During an interview on Capital Tonight, former gubernatorial candidate and Fordham Law professor Zephyr Teachout argued that Governor Andrew Cuomo has lost the trust of legislators and the public and it’s time for him to resign.
“There are certain kinds of scandals that truly come out of nowhere, that are deeply surprising," Teachout said. "Where you hear people say 'I can’t believe that somebody is accused of that particular thing.' Sadly, when it comes to Andrew Cuomo, people have the exact opposite reaction to these particular, and pretty devastating, scandals."
In last week’s edition of The Nation, Teachout, who is on the magazine’s editorial board, wrote a column outlining why she thinks the three-term governor needs to resign. She pointed to the administration’s alleged history of lies, abuse of power, and retaliation, which she claims, makes it clear that the governor and his top aides have lost the trust of lawmakers and the public, something that won’t change even after multiple investigations run their course.
“This is not about puffery. This is about actually hiding numbers and hiding information that is critical for lawmaking,” Teachout told Capital Tonight. “While we need to get to the bottom of those criminal cases, we already know he was not telling the truth for months and months and months."
Democratic state Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, of Albany, concedes that the governor’s star among lawmakers and voters has fallen. But she doesn’t think the majority of either group wants him to resign immediately.
“Generally, I think the governor has seen trust among voters erode. That said, there appears to be growing support for allowing a thorough investigation to proceed. So, my sense is that voters are reserving judgement until the investigations are complete,” Fahy stated.
Dr. Gerald Benjamin, emeritus founding director of The Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz, told Capital Tonight that whether or not lawmakers trust the governor is irrelevant.
“He does not need trust,” Benjamin explained. “Legislators will have to deal with him.”
Benjamin is also not convinced that the governor’s political future will be over if he’s politically wounded, but not found guilty of a crime.
“If he survives this crisis, which is very much in question, but in my view is not unlikely, Cuomo will be the lonely voice for fiscal prudence, with a focus upon economic recovery in NY,” Benjamin wrote in an email.
To that end, Benjamin believes the governor will leverage his relationships with both the business community and the Black community to sustain his power, and could possibly seek reelection as a way to achieve full vindication and protect his legacy.