NEWS & ANALYSIS

Governor Cuomo Not Covered by Son of Sam Law – Gets Apparent $4 Million Book Deal

Cuomo has declined to confirm how much he was paid for the book which landed him a brief spot on the best-seller list


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pitched the book proposal for his book “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the Covid-19 Pandemic” last year “that would center on his image as a hero of the pandemic” according to the New York Times which conducted an examination of the book deal. However, “by early last summer, both his book and image had hit a critical juncture” states the Times.

Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, attended video meetings with publishers and helped edit book drafts. “But there was also another, more pressing edit underway at the same time” reports the Times. When a Health Department report “threatened to disclose a far higher number of nursing home deaths related to the coronavirus than the Cuomo administration had previously made public,” his office had to adjust.

After concern from DeRosa and the Cuomo administration about the higher death toll, “the number – which had appeared in the second sentence of the report – was removed from the final version.” According to individuals with knowledge of the book’s bidding process, the edit occurred “as the governor was on the brink of a huge payoff: a book deal that ended with a high offer of more than $4 million.”

The Times indicated that the lucrative book deal “overlapped with the move by his most senior aides to reshape a report about nursing home deaths in a way that insulated the governor from criticism and burnished his image.” Not only that, emails obtained by The New York Times “indicate that the governor was writing it as early as mid-June, relying on a cadre of rusted aides and junior staffers…potentially running afoul of state laws prohibiting use of public resources for personal gain.”

“American Crisis” was published by Crown Publishing Group in mid-October, just as a second wave of the novel coronavirus overtook the city. Cuomo has declined to confirm how much he was paid for the book which landed him a brief spot on the best-seller list. Crown also declined to comment on the sale price or confirm that it slightly exceeded $4 million. A sum, which the Times points out is “a large sum for an author whose previous memoir, ‘All Things Possible,’ from 2014, sold fewer than 4,000 hardcover copies.”

NEWS & ANALYSIS

'DEFINITION OF CORRUPTION': De Blasio Calls for Investigation into Cuomo's Vaccine Czar

If you thought the Cuomo headlines were over, you thought wrong


If you thought the Cuomo headlines were over, you thought wrong. 

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for an investigation Monday into the head of Cuomo’s vaccination program, who reportedly called county executives to gauge their support for the governor. 

The calls, made by Cuomo’s “vaccine czar” Larry Schwartz, reportedly made at least one county official fear that their response could jeopardize their county’s ability to get vaccines.

“What we’ve heard about the governor and his team trying to link vaccine supply to political support, that is the definition of corruption,” de Blasio said during a Monday press conference. “It is disgusting, it is dangerous. There are lives on the line, and it cannot be tolerated.” 

 The mayor went on to demand an investigation. 

“There needs to be now a full investigation of that, on top of the investigation of nursing home scandal, the investigation of sexual harassment and molestation,” de Blasio said. “There needs to be an investigation of what happened with the Tappan Zee Bridge, but now on top of it there needs to be an investigation of why a senior official in the governor’s office clearly tried to link vaccine supply to political support.” 

Three strikes and Cuomo’s out, perhaps?

The New York governor has been the subject of a seemingly endless thread of scandal over the last several months. First, his administration’s intentional withholding of data regarding the number of nursing home deaths. Then, six allegations of sexual misconduct. Now, a senior official seemingly putting pressure on county executives into supporting the scandal-ridden governor. 

The icing on the cake: Cuomo is facing pressure following an investigation by the Albany Times Union that construction of a new bridge named after Cuomo’s father has “structural safety problems” and that the private construction company potentially covered up problems with broken bolts, Fox News reports

When asked if he fears that his city could face vaccine supply punishment, de Blasio seemed to be unphased. 

“I’ll tell you something, he better not call me because I’ll tell him what he can do with that,” de Blasio said. “No, it’s unacceptable and we are not going to stand for it. And if we see any effort to reduce the vaccine supply to New York City as political retribution we will bring it right out into the open.” 

Schwartz, though admitting to calling officials, said he did nothing wrong. 

“I did have conversations with a number of county executives from across the state to ascertain if they were maintaining their public position that there is an ongoing investigation by the State Attorney General and that we should wait for the findings of that investigation before drawing any conclusions,” he said. 

“Nobody indicated that they were uncomfortable or that they did not want to talk to me,” he added.

NEWS & ANALYSIS

Andrew Cuomo flips out for gun control


The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, delivered a State of the State address on Wednesday that ran for over an hour, and ended with a hysterical, podium-pounding rant about gun control.  At one point he promised he wasn’t interested in “taking away people’s guns,” but then he launched into some very energetic demands to do exactly that.  As recounted by the New York Observer:

???Number 1: Enact the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation, period!??? he shouted, before ticking off his other new gun control proposals. ???Number two, close the private sale loophole by requiring federal background checks. Number three, ban high-capacity magazines. Number four, enact tougher penalties for illegal gun use, guns in school grounds and violent gangs. Number five, keep guns from people who are mentally ill. Number six, ban direct internet sales of ammunition in New York. Number seven, create a state [National Instant Criminal Background Check System] check on all ammunition purchases.???

Mr. Cuomo predicted the rest of the country will follow New York???s lead and adopt stiffer gun laws.

???New York State led the way on guns once before. It was the Sullivan???s law of 1911, which was the first-in-the-nation gun control law. A model law,??? he explained.

[…] ???I know that the issue of gun control is hard. I know that it???s political. I know it???s controversial,??? the governor said, his voice rising with every word. ???I say to you, forget the extremists! It???s simple: no one hunts with an assault rifle! No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer! Too many innocent people have died already! End this madness now!???

By the end of the speech, the governor was shouting.

???Pass safe, reasonable gun control in the State of New York! Make this state safer! Save lives! Set an example for the rest of the nation! Let them look at New York and say, ???This is what you can do! This is what you should do!??? This is New York, the progressive capital, you should them how we lead! We can do it! We???ve done it before and we can do it again.???

He left the stage to deafening applause from the assembled lawmakers.

It’s a pity this is the part of the speech getting all the attention, because there was also an interesting passage where he declared that “New York has no future as the tax capital of the nation,” and fretted about high taxes driving away residents and business interests.  But then he laid out a huge pile of “bold, liberal, and costly” ideas, as the New York Daily News put it, so there’s no more reason to take him seriously about fiscal responsibility than there is to treat Barack Obama like a deficit hawk:

There was a focus on red-meat issues for the left ??? gun control, equity for  women and raising the minimum wage.

He renewed his call for a stronger abortion-rights law and decriminalizing  small amounts of pot.

Many Republicans and even some Democrats shook their heads at his big-ticket  proposals.

There was a costly plan for green businesses, $1 billion for affordable  housing, and a push to let school districts extend their school days and school  years.

How Cuomo would pay for his agenda was unclear; aides promised an answer in  his upcoming budget plan.

???I can???t even fathom how much all this adds up to,??? Sen. Martin Golden  (R-Brooklyn) groused.

Cuomo aides denied he has one eye on a presidential run.

They said the liberal issues are what???s left of an agenda Cuomo proposed  when he won office in 2010 but couldn???t get through the GOP-controlled  Senate.

Somehow the connection between all this big spending and New York’s identity as “tax capital of the nation” seems to have eluded Cuomo.  Or, more likely, he’s hoping it will elude voters for a bit longer.

On the topic of gun control, however, the speech was a classic: disingenuous, profoundly ill-informed, contemptuous of the rights of ordinary citizens, and delivered in the style of a Third World rabble-rouser.  Very little of what he proposed has anything to do with the Newtown massacre he’s using for political leverage, other than his plea for “keeping guns from people who are mentally ill.”  New York already has a super-tough “assault weapons ban,” so railing about such weapons is pure grandstanding.

And the blithering stupidity of howling that “no one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer” gave the NRA material for some great advertising.  The Second Amendment is not a hunting license; its exercise is not conditioned on using guns only for activities that tin-pot dictators personally enjoy and endorse.  Innocent people will die if this mania for restricting magazine sizes is indulged.  You might not need 10 bullets to kill a deer, but you absolutely could need 10 bullets to survive an exchange of fire with an armed criminal, take down a drug-fueled assailant in the heat of a violent encounter, or fend off multiple criminal attackers.  A law-abiding citizen defending his family is arguably more likely to “need” 10 or more rounds than criminals, who can control and execute helpless victims just fine using revolvers, or knives for that matter.  Cuomo’s armed bodyguards could be invited on stage at his next rally to explain all this.

If gun control is such an important issue, why does it have to be pushed with screaming theatrics, the panicked exploitation of tragedy, and nonsensical “arguments” like the one Cuomo offered?  Very little wise legislation has ever been passed in a hurry.  But the gun-control zealots are nervous about the dissipation of public support for gun control as cooler heads prevail, weeks after the Newtown shooting, so they’re making comically obvious efforts to artificially prolong the atmosphere of crisis.  Cuomo’s rant is one example; Vice President Joe Biden’s ominous insinuation that President Obama might suspend the Bill of Rights through executive order is another.  (I haven’t really paid much attention to Biden’s remarks thus far because, hey, it’s Joe Biden.  He says a lot of things that aren’t true, or don’t make any sense.  I don’t think it’s a good idea to have such a person as Vice President, but a working political coalition of voters went along with it.  I’ll wait for the White House to announce something officially.)

A “right” is not something that politicans can take away because they disapprove of it, or even because they can persuade some percentage of voters to share their disapproval.  It doesn’t matter if they shout their demands at high volume, or if they make reference to outrageous crimes.  A “right” is not something that free citizens must hug in a perpetual defensive crouch, because criminals abuse it.  If New York can’t secure the safety of its citizens with its high taxes and gigantic budget, maybe it’s time for Andrew Cuomo to think about cutting a few big-ticket items off his liberal wish list, rather than cutting into the liberty of his citizens in a doomed attempt to socially engineer them.