Apparently sexual harassment is funny to Andrew Cuomo. The governor of New York laughed away questions on public radio’s “The Capitol Pressroom” Monday about allegations he protected a Democratic politician embroiled in a sex scandal.
The radio host asked Cuomo to respond to his Republican gubernatorial challenger and Westchester County Executive, Rob Astorino, who recently made his first policy announcement on ethics. Astorino voiced his concern over recent scandals involving property tax evasion and Cuomo’s alleged protection of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who was accused of having a relationship with a member of his staff. The governor responded to Astorino's statements with a chuckle:
"Yeah, that's funny," he said. “Good, I’m glad he did that. I look forward to the proposal.”
Here is just a little information about the scandal Cuomo so quickly dismissed. It started with an assemblyman named Vito Lopez, who was accused of groping two staffers. Then, last June, an attorney representing those alleged victims sent an email to Assembly lawyers suggesting that Assemblyman Silver also had an inappropriate relationship - with a top aide. Although Governor Cuomo had a chance to investigate the case further by appointing a special prosecutor, he missed the boat, according to Republican leaders.
Cuomo’s priorities are once again out of whack. NY GOP Chair Ed Cox responded to Cuomo’s blasé behavior about this very serious allegation against Assemblyman Silver:
“Sexual assault isn’t funny, and the fact that New York’s Governor would laugh off rather than address the serious issue of the leadership of the Assembly covering up sexual assault in the State Capitol is appalling.
Blowing off the interviewer’s question with a laugh demonstrates that Andrew Cuomo is incapable of giving New York the moral leadership that it needs and deserves.”
Republicans are looking for that leadership in Astorino, who they recently voted to be their official GOP candidate in the race for governor. Although he is still trying to increase his presence in the race (7 out of 10 NY Republicans “don’t know him”), it’s clear Astorino is not afraid to take Cuomo to task on just about every issue.
Cuomo may currently be enjoying a sizable lead over his opponent in the polls, but New Yorkers may soon be turned off by their governor's arrogance. Who can forget his comments that conservatives and pro-lifers are “not welcome” in the state? Now, his indifference to serious political scandals should be the last straw.Listen to the governor’s (most recent) insensitive comments here.