New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has been showing his true colors for the past couple of weeks in what President Donald Trump called “a total meltdown.”
A few days after announcing that “America was never that great,” Cuomo was lit up by a New York Times article revealing that he used taxpayer dollars to try and stop the Times from accessing documents revealing ties to a lobbyist.
According to the report, Cuomo spent $200,000 of taxpayer dollars to hire outside counsel to prevent judges from handing over a series of emails proving the connection.
Not only did Cuomo spend the $200,000 to get an outside counsel, but the attorney he hired is a loyal supporter and donor to Cuomo’s campaign.
When a judge first heard the case in July 2017, he sided with the Times, but Cuomo’s team and his $200,000 lawyer appealed the case, covering up the scandal for another year.
Cuomo had a close relationship with lobbyist, Todd Howe, with Howe even working for Cuomo’s wife. Businesses and special interest groups knew that Howe had the governor’s ear.
Howe is an important figure because he worked with prosecutors to turn in high ranking members of Cuomo’s administration for pay-to-play deals, resulting in two convictions.
The emails attained by the Times show that similar pay-to-play games still occur with some of Cuomo’s top-ranking advisers. The backdoor deals include higher salaries for state-specific state employees in the State University of New York system and expensive development contracts.
Although Cuomo was never directly included in the email traffic, the Times pointed “Cuomo’s specter” in many emails, where Howe promised deals that were implemented quickly thereafter.
Cuomo probably isn’t thrilled with the timing of this report. Not only did he say “America was never that great” a week ago, but he also has primary in less than a month.
Cuomo faces Democratic challenger, Cynthia Nixon. Real Clear Politics polling has Cuomo winning by more than 30 points as of late July.