Cuomo’s “well-deserved reputation for ruthlessness,” in the words of New York journalist and radio personality Alan Chartock, dates back years. “He was just vicious,” a longtime Democratic operative told the New York Post in 2009. “If he got involved in something, people were terrorized.” That same year, according to the New York Times, Cuomo had reportedly urged state political and labor leaders not to back Caroline Kennedy — the cousin of his ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy — in the race to succeed Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Senate.
As secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration, Cuomo pressured lenders to expand loans to “low- and moderate-income families,” a move that many have argued helped initiate the housing bubble that led to the crash of 2007–08. Decades earlier, when his father, Mario, was governor, Andrew’s antics earned him the nickname “Prince of Darkness.”
The younger Cuomo, who managed his father’s 1982 gubernatorial campaign, is widely thought to have been responsible for a controversial “Vote for Cuomo, Not the Homo” billboard that played up the notion that New York mayor Ed Koch was gay; Koch at the time was running against Mario Cuomo in the Democratic primary.
Such tactics would no doubt “have no place in the state of New York” these days. Bullies, on the other hand, are still welcome.