Editorial: Cuomo's actions no surprise
When a Las Vegas performer was mauled several years ago by one of the tigers in his magic act, comedian Chris Rock said of the incident, "That tiger didn't go crazy. That tiger went tiger."
When it comes to the revelations regarding the Moreland Commission and Gov. Andrew Cuomo's alleged hand in trying to influence its investigations away from donors and friends, the situation can be viewed in much the same way. Cuomo didn't go crazy. Cuomo went Cuomo.
The governor's alleged actions are no different than what we have seen from him during the last four years.
Cuomo being Cuomo, he has received much praise. How else do you explain the discordant state Legislature falling into line and approving multiple budgets on time for the first time in years? How else would someone get a ground-breaking gun control law through a divided Legislature in the span of a few days? How did he push same-sex marriage —which didn't have the same social momentum it has today — through a Senate controlled by conservatives? Explain a local property tax cap in a state that spends money like a new sailor on his first shore leave. Explain how he got high-tech businesses to view the most taxed state in the country as Silicon Valley of the East.
How do you think he does all this?
He does it through intimidation and strong will and an expectation that he's right and if you're not with him, you're against him. Pity the fool who makes him mad by publicly pushing legislation he's not in favor of or who asks him a question that dares challenge a decision.
And judging by his ridiculously large lead in the polls leading up to November's re-election bid, we apparently like him that way.
So it should come as no surprise that he and/or his staff had no problem intimidating his own appointed ethics committee in order to discourage it from rooting out corruption in his office, and that he thought he could get away with disbanding it when it got too big for its britches.
Unfortunately for the governor, he may have pushed his tactic a little too far.
In addition to fallout from The New York Times' original investigative piece last month on the tactics employed by the governor's staff toward the Moreland Commission, the U.S. Attorney looking into the situation has now threatened to investigate the governor's office for potential witness tampering. Some members have said they were encouraged to speak positively on the governor's behalf to counter the tampering allegations.
But just remember that whatever happens, it should come as no surprise to any of us. The governor has never tried to disguise the fact that he was a tiger just being a tiger.