The Curse of Always Being Right
Some men are driven hard by two different heads. One is logical and kind while the other will do anything he can to get what he wants.
I’m sure you know that the Attorney General of the State of New York, Letitia James, held a press conference to announce that her investigation of Governor Andrew Cuomo is now complete. The findings are serious, saying that the governor sexually harassed at least eleven women and also retaliated against a former employee who complained publicly about his conduct. So, no arrest? When a state’s attorney general holds a press conference to announce that someone committed a crime, they often give a lowdown on an arrest. What gives?
Within minutes of the press conference, Governor Cuomo released a recorded response to the report. Framed by a soft lens, muted lighting and wearing no expression, Cuomo declared, “I never touched anyone inappropriately.” So, now the party begins. Here’s another man who denies the accounts of more than a hundred witnesses, including a New York State cop, and claims he has just been misinterpreted. Cuomo must not be a very good lawyer, because the explanation of his interaction with one accuser gives the prosecution an example of his use of power to further harass an accuser.
There’s an interesting pecking order in this country. We elect hometown do-gooders to be our mayors and county commissioners. They establish themselves, and sometimes go on to serve in state senates and assemblies. Then, if bitten hard by the power bug, they advance to running for governor. As you know, there is no testing or formal qualifications for that job. We have had cases where a convicted criminal still serving jail time has been elected to public office. I have no idea why there isn’t a law against that.
In old-school street talk, Andrew Cuomo is “lucky sperm” or a “made-man,” the offspring of a famous leader getting weaned on politics and power from the very beginning of his life. Mario Cuomo, Andrew’s very famous and powerful father, served as New York’s Governor for twelve years, which gave his son an opportunity to jump into New York and Democratic politics with both feet. Andrew, who is one of five siblings and the firstborn male, was destined to become New York’s Governor from birth, and now he’s there and in hot water. Today’s big topic is whether Andrew Cuomo will resign after the release of some very damaging information. But before we get to that question, let me tell you a story.
For a while in the early 2000s, I dabbled with Democratic politics in the small town of White Plains, New York. Because of my background in marketing, some of the candidates asked for my help with their video ads, positioning statements and political strategies. While working with one candidate for mayor, I realized some contenders didn’t have the intellectual depth to grasp the power of my recommendations. I became disillusioned with local politics and eventually worked only with those whom I thoroughly vetted. I didn’t consult Adam Bradley, who campaigned to become the Mayor of White Plains and won the election. I was never much impressed with him, but the people spoke and he became the first Democratic mayor in decades.
One evening shortly after he took office, I looked out the window of my sixth-floor apartment and saw the glaring lights of half a dozen TV satellite trucks on my street. I turned on the news, and there was the same scene I was watching out my window. The Fox newscaster had a glimmer in her eye as she announced that the Democratic Mayor of White Plains was charged in City Court with assault in the 3rd degree, a class A misdemeanor. Adam Bradley’s wife, Fumiko, filed a domestic violence complaint against her husband, alleging that he grabbed her left arm, placed it on a door frame and slammed the door on her hand. Bradley acknowledged that he and his wife had problems but denied that he assaulted her.
Soon after, the local Democratic Party held a giant “come-to-Jesus” meeting, where the mayor presented his argument for staying in office. It was embarrassing, with the mayor proclaiming that he would not resign unless he was told to do so by the governor. So, Governor Andrew Cuomo called the embattled mayor and said, “It’s time.” The disgraced mayor then resigned and another council person was put in his place.
You see, there is always a higher power. When asked the other day, President Joe Biden said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo should resign. It’s the same kind of judgement Cuomo faced years ago in the White Plains matter, and he made that decision before any legal findings in the former mayor’s battery case. There are times we shouldn’t wait for a judge or jury to decide. The people don’t need liars in office. Haven’t we learned that lesson over the last four years?
There is an important footnote in the Mayor Adam Bradley case. In 2013, a six-person jury found Adam Bradley not guilty of all his criminal charges, three counts of harassment, one of attempted assault and one of criminal contempt. He probably wouldn’t have done a good job being mayor while having to spend hours of his time defending himself, but that doesn’t mean a snap to judgement is always right.
Andrew Cuomo’s lying about these eleven women and using his power to discharge their accusations indicates his ego is more important to him than doing what’s right for his state. The donut ladies at the PTA didn’t handle the investigation, it was conducted by the Attorney General and lawyers from his own administration. If Andrew Cuomo doesn’t believe them, then who does he believe?
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