Hey, isn’t three supposed to be the charm? State senate majority leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told Spectrum News that she is “so, so disappointed” by fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo and the three allegations of sexual harassment and/or predatory behavior that have emerged. She’s so disappointed, in fact, that she thinks Cuomo should resign … if the number hits four:
When asked if she thinks her relationship with the governor may have been affected by the sexual harassment allegations, Stewart-Cousins said the situation isn’t about her or the governor, it’s about the women who were subject to harassment.
“I am at a place, and we are all at this place, where it’s always hard when you think something is resolved, and find that there is still so much work to do,” she said. “I applaud women who have been through this for coming forward.”
During the interview with Capital Tonight she was asked at what point the governor would lose her support. She reiterated what she told CNN on Wednesday.
“Any further people coming forward, I would think it would be time for him to resign,” she said. “Quite honestly, I am so, so disappointed that here we are in 2021 and we are having these conversations on the heels of #MeToo.”
Why is four the magic number? In fact, why is there a magic number at all for this? Cuomo made himself into a #MeToo model, pushing for harsher definitions and stronger enforcement of sexual-harassment violations in the workplace. If Lindsey Boylan can establish a credible allegation of her boss kissing her on the lips uninvited, why isn’t that enough to demand Cuomo live by his own professed standards?
Stewart-Cousins wants to eat her #MeToo cake and have it at the same time. Does anyone doubt that if a fourth accuser had come forward prior to this interview that this Democratic leader would be asking for a fifth? It’s a punt, in which Stewart-Cousins gets to proclaim her allegiance to #MeToo without taking any actual action in support of it.
It might not take long for Stewart-Cousins to get trapped by her own dodge here. According to the New York Post, Cuomo’s toxic work environments aren’t limited to his gubernatorial days. New York might end up seeing a parade of witnesses and complaints going back fourteen years:
Gov. Cuomo created a toxic work environment that dates back at least to his time as state attorney general — and includes rages that can last for days, former aides and associates said Thursday.
Cuomo once chewed out an aide so harshly that “he made her cry,” a source familiar with the incident recalled. “Young people work for him thinking they will rise up with him. Older people are stuck because they need a job and benefits.’’
Back when he was AG from 2007 through 2010, Cuomo viciously teed off on a veteran State Police investigator in his 60s who accidentally mispronounced his name as “Como,” according to a source familiar with that incident.
“What’s my name?” Cuomo thundered in front of a group of people. “How do you pronounce it? Spell it!”
This isn’t specific to sexual harassment, but like bullying, sexual harassment is an expression of power. If Cuomo’s sense of impunity went this far even back to his days as Attorney General, it’s not tough to imagine that the toxicity included inappropriate behavior with women in his office at that time as well. One thing is clear — more people are coming forward, and it won’t be long before Stewart-Cousins has to either meet her commitment or eat her words.
Of course, Cuomo has a bigger scandal in his cover-up of the scope of nursing-home deaths resulting from his COVID-19 orders. With the exposés running today at both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal showing that Cuomo’s cover-up didn’t have anything to do with Donald Trump but likely his own book deal, Stewart-Cousins shouldn’t be waiting around for Cuomo to resign. She should be taking action to remove him.