Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

Andrew Cuomo

Andrew Cuomo

  • Cuomo de Blasio coronavirus

    Cuomo and de Blasio at a March briefing (photo: Don Pollard/Governor's Office)


    This guest column is part of Citizens Union Speakers, a regular series of op-eds written by members of

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  • state senators

    Senators Ramos and Gounardes (photo: NY Senate)


    A group of Democratic state senators, mostly from New York City, gathered in a digital forum Wednesday night to discuss the government’s COVID-19 response. The virtual event, held in partnership with the Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI), a nonprofit liberal think tank, covered topics including the state budget, impending cuts and proposals to raise revenue, and legislation to address ramifications of the virus.

    Eight senators, or a fifth of the Democratic majority in the 63-seat chamber, participated in

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  • gov health dep

    Governor Cuomo (photo: Mike Groll/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    At his daily coronavirus press briefing on Sunday, April 26, Governor Cuomo was asked  whether he had any plans to grant broad clemencies to people in prison, particularly to vulnerable populations. His testy and dismissive response – “How about if they are violent and just started their sentence?” – was telling. Presumably, the governor meant to remove from consideration people he believed remained a threat to public safety and had not been sufficiently punished.

    The reporter’s question was

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  • act early cr

    An altered image from one of Gov. Cuomo's briefings (by Aaron Carr, the author)


    Dear fellow urbanites, city dwellers, and city lovers, 

    I regret to inform you that the heart and soul of New York City is under attack. And not just by COVID-19, which, as of April 27, has taken the lives of an astonishing 16,936 New York City residents, but by fictional statements made by our own governor, Andrew Cuomo, who has deceptively blamed the spread of this infectious, vicious, and deadly disease primarily on our city's population density. 

    The governor

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  • cuomo announces

    All voters will get an absentee application for the June elections (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday, April 24 signed an executive order mandating that the State Board of Elections send every registered voter in the state an absentee ballot application with paid postage to facilitate voting in elections slated for June 23 without increasing the risk of

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  • 1 good advo

    Voting in New York is undergoing major shifts, with more possibly to come (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Amid reports that Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to allow or require voting by mail for all New Yorkers in primary and special elections set for June 23, government reform advocates have raised concerns that the measure could end up adversely affecting the election, while the State Republican Party has promised to sue if the governor follows through.

    The coronavirus pandemic has forced several delays in the state’s election calendar and in-person voting

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  • briefing covid daily

    Gov. Cuomo and Lt. Gov. Hochul (photo: Darren McGee, Governor's Office)


    As Governor Andrew Cuomo garnered national attention while leading briefings on New York’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak each day for well over a month, often from Albany and sometimes from Manhattan, one top state official was conspicuously absent: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

    Not only was the lieutenant governor not present for any of the governor’s first 40-plus daily coronavirus briefings, she was curiously never mentioned as part of the Cuomo

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  • hospital pano

    Manhattan Psychiatric Center, Wards Island (photo: @nicknormal via Flickr)


    Ten people have died of coronavirus and another 193 have tested positive among the nearly 3,500 residents living in state-run inpatient psychiatric facilities, according to officials, making them one of the hardest hit institutional settings per capita in New York State. Another 283 staff that work at the state's 23 centers have tested positive for COVID-19, which has killed well over 13,000 people across the state.

    After inquiries, the information was provided to Gotham Gazette on

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  • gov cuomo enacted budget highlights

    Governor Cuomo gives a budget presentation (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    New York State and City are the gruesome public health epicenter of COVID-19, with horrific daily death tolls. The coronavirus is likely causing New York to also be the economic epicenter of the nation’s staggering job and economic loss, although those are statistics that will play catch up.

    New York State’s fiscal year is April 1 to the following March 31, so the Governor and the Legislature just adopted a new budget (slightly

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  • Cuomo coronavirus briefing power Albany

    Gov. Cuomo at one of his coronavirus briefings (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    The consequences of poor social distancing, inadequate supply chains, and nearly every other facet of our COVID-19 calamity are nothing short of life and death. But as New York endures a disaster unlike any in our lifetimes, as we see our morgues filled and our store shelves stripped bare, this teeming tidal wave of death might upend most fundamental assumptions about our way of life.

    We are about to face a deeply dangerous moment, not

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  • Cuomo political rally winking

    Gov. Cuomo appears interested in seeing the demise of New York's smaller political parties (photo: New York Democratic Party)


    Included in the bills to approve a state budget for the new fiscal year beginning April 1 was the creation of a new campaign finance system with a public-matching program, lower individual contribution limits, and various other changes to campaign finance law. But the controversial inclusion of changes to ballot thresholds could prove to be a poison pill, not for the law but for the several minor political parties

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  • Cuomo prisons coronavirus

    Gov. Cuomo tours a prison (photo: Governor's Office)


    At the time of this writing, more than 287 detainees in New York City jails and 441 Department of Correction staff members have tested positive for the new coronavirus, COVID-19. Each of these men and women have friends and family members who wake up every morning, desperately hoping not to receive that dreaded call they know is increasingly possible. And there are thousands more families with loved ones in state

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  • Cuomo voting New York

    Gov. Cuomo votes, in person (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday that he will use his executive authority to allow all New Yorkers to vote by absentee ballot for the June 23 elections, to prevent long lines at the polls that could put people at risk of being exposed to the coronavirus. Elections that day will include party primaries for many seats and special elections open to all voters within the relevant districts.

    “I've seen lines of people on television voting in other states.

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  • 3 maj leader asc

    A nearly-empty State Senate Chamber as business is conducted amid coronavirus outbreak (photo: NY Senate)


    If New Yorkers take Governor Andrew Cuomo’s word for it, the new $177 billion budget approved last week will “deliver results” for the people of the state and was a far cry from a “bare minimum” spending plan at a time when the state’s finances are racked by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. But within his own Democratic Party, which controls both houses of the Legislature where the plan was passed, the budget is a highly unpopular document that to

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  • mbdb flcm co

    Major questions about voting during coronavirus hang in the balance (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    As the American people hunker down under a patchwork of evolving emergency orders and health directives, our communities are grappling with extraordinary circumstances disrupting and reorienting our lives and the economy. To flatten the curve of community spread during the increasingly deadly COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Cuomo has placed New York on PAUSE; Health officials have issued stay-at-home and social distancing directives; schools, playgrounds, and non-essential

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  • 1 mbd rides cityhall

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Two months after Mayor Bill de Blasio made his nominations for two empty seats on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board, Governor Andrew Cuomo has yet to send those nominations to the State Senate for its approval. The inaction continues to leave half of de Blasio’s four seats empty as the Board makes major decisions impacting virtually everyone who lives or works in New York City.

    The MTA Board is composed of 17 voting members, whose decisions have broad impacts on the

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  • 2 a 30

    Gov. Cuomo & legislative leaders (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Amid the unprecedented public health crisis presented by the coronavirus pandemic, Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature managed to cobble together a $177 billion state budget, though slightly past its deadline, which contains a raft of legislation on criminal justice, environmental protection, public health regulation, campaign finance reform, women’s reproductive rights, election administration, gun control, and more.

    But the budget session became particularly harried, and focused in

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  • 5 mbdb management

    Mayor de Blasio, a ventilator, and two doctors (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As government officials anticipate a wave of coronavirus patients overwhelming the New York City hospital system within days or weeks, the question of how racial disparities in health care will impact who dies of COVID-19 and the disaster's long-term public health fallout loom large and, as yet, unaddressed.

    Differences in access to quality care for African-Americans and other people of color are ...

  • cuomo indian point

    Governor Cuomo at Indian Point (photo: governor's office)


    Dear Governor Cuomo,

    This letter is to alert your Administration and the City of New York that an unforeseen consequence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is its likely impact on the reliability of the electric grid serving the New York City metropolitan area, and actions needed to be taken now to reduce these risks.

    Blackouts anywhere/anytime are at best an inconvenience, but today they dramatically worsen the angst and economic pressure already being felt across the nation. In

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  • Cuomo state budget presentation

    Gov. Cuomo's budget presentation (photo: Darren McGee/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature came to an agreement this past week on a $177 billion budget for the 2021 fiscal year, amid uncertainty about the state’s economy that has been devastated by the coronavirus outbreak.

    The slightly late budget was given final approval by legislators in the early hours of Friday morning, a couple of days after the April 1 start of the fiscal year, and Cuomo signed the pieces he needed to by end of day Friday. And

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  • New York 2020 census

    Gov. Cuomo at a state census conference in January (photo: Governor's Office)


    Before the coronavirus overwhelmed New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo wanted the equivalent of a $70 million effort to ensure that New Yorkers are accurately counted in this year’s Census. That was to include $10 million just appropriated in the state budget approved this past week. But the plans behind the Cuomo administration’s census campaign remain vague at best and nonexistent at worst as the state struggles to combat the coronavirus outbreak that hit after New York

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  • Governors Cuomo Murphy Lamont

    Gov. Cuomo with neighboring governors (photo: Governor's Office)


    Tri-state governors have coordinated to close bars. Now they must coordinate to close tax loopholes.

    Governor Cuomo has gotten a lot right in addressing the COVID-19 health crisis in the past few weeks. But at the state budget deadline, he has been far too willing to shred the social safety net that millions of New Yorkers rely on, and so many more will need as the economic crisis worsens.

    One thing he got right could

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  • Cuomo Heastie Stewart-Cousins

    State government leaders Stewart-Cousins, Cuomo, Heastie (photo: The Governor's Office)


    A new state campaign finance system, with public matching money for candidates who choose to participate and lower individual contribution limits, will be enshrined in law through inclusion in the new state budget. It is accompanied by new and highly-controversial ballot-threshold requirements for political parties.

    Using a modified system due to the coronavirus outbreak, the state Legislature voted through various budget bills on Tuesday and

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  • cuomo train tunnel MTA subway shutdown

    Gov. Cuomo should close the subways, the author writes (photo: Governor's Office)


    New York City is the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in the United States. State and city authorities are pleading with residents to stay home, shelter in place, and maintain distance from fellow New Yorkers to slow the wave of cases crashing into the city’s healthcare facilities.

    Yet, public transportation was running on the standard weekday schedule as of Monday morning. With subway ridership down ridership down 87%, the...

  • Robert Carroll State Assembly

    Assemblymember Carroll, the author (photo: New York State Assembly)


    In a few days the New York State Legislature will pass a new state budget. In a normal year, this is the most consequential task the Legislature does. In a crisis year, it may be the last thing we do.

    What we do now could help New Yorkers weather the storm. Unfortunately the discussions we are having, which are few, are emphasizing the wrong issues.

    To understand New York’s politics, one must understand that New York’s budget is not just dollars and cents, but also a

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