ISSN 2330-717X

Cuomo’s Arrogance Did Him In – OpEd

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“Mario Cuomo showed me the benefits of being an irritable, thin-skinned and dismissive person. He showed me that arrogance ultimately works.”

That is what Mario’s son, Andrew, said about him in 2002. Ironically, the arrogance that he acquired from his father was ultimately his demise.

The Cuomos will do anything to win and stay in power. When Mario ran for mayor of New York City in 1977 against Ed Koch, posters appeared all over Queens, saying, “Vote for Cuomo, not the homo.” Cuomo’s gay bashing didn’t end there. He accused Koch of endorsing the right of gays to “proselytize,” and even hired a private detective to find out who his “boyfriend” was.

Not to be outdone, Cuomo’s campaign approached a Catholic group in Greenwich Village hoping it would publish a statement saying Koch was gay. It even agreed to pay for this smear.

This kind of thuggery defined Mario, and it obviously defines his son.  

The New York Attorney General’s report on Gov. Andrew Cuomo involves much more than the testimony of 11 women who say they were sexually harassed by him. In fact, 179 witnesses were interviewed by investigators. What they found is not pretty.

The investigators found that Cuomo and his aides helped enable “harassment to occur and created a hostile work environment.” That alone is a violation of federal and state civil rights law, never mind what he is accused of personally doing to women. Here are a few examples.

What kind of man, especially one in a position of superior power, runs his hands down a woman’s spine, kisses her, and asks why she is not wearing a dress? This is not a “he said, she said” account: he did this in an elevator in front of others.

What kind of man, especially one in a position of superior power, kisses and gropes a woman staffer and asks her to play “strip poker”?

What kind of man, especially one in a position of superior power, asks a woman employee whether she ever had a relationship with older men? Why would he tell her he was “lonely” during the pandemic and “wanted to be touched”?

What kind of man, especially one in a position of superior power, subjects his executive assistant to unwanted hugs and kisses, including on the lips, and grabs her butt?

What kind of man, especially one in a position of superior power, reaches under the blouse of another executive assistant and grabs her breasts?

What kind of man, especially one in a position of superior power, rubs the palm of his hand on a state trooper’s bellybutton while she opens the door for him?

Andrew Cuomo’s arrogance explains why he is being hoisted by his own petard. It was he who pushed for an expansive sexual harassment law in 2019. He bragged how New York is “the most aggressive state in the country on women’s rights. Anything I can do on sexual harassment we will do.”

He then got specific. “We will make it easier for claims to be brought forward and send a strong message that when it comes to sexual harassment in the workplace, time is up.”

Gov. Cuomo, your time is up. You said your father showed you that “arrogance ultimately works.” Not this time. Better get out of town before they take you out in cuffs.  

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William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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