Two events are worth watching today—one a small detail that may morph into a significant detail, and the second a new angle on Gov. Cuomo’s mounting political troubles that may yet force his resignation or ouster from office.
First, the Senate. Some time today—perhaps by the time this item goes live—the Senate will get a ruling from the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, on whether the $15 minimum wage proposal can be included in the $1.9 trillion porkulus spending bill that Democrats plan to pass through the “reconciliation” process that only needs a simple majority, which means Republicans can’t stop it with a filibuster. A minimum wage hike is clearly not a fiscal matter, and therefore should be ruled “not germane” and therefore not included in a reconciliation vote. Maybe MacDonough will capitulate to Democratic wishes, but if not, the parliamentarian’s rulings can be overturned by a simple majority vote, so if all 50 Democrats hold the line, they can include the minimum wage hike with Vice President Harris breaking a tie. And if Senate Democrats are willing to use their bare majority to change the rules for this issue, what other rules might they change in the same way, such as the filibuster? Joe Manchin, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you. . .
Second, there is bombshell story breaking today on Medium leveling serious charges of sexual harassment against Gov. Cuomo, by Lindsay Boylan, a progressive-leaning pol in New York City who worked as an aide to the governor. Here’s how it opens:
“Let’s play strip poker.”
I should have been shocked by the Governor’s crude comment, but I wasn’t.
We were flying home from an October 2017 event in Western New York on his taxpayer-funded jet. He was seated facing me, so close our knees almost touched. His press aide was to my right and a state trooper behind us.
“That’s exactly what I was thinking,” I responded sarcastically and awkwardly. I tried to play it cool. But in that moment, I realized just how acquiescent I had become.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a culture within his administration where sexual harassment and bullying is so pervasive that it is not only condoned but expected. His inappropriate behavior toward women was an affirmation that he liked you, that you must be doing something right. He used intimidation to silence his critics. And if you dared to speak up, you would face consequences.
The story goes on from there, and by all means take it in if you have time. Unlike many accusations that can be categorized as “she said, he said” (or without any external evidence at all, like Christine Blasey Ford), this account comes with some circumstantial corroborating evidence in the form of text messages and emails that suggest at the very least that Gov. Cuomo has a “reputation” among his own staff. And the story says there are many women besides Boylan who have had similar unpleasant experiences with Gov. Cuomo. Maybe the dam is about the break and wash him out of office?
So let’s see whether CNN and other media outlets that scoured the landscape over the allegations against Brett Kavanaugh will go to the same exertions to follow up this allegation. I repair to the opinion I offered yesterday—there is a critical mass of Democrats in New York who want to destroy Cuomo. Stock up on popcorn.
BONUS—I hope everyone caught our President’s latest struggle with the Teleprompter (just 16 seconds):
Chaser—if you want to find media pondering this, you’ll have to go all the way to Australia (5 min):