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On July 22, 2014 Rob Astorino and Zephyr Teachout held a joint press conference in NYC expressing grave concerns about Governor Cuomo and the increasing culture of corrption that has permeated in NYS under his reign.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: For Teachout, Aly Johnson-Kurtz 802-595-9593
For Astorino, Jessica Proud 914-438-5425
TEACHOUT, ASTORINO HOLD JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE ON
ALBANY’S INCREASING CULTURE OF CORRUPTION
“One Thing We Can Agree On is that
Albany Corruption is Growing Under Andrew Cuomo.”
New York–July 22…Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino and Democratic Primary candidate Zephyr Teachout today held a joint news conference outside Tweed Courthouse in New York City — a building notorious for cost overruns due to political corruption — to address the growing corruption crisis in Albany under Governor Andrew Cuomo.
The University of Illinois ranked New York State government #1 in corruption in 201o, and cases of corruption in Albany have exploded since then. Governor Cuomo’s Moreland Commission, which was supposed to investigate corruption, is now under investigation itself for corruption by the U.S. Attorney for New York’s Southern District. Top Cuomo aides have been accused of steering investigations away from Cuomo political allies. Multiple subpoenas have been issued to Moreland staffers handpicked by the governor’s office.
The Republican and Democrat hold very different political views and may be running against each other in the fall, but both Mr. Astorino and Ms. Teachout agree that underhanded, pay-to-play politics and outright theft of public money has grown out of control under Andrew Cuomo.
“Four years ago Governor Cuomo stood on these steps and promised to clean up Albany,” said Ms. Teachout. “He promised campaign finance reform, redistricting reform and a new culture of transparency and accountability. I believed him. And so I voted for him. But Governor Cuomo broke the promises he made four years ago. The system is still corrupt. He not only refuses to fix it, he is making it worse.”
“New York taxpayers are getting hammered by Albany’s corruption tax, which rears its head in every nook of state government,” Mr. Astorino, the Westchester County Executive, said. “Some of this corruption results in perp walks and some, like Mr. Cuomo’s siphoning $37.5 million in Hurricane Sandy dollars from storm victims, shamelessly occurs right out in the open. This is a state in desperate need of ethics reform, and I proudly stand with Professor Teachout to address the issue and speak about needed reforms.”
Ms. Teachout and Mr. Astorino both called on Governor Cuomo to cease airing publicly financed, election year TV commercials that are costing hardworking New York families $237.5 million, and to publicly identify what members of his administration have been subpoenaed to testify in the U.S. Attorney’s investigation into Moreland.
Mr. Cuomo promised as a candidate in 2010 — in front of Tweed Courthouse — that he would clean up Albany corruption and be the “most transparent” governor in state history. He instead is widely considered to be the most secretive and opaque governor in modern memory, with newspaper reporters and editorial boards around the state continually criticizing his administration for hiding information — including interoffice emails that could be key to the U.S Attorney investigation into the Moreland Commission.
“We don’t agree on a lot of things, including solutions, I strongly support public financing of elections” Ms. Teachout said. “And I’m against Public Financing of elections.” Mr. Astorino said, “but one thing we can agree on is that Albany corruption is growing under Andrew Cuomo. The insiders may benefit from corruption; everyday New Yorkers are the ones who pay the price.”
The New York Times followed the next day with a stunning investigative report. According to the piece, Governor Cuomo created the Moreland Commission last summer to ferret out wrongdoing in state politics. However, when Cuomo’s top and closest aid, Lawrence Schwartz, learned the Commission had issued subpoenas to groups linked to Cuomo, the Administration quickly cracked down. The Times reports, “[Schwartz] said the firm worked for the governor, and issued a simple directive. ‘Pull it back.'” In April, Cuomo quietly disbanded Moreland.
Read the NY Times expose here.
According to the article, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been reported to use the power of his office to obstruct a NY State investigation into his corruption practices. This is the deepest betrayal of public trust.
According to a Capital New York article, there is a real possibility that the Governor’s actions could amount to a very serious offense with possible criminal charges being filed.
Does Governor Cuomo realize he could be under indictment soon?
He must be aware of how serious things are, because he is no where to be found and he has not spoken out since word of his corrupt practices were validated in the news.
To judge whether he is guilty ot innocent, take a look at the governor’s response. You can always get a sense of how fearful of a breaking story a politician is by his public schedule immediately afterward. This is the sentiment advanced by news and journalists, and its right on the mark.
The Governor Cuomo’s actions immediately after the bombshell revelations were publicized, speak volumes.
Both Zephyr Teachout and Rob Astorino are rightly curious and yet appalled by the Governor’s gall and silence.
From Zephyr Teachout’s website:
“Although I am running against Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic Primary because of his failures of accountability, I am stunned by the audacity of his silence over the last four days since the New York Times article broke.
The essence of democratic leadership involves both action and explanation, and his aides’ actions beg explanation: what terrible thing would have happened if Buying Time was issued a subpoena? How would New Yorkers have been hurt by seeing the name of REBNY, one of Cuomo’s top contributors, in an anti-corruption report?”
From Rob Astorino’s website:
“Is anyone else concerned that Governor Andrew Cuomo has gone missing since that blockbuster New York Times story came out on Tuesday about interference with a New York anti-corruption commission?”
In fact, Astorino has taken it a step farther. His team is actively searching for Cuomo as we speak.
He is not to be found by Astorino’s team, unfortunately.
Likewise, Teachout’s team has had no luck finding Cuomo either.
But, they are not deterred. Teachout plans to hold a rally in Dutchess County this week to demand Governor Cuomo come clean!
While Cuomo wont show, I think we expect some of his groupies are likely to be there. Oddly, while Cuomo is in hiding he somehow manages to send members of his entourage to protest Teachout’s rallies in a bid to distract and halt her Primary for the Governor’s race.
This just in:
Rumor has it that these young protesters attended public school under the old standards BCC (Before Common Core) and, therefore, did not graduate college and career ready. As a result, according to NYSED’s arbitrary cut scores, these kids are not college and career ready. Perhaps, the only employment these young people were able to get after graduation is as paid shills for Cuomo’s corrupt campaign, apparently. What a shame.
So, the question remains:
Where in the world is Governor Cuomo?
Can you find him?