Dr. Leon Koziol
Parenting rights advocate and former trial attorney
Media and political observers have been baffled by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who continues to resist mounting calls for his resignation. The state he has governed for more than a decade is now facing unprecedented tax hikes, overregulation and mass exodus of industry, business and residents. Long known as the Empire State, New York once boasted the largest population in America. But in recent decades it has shrunk to number four beneath California, Texas and Florida with no end in sight.
So why is this governor who presided over so much of this decline hell bent on fighting everyone to stay in the Governor’s Mansion? If Andrew Cuomo truly believed in “I Love New York,” he would simply step down for the good of the state. To be sure, his sex scandals are sufficiently nauseating to induce vomit among mainstream families. This is not what Andrew’s dad meant by the “Family of New York” when he governed the state during the eighties.
Andrew loves to benefit posthumously from that dad, former Governor Mario Cuomo. He even renamed the new $4 billion Tappan Zee Bridge after his father in 2017. The costly highway signs for miles around could not come up fast enough. More recently, he sought ostensibly to give essential workers recognition under a measure he called “Matilda’s Law” after his mother. Now wouldn’t it have been more genuine to have it named after the Manhattan doctor who took her life under pressure during the height of the pandemic?
After all, tradition backs up those who see through the current governor’s hypocrisy, corruption and arrogance on steroids. For example, the former Griffiss Air Force Base upstate was named after the first pilot who lost his life in World War II. And what was wrong with the Tappan Zee bridge named after a Native-American tribe which once lived along its shores? Is Andrew Cuomo’s renowned fury directed at Donald Trump better explained by a preference to have a Cuomo face on Mount Rushmore?
The framers of our Constitution envisioned a nation where leaders were elected for limited terms in humble service to the people. Here in one of our original colonies, it’s anything but that. The state’s top leader loves to play the role of a tough guy from Queens, even comparing himself and Dr. Anthony Fauci to Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino at a December, 2020 public appearance. But when anyone else makes comparisons to the Godfather characters that made these movie stars famous, this so-called governor fumes ethnic discrimination.
Brother Chris also loves to play tough guy, but when his juvenile threat of throwing a heckler down the stairs is compared to Fredo Corleone, he fumes too. Andrew even went so far as to threaten to deck the president of the United States when Donald Trump made an identical comparison. And who gives a hoot that Andrew is now single? By announcing it as governor, and groping state employees at the mansion, he appears to be offering sex interviews on company time. What is going on in New York government today?
Should all of us now follow the lead by taking the law into our own hands? Will the Empire State label soon change to “Cuomo Country?” Such a country will include the lawless, the “expendable elderly” in nursing homes, falsified death reports to promote a book, a state worker required to sing Danny Boy for personal entertainment, and a state plane abused to play strip poker. Yes, Andrew has basked in all this absurdity, the kind once cited to remove President Trump from office, but how Karma comes around with the bizarre “Cuomo Conduct” we see today.
On Constitution Day, 2013, I was invited to testify before Andrew Cuomo’s Moreland Commission on Public Corruption. It was called a “dream team” of experts, lawyers and law enforcement recruited with great fanfare at taxpayer expense to reverse a “culture of corruption in Albany.” As a long time whistleblower and civil rights attorney, I was duly impressed with all this. Accordingly, I traveled to Manhattan to expose major corruption in our third branch of government. But like so many other “window dressing” commissions, this one was prematurely dissolved when presenters began implicating persons close to the governor.
Fortunately one of those presenters, federal prosecutor Preet Bharara, could see through the pathetic cover-up. He seized Commission files resulting in the conviction of the state’s top legislative leaders including a Cuomo aide depicted as an adopted Cuomo family member. Like “Teflon Don” of Godfather fame, the top dog Cuomo knew nothing of the corruption, did nothing wrong, and managed to escape similar liability. Did his Democrat friend in the White House have something to do with this? FYI: another Moreland presenter, federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch, was later promoted to U.S, Attorney General by President Barack Obama.
A self-loving politician as brazen as Andrew Cuomo has proven time again that he could care less about New York’s expendables, his sexual harassment victims, and those who sacrificed so much by testifying in good faith at his self-promoting commissions. If there is anything to be learned from the Cuomo legacy, it is that such victims expose misconduct at their peril. Retaliation will be severe and immediate. In my case, within months of my public testimony, I was punished with a loss of licensing privileges, child contact and hard-earned professional reputation. To date, all recourse has been viciously denied.
Welcome to Cuomo’s New York!