Democratic members of the New York House and Senate are considering rescinding the Covid powers that they granted Andrew Cuomo in the budget bill following credible allegations that he and his administration covered up nursing home deaths for political advantage.
The fact that they are considering this at all is significant, Cuomo is known for his vindictive nature, and the fact that they are considering going against him means that they think that the time is right to do this.
It may be better to be feared than liked, but at some point, if the fear goes away, and everyone hates you, things can get unpleasant:
Some Democrats in Albany have floated the legally dubious idea of threatening to rescind Gov. Cuomo’s pandemic powers and issue subpoenas as leverage in upcoming budget negotiations.
Over the weekend, the governor’s fellow Democrats, who control both houses in the Legislature, continued to hold discussions about scaling back Cuomo’s sweeping pandemic powers after a top aide admitted the state paused the release of nursing home death data over concerns it would be politicized by the Trump administration.
Senate Dems met virtually Sunday to consider rescinding the governor’s executive authority or potentially creating a commission that could outright reject executive orders, similar to a 10-member panel used in Connecticut, sources said.
The Legislature already has the ability to overturn any COVID-related executive order via a majority vote.
On Friday, 14 Democratic state senators, including a handful from the city, joined Republicans in backing the idea of taking away Cuomo’s emergency powers before they expire in April.
But threatening such actions, especially subpoenas, without intent to follow through in order to influence fiscal talks could backfire big time, insiders said. “It could legally be seen as extortion,” a source said.
Yeah, much in the same way that Marty Walsh's insisting on a concert promoter using competent workers in Boston could be legally seen as extortion? (see prior post)
Barclay and others have spent months demanding subpoenas, hearings or a federal probe into the state’s nursing home policies amid the pandemic.
The Cuomo administration came under renewed fire last week, facing accusations of a coverup and mounting backlash over its failure to release a full count of nursing home deaths for nearly six months.
In a call meant to bridge a growing divide with fellow Dems, the governor’s most trusted confidant, Melissa DeRosa, told lawmakers that officials “froze” last year when the Department of Justice made an inquiry into elder care facilities.
DeRosa said the administration postponed responding to legislative requests and failed to include nursing home residents who died in hospitals in publicly available data because President Trump had turned the matter “into a giant political football.”
The call came two weeks after a report from Attorney General Letitia James estimated that the state was under-counting deaths of nursing home residents by as much as 50%.
Cuomo was not concerned about Trump, he delighted in fighting with him.
This was about his attempting to cast his incompetent and corrupt management of the Covid-19 crisis (It only looked good in comparison to Donald Trump) as a triumph rather than a disaster.
New York State needs to raise taxes on the wealthy, and to end the corrupt environment that Cuomo thrives in.