New York Democrats ‘Building Consensus’ on Ousting Governor Andrew Cuomo

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “New York Democrats ‘Building Consensus’ on Ousting Governor Andrew Cuomo” – below is their description.

    Andrew Cuomo faces more calls to resign from fellow Democrats after a third woman came forward to accuse the New York governor of inappropriate behavior on Monday.

    New allegations of Cuomo making unwanted advances toward women come as the governor is already fighting investigations into whether his administration covered up the true number of coronavirus deaths in nursing homes in the state. The state’s first Covid-related death was one year ago Monday, but the governor has stayed out of the spotlight as controversy around him swirls.

    U.S. Representative Kathleen Rice became the first Democratic member of Congress to call for Cuomo to resign, saying Monday, “the time has come.” Rice is a former district attorney of Nassau County on Long Island.

    Two former aides have already accused Cuomo of sexual harassment. On Monday, a third woman, who has not worked for him, Anna Ruch, told the New York Times that Cuomo touched her back and face at a wedding and asked if he could kiss her in a way that made her feel “confused and shocked and embarrassed.”

    A spokesman for Cuomo referred to a statement from Sunday night in which he said his actions “have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation,” and that he was sorry “to the extent anyone felt that way,” according to the Times.

    Rich Azzopardi, a senior adviser to Cuomo, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

    The governor has not held a televised pandemic briefing, considered must-see TV, since Feb. 19, and his public schedule is empty.

    On Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James received a letter from the Cuomo administration granting her a legal referral, which gives her the ability to select an independent law firm to conduct an investigation into sexual harassment allegations against the governor.

    In the letter, Cuomo’s special counsel directed all state employees to cooperate fully with the sexual-harassment review and said the findings will be made public when the inquiry is finished. The lawyer who will handle the inquiry hasn’t been named.

    “This is not a responsibility we take lightly as allegations of sexual harassment should always be taken seriously,” James said in a statement Monday.

    Separately, the Cuomo administration on Monday hired a prominent criminal defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor to defend the governor’s office over allegations he mishandled Covid-related nursing-home deaths.

    Elkan Abramowitz has represented Cuomo in previous controversies. His clients include Woody Allen and Fox News anchor Ed Henry.

    Abramowitz said his firm had only been retained in relation to the nursing-home inquiry, not Cuomo’s sexual-harassment claims. Azzopardi deferred comment to Abramowitz. The Wall Street Journal previously reported the Abramowitz hire.

    The White House stopped short of criticizing Cuomo. Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that the Biden administration would wait for an investigation announced Sunday to be carried out before commenting further.

    “We certainly support that process and we’ll wait to see that through,” she said.

    Cuomo’s scandals threaten to undercut the carefully crafted image that earned him the moniker of “America’s Governor” in the early days of the pandemic and sparked talk of a presidential run.

    He said he wanted to seek a fourth term as governor in 2022.

    “The problem is he’s being squeezed on the left and the right, and if there are more accusations of sexual harassment or governmental incompetence or corruption, he’s going to have a very difficult time surviving,” said veteran Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf. “He has very few friends.”

    He is also alleged to have bullied and personally threatened lawmakers who raised questions about his controversies. Cuomo has denied all allegations, but did issue something of an apology in response to his second accuser for what he called “playful” but “insensitive” behavior late Sunday.

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    In This Story: Andrew Cuomo

    Andrew Mark Cuomo is an American politician, author, and lawyer serving as the 56th governor of New York since 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected to the same position his father, Mario Cuomo, held for three terms. He has served as Chair of the National Governors Association since August 2020.

    Cuomo received national attention for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York and has written a book about his experiences of the event – released on November 10th 2020.

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    “Democrats” usually refers to the The Democratic Party of the United States – one of the two major political parties in the country, along with its main, historic rival, the Republican Party.

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