The resignation of New York’s governor, accused of harassment, may breathe life into party and politics.
Democrat Andrew Cuomo tried to avoid resigning, but succumbed in the face of the magnitude of the scandals in his administration as governor of New York.
Among the controversies surrounding him, the loudest were accusations of sexual harassment from 11 women, bolstered by a report that state Attorney General Letitia James commissioned from independent investigators.
The most serious complaints are related to non-consensual kisses and touches. Other female staff report that suggestive comments or questions about sexual policy created a toxic working environment.
Cuomo denies the inappropriate advances and claims that his comments were not intended to be harassing. His claim that he did not think he had crossed any lines borders on ludicrous post-#MeToo. The lines must have been redrawn, according to him.
It’s as if in the past, women happily took part in these kinds of relationships imposed by powerful men, instead of simply tolerating them to avoid seeing their careers destroyed.
Perhaps Cuomo had imagined that his Democrat credentials would protect him from the accusations. Even when faced with pressure from fellow left-wing politicians, the now former governor facilitated important achievements, such as same-sex marriage, the legalization of marijuana and increase in minimum wage.
During the pandemic, he was praised for his health policies, while Republican President Donald Trump was following the denialism script. He was interviewed live on CNN almost daily by his brother, Chris Cuomo, sharing the accomplishments of his administration.
Meanwhile, accusations of his government hiding nursing home deaths and diverting tests to relatives tarnished his legacy.
Coming from a family of politicians, Cuomo governed impetuously, without much dialogue with the state legislature. His departure after a decade leaves space for more diverse candidates for the office, starting with his lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, who will take his place on Aug. 24.
Also on the list are James, a Black woman; mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio; and public advocate Jumaane Williams. In any event, the situation seems to be contributing to breathing life into the party and American politics.