Andrew Cuomo’s Political Future

The pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to resign is building.

President Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and every member of New York’s Democratic congressional delegation have said the governor should step down, after an investigation by the state attorney general concluded that Cuomo had sexually harassed almost a dozen women.

Three prosecutors, in Manhattan, Nassau County and Westchester County, also announced that they had opened separate criminal investigations into his conduct.

Jay Jacobs, the head of the state Democratic Party — and once one of Cuomo’s closest allies — said yesterday that Cuomo’s removal from office was “inevitable.” And a poll from Marist College found that 59 percent of New Yorkers think Cuomo should resign or be impeached.

But Cuomo, who denies that his conduct was inappropriate, has resisted the calls to leave office.

The power of partisanship

Early in the pandemic, Cuomo’s public appearances turned him into one of the Democratic Party’s most celebrated national figures. His approval ratings fell this year following the revelation that his administration had undercounted nursing home Covid deaths and after the harassment allegations that led to the attorney general’s investigation. But more New Yorkers still thought Cuomo should keep his job than resign, polls showed.

Yesterday’s Marist poll suggests that may be changing. Cuomo has never been more vulnerable in his decades in public office, said our colleague Katie Glueck, who covers New York politics. But he may also have reasons to think he can hold on, given the unpredictable nature of the moment.

“It is too early to gauge how the report is resonating with the public, and Cuomo is plainly betting that the good will he generated during the early days of the pandemic will help him survive now,” Katie said.

Some Democrats accused of misconduct in the #MeToo era have resigned under pressure from other members of their party. They include Al Franken, the former Minnesota senator, and Eric Schneiderman, New York’s former attorney general.

In Cuomo’s case, sustained opposition from top Democrats could erode his support even further. “The partisan cues from President Biden on down are that Cuomo should step aside,” Katie said.

But partisanship also colors how voters view scandals, sometimes helping politicians keep supporters in their corner. Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia in 2019 bucked fellow elected Democrats’ calls for him to resign after a blackface scandal, and his approval ratings in the state have since rebounded.

And if Cuomo does choose to stay in office and seek re-election to a fourth term next year, it could fall to voters — and any potential Democratic primary challengers — to decide whether his governorship should end.

The impeachment investigation

The decision to serve out the rest of his term may not be up to Cuomo. The State Assembly, which Democrats control, said this week that it would speed up a wide-ranging impeachment investigation into the harassment allegations and the nursing home deaths.

The investigation began in March, after multiple women publicly accused Cuomo. Some elected Democrats said they could no longer back him, but he retained enough support that the Assembly seemed unlikely to vote on impeachment anytime soon.

“The Assembly’s decision to open a broad investigation, instead of moving to immediately impeach him, basically bought Cuomo some time to hold on to power,” Luis Ferré-Sadurní, who covers Albany for The Times, told us.

After the release of the attorney general’s findings this week, though, many lawmakers and others who stood by Cuomo in March retracted their support. The Assembly’s decision to speed up its investigation could lead to impeachment articles as soon as September.

“Cuomo has virtually no vocal allies these days. His inner circle has shrunk considerably. Top labor leaders have abandoned him,” Katie told us. “After years of dominating New York politics, he finds himself almost totally alone.”

Impeachment in New York is similar to the process for impeaching U.S. presidents. The Assembly votes on impeachment with a simple majority, and the Senate holds a trial and votes on removal, with a two-thirds majority threshold.

There are some differences, though: If Cuomo were impeached, he would have to give up the powers of his office during the trial. The Senate vote would also include the seven judges on the state’s highest court.

If Cuomo does leave office, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, would replace him — becoming New York’s first female governor. “The attorney general’s investigation has documented repulsive and unlawful behavior,” Hochul said on Tuesday. “No one is above the law.”

For more on Cuomo’s future, listen to today’s episode of “The Daily.”

THE LATEST NEWS

The Virus

The W.H.O. called for a moratorium on booster shots to help all countries vaccinate at least 10 percent of their populations.

As Louisiana leads the U.S. in new cases, the crisis is driving more people in the state to get vaccinated.

The Delta variant and the uncertainty over schools are keeping some parents from applying for jobs.

China is grappling with its worst outbreak in a year. Israel reintroduced some restrictions.

Here’s how to show proof of vaccination in New York City.

Tokyo Olympics

The U.S. women’s soccer team won bronze.

After beating Australia, the U.S. men’s basketball team will play for the gold medal.

The U.S. didn’t reach the final in the men’s 4×100-meter relay after bungling a baton transfer.

Climate

This hurricane season will probably have more storms than usual, a government scientist said.

Turkey is experiencing its worst forest fires in decades. In Greece, a wildfire burned dozens of homes.

Other Big Stories

Mexico is suing 10 gun companies in the U.S., accusing them of facilitating the flow of weapons to drug cartels.

At least 10 people died in the crash of a packed van in South Texas. The authorities said the passengers were probably migrants.

“I have no idea how we’ll continue”: Inside Lebanon’s economic meltdown.

Where’s the $5,800 bottle of whiskey that Japan gave Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in 2019?

Bill Gates called his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein “a huge mistake.”

Opinions

Having a child with cancer shouldn’t crush families financially, Andrew Kaczynski writes.

Alexandra DeSanctis, Samuel Moyn and other writers and legal scholars share their ideas for amending the U.S. Constitution.

MORNING READS

Without a sound: The hikers vanished. These mountains contain answers to the mysteries.

Political awakening: In Taiwan, young people look at Hong Kong and wonder: Are we next?

Knickknacks: Tchotchkes are having a moment — on Instagram, at least.

Advice from Wirecutter: Consider getting rechargeable batteries.

Lives Lived: Almost half a century ago, Gilbert V. Levin conducted an experiment to determine whether there might be life in the soil of Mars — a possibility that scientists are now considering. He died at 97.

ARTS AND IDEAS

The empty Olympics

One of the first things you’ll notice at the Tokyo Games: empty stadiums.

The organizers barred spectators from all venues in Tokyo to prevent Covid outbreaks. “For athletes who once envisioned themselves performing for hordes of buzzing fans, the hushed vibe has been a bummer,” Andrew Keh wrote in The Times.

Grunts echo through vacant arenas; the hum of cicadas provides a soundtrack for outdoor competitions. At one boxing match, Keh notes, the sounds of punches were accompanied by a noisy hallway door. “The atmosphere ain’t really here,” Britain’s Caroline Dubois, one of the boxers, said afterward.

But not everyone misses the roar of the crowd. For some lower-profile Olympics sports — like taekwondo and air rifle — empty seats are the norm, as Joshua Robinson and Andrew Beaton write in The Wall Street Journal. “If there were a full stadium,” the Japanese archer Takaharu Furukawa said, “I would be more nervous and make a mistake.” — Tom Wright-Piersanti, Morning editor

PLAY, WATCH, EAT

What to Cook

These summer veggies in spiced yogurt sauce are reminiscent of korma.

What to Listen to

Five minutes that will make you love Stravinsky.

What to Read

The “Saturday Night Live” star Cecily Strong shares a life touched by grief in her memoir.

What to Watch

A project by Lisa Loeb and a new production of “South Pacific”: Here’s the best theater to stream from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Now Time to Play

The pangram from yesterday’s Spelling Bee was likelihood. Here is today’s puzzle — or you can play online.

Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: Cooking vessels (four letters).

If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.

Thanks for spending part of your morning with The Times. See you tomorrow.

P.S. The Times has eight million digital and print subscriptions. Thank you, readers.

Here’s today’s print front page.

“Sway” features Doug Parker of American Airlines.

Claire Moses and Sanam Yar contributed to The Morning. You can reach the team at [email protected].

Sign up here to get this newsletter in your inbox.

Source: Read Full Article