By Dr. Leon Koziol
Former government attorney, corruption whistleblower and current civil rights advocate
Andrew Cuomo is obviously a legacy of his father, the former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. He boasts often of his dad’s accomplishments and took great credit for the elder’s success as his campaign manager during the 1980s. Andrew even re-named the new Tappan Zee Bridge, a $3.9 billion project, after his dad in 2017. But of all the audacity that Andrew may have acquired, he never grasped the true meaning of his dad’s most famous speech delivered at the 1984 Democrat National Convention.
Dubbed the “Tale of Two Cities,” Mario Cuomo made an allusion to Charles Dicken’s epic novel of the same title which decried the cavernous gap between the elite and proletariat around the time of the French Revolution. He used this allusion to attack then president Ronald Reagan and his depiction of the United States a “Shining City on the Hill.” This speech elevated Mario Cuomo to national prominence much like Andrew Cuomo’s news conferences did for him at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
But while Andrew was depicting New York as a model of success, the reality was that various scandals yet to be made public were telling a whole different story. This one might warrant another allusion to Charles Dickens about the other city left behind in the valleys of the empire state. Andrew Cuomo exploited his leadership role over two entirely distinct regions, upstate and downstate, to play politics at the expense of struggling businesses, working class and those victimized in nursing homes.
Much like Michael Avenatti, Andrew Cuomo flew too close to the sun as he bamboozled media in a game of politics with Donald Trump. When the Javits Center and hospital ship were made available for emergency relief to New Yorkers at great expense to federal taxpayers, Andrew Cuomo was out to prove that he needed no assistance from President Trump. Instead he sent coronavirus patients from downstate venues to hospitals in upstate New York. Such transfers of a hundred miles or more violated the most basic scientific protocols about isolating such patients in their places.
This scandal, like so many others, was suppressed to protect a media darling from public accountability. During the same period, I published a series of blog site postings which described this political exploitation of two regions to serve the ends of party politics. It was titled “Corona Chronicles” and can still be found on this site at http://www.leonkoziol.com. That series was likely made subject to internet censorship because the viral benefits once enjoyed by this site trickled down to nothing by the year 2020. It occurred after I was forced to bring an action in New York Supreme Court resulting in the removal of a family judge gag order imposed upon this same site in 2016.
Among the many exposures and predictions made here, the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption is very fateful today. In 2013, Andrew Cuomo assembled a dream team of lawyers, experts and law enforcement to crack down on a “culture of corruption in Albany.” As one of the small number selected to speak, I traveled to Pace University to expose corruption in our state’s domestic relations courts. Instead of overdue reforms, this commission was prematurely dissolved when testimony began implicating officials close to the governor. For my good faith efforts, I was rewarded with human rights violations, a loss of livelihood, and an end to father-daughter relations.
Such retaliation for the exercise of constitutional rights forces victims to go underground, to lose faith in their government, and ultimately to exhibit violent protest. It is a slippery slope that has become all too common this past year. In short, the King Cuomo scandals do not warrant individual prosecutions deserving of due process so much as they do a humble response to a serious loss of public faith in governance. For the good of the people, therefore, this governor should heed the calls for his resignation.
For related outside commentary on the Moreland Commission visit https://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/18/new-york-is-drowning-in-bribes-and-corruption/
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