Inside New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's history of 'bullying' foes, staffers


The headlines around cuomo's behavior has been about his sexual predatory actions right and there's been a lot of them and and We can talk about those. But i think there's something i haven't really seen disgust as much and other you get into it in. Your piece is just the general toxicity and bullying and how we don't have a lot of language for that right and we need to get better language for it. And one of the things that i found in as i was beginning to report this piece leading up to it and i reported it fairly quickly. Actually because it was in the midst of this big breaking news cycle around cuomo and i was trying to keep up and But one of the things that i noticed was happening is there was coverage of You know what is called the nursing home scandal which is a new york attorney. General james released a report showing that the cuomo administration had underreported nursing home deaths by fifty percent. And this is. It was an early governing decision. That cuomo in the administration made to send Elderly people who'd been sick with covid out of new york's overcrowded hospitals back into nursing homes and of course once in nursing homes covid spread like wildfire and many people died and the attorney. General did an investigation into this decision and and released a report showing that the administration is under reported the number of deaths Then his ablest address was caught on tape explaining to people that they'd actually hidden those numbers Because they didn't want to be targeted by the trump administration which is an incredibly trumpian move right to obscure the reality like as a political ploy. Then there was additional reporting showing that in factory of his top advisers including lists derosa had altered data had consciously and actively altered the data An altered reports to obscure those numbers. So it's a story not only begins with a bad governing choice and it continues to be about cover up corruption and deception And and that report comes out and then they're in. I think because that creates a weakness for this previously sort of impenetrable shell of andrew. Cuomo right he's been able to behave in all kinds of bad ways over ten years and still you know he has incredibly high approval. Ratings people still view him as immensely competent and just really skilled at hard knuckle politics. But then there's this moment of weakness in in that space comes as state legislator assembling ron kim who describes how in the wake of the nursing homes report Andrew cuomo is called him at home as he's bathing his kids to threaten his job if he keeps criticizing him about the nursing homes and and that gets a lot of national attention run. Kim goes on the view. Then comes the story from lindsey. Boiling a former aide. Cuomo alleging that he sexually harassed her in a very sort of classic sexual harassment way. She worked for him. He asked her she alleges that he asked her to play strip poker that he kissed her against her will that he referred to her by the name of another woman. He said that she resembled. Who is rumored to be his ex girlfriend Then then the story becomes sort of bifurcated thing and this is one of the things i was trying to get at. I am going back to your question. I promise between. There's the story of the nursing homes report and efforts to cover up those numbers. And then there's a story of the sexual harassment and i felt like a lot of people. Were titling back and forth between those two stories In fact to me it seemed very clear that they were one story. And that ron. Kim was another element of that story. And it's it's a story of power abuse that's what the story is yet so a couple of things one. Yes there is a through line here right like it is not. It is not bifurcated stories. There is one story and it all has to do with white male patriarchy and this idea of is political. Theater is the perfect way to describe it because the theater part i think is something you talk about. Your piece doesn't get talked about enough in the coverage of this which is what gets sacrificed when you have a bully in charge is what we saw in the trump administration which is nothing gets done. Like things don't happen government doesn't work because there's all this energy and time and prioritizing of the so there's a bunch of really like deep questions here what is power what is power for. And what do you use it for. How do you build it right. And and how do you maintain it. And how do you make it grow. And and there are a lot of different answers that but here's a traditional answer in is one that andrew cuomo in body right you you establish power by establishing dominance how do you establish dominance by subjugating other people. This is something that a former speechwriter spokesman for the story. Who's this brilliant writer komo felix. Who worked for him as a speechwriter. When she was young she has since gone on to write literally a book of poetry that was nominated for a national book award and yet. She told me that she wrote more than thirty speeches. And sets of remarks for andrew cuomo. She thinks he used one okay so and she writes about the experience of having been a young black woman in his administration where she understood that he was nice to her in her case. She's she doesn't complain about ill-treatment from him. That he didn't use her work he didn't he didn't value her intellectually and she describes the feeling of kind of token ization and what she calls a subtle form of ritualized abuse which is understanding that she was there to benefit him. She says to be in the press releases but not to do the work of shaping his speech and his policy in his

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