possibly lawsuits. And, the New York assembly, which is dominated by Democrats, is moving forward with impeachment, which they had put on hold while waiting on this investigation to conclude.

But why wait on impeachment? Cuomo should save them the time and trouble and resign immediately. As in, today.

Party doesn't matter. His ability to deal with the pandemic doesn't matter. His political power doesn't matter.

Andrew Cuomo has got to go.

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Commentary

Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)


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