Far Less Aggressive. That is the claim of Sofia Quintanar against Letitia James. The woman who accuses Ibrahim Khan of sexual assault says the AG did not aggressively pursue charges against him. The disgraced pol was James former chief of staff. Ms. Quintanar was her deputy press secretary. She maintains that her former boss did not go after Khan with the vengeance she pursued Cuomo. The damning report on the ex Governor led to his resignation days after its release. In contrast James withheld public word of the Khan scandal until after the election. Republican lawmakers are calling for a full investigation. The spineless Hochul as usual punts to Democratic constituents and refuses to intervene. Far Less Aggressive. The Attorney General and Governor are guilty of gross malfeasance !!
Sham Investigation. That is the accusation leveled by Rick Azzopardi against Letitia James. The long time Cuomo spokesman alleges the Attorney General did not thoroughly investigate charges of sexual harassment by her chief of staff. He claims she issued a double standard in sweeping the bombshell revelations under the rug. He calls into question the timing of the probe. A public announcement was not made until after she was re-elected as AG. He said it was an abuse of power. The Cuomo camp has it in for her. Her damning report on his misdeeds led to his resignation last summer. At the time she said she believes all women. Though evidently not in this case involving her closest confidante. Sham Investigation. Tish James chooses to look the other way when it suits her !!
No Quid Pro Quo. A federal judge has dismissed 3 of 5 bribery and fraud counts against Brian Benjamin. The former Lieutenant Governor resigned in disgrace in April. He was appointed by Hochul after she assumed office in the wake of the Cuomo harassment scandals. Benjamin had been accused of granting political favors in exchange for a campaign contribution. His lawyers argued that there must be an explicit demand for recompense to prove bribery. The case is a stunning black eye for Hochul. She demonstrated incredible incompetence in selecting. Benjamin as her number two when he was widely known to be under investigation. It speaks volumes of her unfitness to be Governor. No Quid Pro Quo. Hochul was irretrievably discredited by this colossal blunder !!
Education Funding. Hochul sends mixed signals on financial assistance. She takes credit for securing 28 Million federal grant for GEAR UP. The program will help 6,200 students from low income middle and high schools prepare for college. While worthwhile it is just a drop in the bucket. The problem of failing public schools afflicts Millions of New Yorkers. More money is spent per student here than in any other state. Yet standardized test scores lag the national average. Hochul refuses to support expansion of charter schools which have proven to be viable alternatives for poor students. Instead she panders to the teachers Union which is steadfastly opposed to charters. The Union provided major financial backing for her re-election campaign. Education Funding. Hochul plays politics with the schooling of our neediest young people !!
Heading for the Exits. State Health Commissioner Mary Bassett has submitted her resignation. Her departure follows that of Budget Director Robert Mujica. 2 high profile appointees have are leaving the Hochul administration. The talent drain has begun. Now that the Governor has been elected to a full 4 year term, the defections are underway. Others are expected to leave in the coming weeks. There clearly are issues with Hochul’s regime. Her inability to retain capable department heads casts doubt on her leadership. New Yorkers are justifiably concerned. Heading for the Exits. The departures speak loads about Hochul’s ability to govern !!
Cloud of Suspicion. Tish James chief of staff has resigned amid allegations of sexual misconduct. Ibrahim Khan had been the Attorney General’s top aide. He held a similar position when she was public advocate. The crusading AG has zero tolerance for harassment charges. Her investigation into Cuomo’s conduct led to his resignation. James recently won re-election to a second 4 year term. She briefly ran for Governor before terminating her campaign due to anemic fundraising. Cloud of Suspicion. James goes after misconduct cases with a vengeance !!
Support Growing. Zeldin’s backers are lining up behind his bid for Chairman of the Republican National Committee. They are deserting incumbent Ronna McDaniel, blaming her for the 2022 midterm debacle. The expected red wave failed to materialize under her leadership. State Committee Chairmen around the country cite Zeldin’s tremendous showing in heavily Democratic New York. They credit him for flipping 4 congressional districts which gave Republicans control of the House. Lee is the man of the Hour. Support Growing. Zeldin has momentum on his side as his national stature grows !!
Upstate Native. Will Hochul do right by her home region ? That is the question on residents minds. The Legislature is controlled by downstate leaders. Big money contributors similarly are downstate based. They rarely pay more than lip service to the problems of communities removed from NYC. The scope of challenges is staggering. The region has bled population . Its economy has stagnated for years. Cuomo threw money upstate through the scandal marred Buffalo Billion handout. Hochul went to bat for taxpayer assistance to the new Bills stadium. Token gestures but not enough. Hochul as the first upstate Governor in 100 years has a chance to make a real difference. Upstate Native. New Yorkers watch and wait to see if she does right by her own people !!
Veto Power. Hochul is using her pen to veto dozens of laws passed by the Legislature. Since the election 3 weeks ago she has vetoed 51 bills. That as she consolidates her hold on power. 39 of the rejected statutes provided for creation of commissions and task forces. She claims savings of 40 Million dollars to taxpayers on redundant bureaucratic costs. The timing of these actions speaks to her cowardice. She avoided making waves with legislators prior to Election Day. Her flexing of muscle is post November 8th. Veto Power. New Yorkers are in for a long 4 years as Hochul muscles her way like her predecessor Cuomo !!
Oral Arguments. The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in 2 Cuomo era corruption cases. Lawyers for former associates Joseph Percoco and Louis Ciminelli are appealing their fraud convictions. They are out on bail pending resolution of their cases. The justices appeared sympathetic to their presentations. They are claiming victimization by former crusading US Attorney Preet Bhrarara. They claim he used an overly broad interpretation of the fraud statutes. The tangled legal morass resulted when Percoco appeared to take a bribe and Ciminelli improperly sought a public project bid. Both cases cast unfavorable light on the former Governor. Oral Arguments. Public officials are judged by the actions of their cronies and underlings !!