Andrew Cuomo: America’s Most Deplorable Governor?

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Andrew Cuomo is running hard for the title of America’s most deplorable governor. Add now to the corruption an ideological compulsion to do the outrageous.

Two recent actions by Andrew Cuomo demonstrate what a truly deplorable governor this man-child is. One has nothing to do with natural gas and the other is only peripherally related, but both reveal how his fracking decision came to be, why he’s opposing pipelines and the psychosis behind his contempt for Upstate New Yorkers.

New York politicians are notoriously corrupt and, just as often, irredeemably nasty. The examples on both sides of the aisle are legion. Andrew Cuomo is an example of both, as we’ve documented here multiple times. Two recent actions by him, though, illustrate a third characteristic about which we’ve not talked nearly his much; his ideological compulsions. He’s the second-generation trust-funder type from a political family who carries the baggage of guilt at having done so undeservedly well, with all the irrationality that portends.

Andrew Cuomo

A smiling Judith Clark after being taken into custody in 1981 for her role in the Brink’s massacre

What I’m talking about are his recent commutation of Judith Clark’s sentence and his supposed deal to close the Indian Point nuclear power facility on the Hudson. These two decisions reveal an immature ideological mindset that drives the man to do outrageous things to prove his worthiness, not as the corrupt pol he is, but as a lion-slayer for some principle he can’t even articulate.

Judith Clark, for those who don’t know, was a participant in the infamous Brinks massacre that resulted in the deaths of three people, including two cops, one of whom was shot in the back. She was sentenced to 75 years to life in prison for driving the get-away car, later smiled and laughed about her role and has never given up to FBI all she knows about the murders. Notwithstanding all this, Andrew Cuomo met with her in prison and decided she should be eligible as soon as March of this year. Cuomo responded to pressure from the Jim Owles Democratic Club, a group called Candles for Clemency and the New York Legal Aid Society to grant her this relief.

Now 67, Judith Clark was a 31-year old member of the Weather Underground when the crime was committed. Her parents were members of the American Communist Party for many years and as an infant, Clark lived in the Soviet Union from 1950 to 1953. She was born to radicalism and acted on it in 1981 with the robbery and murders that took place in Nyack, New York. Now, she says she’s sorry and Andrew Cuomo has responded by modifying her sentence after “getting a sense of her soul.” Here’s some of what the New York Times reported:

“I talked to him about how I understood that the groupthink and zealotry and internalized loyalty had sapped me of my own moral compass,” Ms. Clark said.

This part of the conversation helped the governor recognize some of the forces that propelled the mayhem. “You’re fighting for good versus evil,” Mr. Cuomo said this week. “That’s what sends young men into war with guns to kill other people.”

Mr. Cuomo said he believed she was unsparing in accounting for that era in her life.

“The zealotry, the ideology, how it filled the vacuum of a young mind,” he said this week. “It wasn’t just, ‘I drove the car’ — it was how she got to that place. The psychological underpinnings and immaturity. The zealotry that answers all questions. It was purpose, it was heaven, it was hell, it was God.”

Mr. Cuomo said he was not worried about paying a political price for commuting Ms. Clark’s sentence. “I’ve gotten to a point where if I can sleep at night, I’m happy,” he said. “I can sleep at night with this. I believe showing mercy and justice and compassion and forgiveness is the right signal. You can’t make ‘them’ happy. You live your life by ‘them’ and you’re lost.”

Reading these words gave me a sense of Andrew Cuomo’s soul. Cuomo understands zealotry to the point of its substitution for God. Yet, he also identified with it, making it the good in opposition to evil, characterizing soldiers as killers. He harbors an admiration for zealotry and empathizes with Clark because she simply didn’t know when to stop. He’s not worried about paying a political price for it, either, he says, which tells us a lot about his fracking decision. It was 100% political after all, his justification being pure junk science. He didn’t mind throwing the Southern Tier to the dogs and can sleep at night because he aided the cause of fractivism and satisfied his own yearning to be radical. Moreover, the “price” he paid was nothing – he never needed Southern Tier votes anyway. True courage would have required standing up to the radicals. That he sided with them is the window into his soul.

andrew cuomo

Indian Point nuclear facility

The other decision demonstrating that radical soul was his deal to close the Indian Point nuclear facility, so he could relive his father’s role in killing the Shoreham nuclear project. That story, too, is covered by the New York Times:

Despite the political opposition to Indian Point, which is perched on the edge of the Hudson River in Buchanan, N.Y., the plant is an important supplier of inexpensive power to the metropolitan area. It has the capacity to generate more than 2,000 megawatts, or about one-fourth of the power consumed in New York City and Westchester County. The prospects for replacing that power are so far unclear, but potential options include hydropower from Quebec and power from wind farms already operating across New York, according to the person.

State officials believe the Entergy agreement will help convince renewable energy providers that the state is serious about looking for new sources of energy, the person said. But without a viable replacement source, ratepayers in New York City could be burdened with higher energy prices for years.

Entergy has agreed to make repairs and safety upgrades, including transferring spent fuel to what the state says is a safer storage system. The company will also allow safety inspections starting this year, bowing to longtime demands from the Cuomo administration; the office of the state attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman; and Riverkeeper, the environmental nonprofit group, all of which participated in the deal.

Three things jump out from these paragraphs.

First, is the fact it’s all about New York outsourcing its energy production. New Yorkers want their heat this winter but they don’t want any it produced anywhere near them. They prefer to cover Upstate New York with wind and solar farms (“who the hell cares about those rubes, anyway” is the thinking) and Quebec with dams. Andrew Cuomo aims to deliver. There’s no more courage displayed here than in canceling fracking to appease these folks.

Secondly, one can’t help but notice who’s being rewarded. Entergy, of course, is going to get taxpayer and ratepayer subsidies for its other nuclear facilities. The Riverkeeper and associated NRDC gang are getting their way by pulling on those bull rings in the noses of their lackeys Cuomo and Schneiderman. It’s cronyism like you’ve never seen it before and the ratepayers and taxpayers will cover the costs.

Finally, notice “prospects for replacing that power are so far unclear” but wind farms are part of the answer. Anyone who imagines wind farms will replace the energy lost by closing Indian Point is a fool. Nuclear energy, like that from natural gas, is dispatchable, accessible when needed. Wind energy is sporadic, erratic, inefficient and generally incapable of being stored or dispatched when needed. It’s supplementary at best and mostly when not needed.

andrew cuomoThis is, again, the real Andrew Cuomo, a man-child using his immense power in a corrupt way to take New York State down a path of energy doom at great expense while signaling his virtues from the mountaintops. This deal is a nightmare for ratepayers and taxpayers (although it will surely enhance demand for natural gas in the long-term). It is demagoguery on the fast-track but will allow Cuomo to proclaim his greatness while he fleeces everyone. It reveals a certain ideological determination at the same time, a desire to force the renewable religion upon New Yorkers by necessity. Removing Indian Point from the energy equation, preventing fracking and stopping pipelines, he imagines, will give New Yorkers no choice but to rely upon those renewables.

It won’t do that at all, of course. The resistance to solar and wind farms is growing and forcing New York’s already obscenely high electric rates even higher isn’t a recipe for success. It will, in the interim, though, satisfy Andrew Cuomo’s desire to be radical at heart, while also feathering his nest. That’s why he’s earned the title of America’s most deplorable governor.

 

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9 thoughts on “Andrew Cuomo: America’s Most Deplorable Governor?

  1. Don’t give Cuomo all the credit. Maybe NY Republicans make it easy for him to ignore them.

    Polls show that 20+% of registered NY Republicans are willing to vote for him. Of course when Republicans run the likes the recently re-disgraced Palladino, or political unknowns like Golisano or Asterino, it makes it easier.

    The NY Senate has been controlled by Republicans and a few turncoat Democrats since 2011; have you heard anything about gas from them? The NYS Senate Republican Conference just released a 60 page 2016 Legislative Highlights booklet. Natural gas is not mentioned anywhere in it, but they are proud of a tax credit for geothermal energy.

    Your failure to make the benefits of natural gas an economic issue for moderate New Yorkers, independent of the rest of the conservative agenda, lets Cuomo ignore you with impunity.

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    • Astorino won practically every upstate county in 2014.

      There is no overcoming the overwhelming NYC #s advantage. They’d vote for Stalin if he was a Democrat- and Cuomo is only slightly dissimilar.

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      • Unfortunately, he didn’t win the counties, even in upstate, where most people live. In 2014, less than 1/3 of all registered voters went to the polls and the Green Party took about 5% of the vote, almost all from Cuomo, yet Cuomo still won 54% to 41%.

        If the Southern Tier was so worked up about fracking and social issues, why didn’t more Republicans show up to vote? All you needed was about 450,000 votes out of the 7,500,000 voters who stayed home. I’m pretty sure that NY Democrats will mobilize their base to make sure you don’t get another such opportunity in 2018.

        Stop complaining downstate exists. Stop talking about desperation wish trips like secession, nullification and state electoral colleges. Have conservatives figured out yet that most New Yorkers want nothing to do with their political agenda, but that virtually everyone wants clean, cheap energy and the Southern Tier has it in abundance. Apparently not, and that goes a long way to explain their failure.

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        • I’m tiring of your scolding admonitions to readers here…

          You don’t understand NY politics or the depth of corruption involved as evidenced by the spate of recent convictions and indictments. We face the now blatant socialism of NYC which welcomes the undocumented (future
          democrat voters), powerful unions, urbanites rich and poor and celebrities… all manipulated by a handful
          of super rich elites and their media and
          crooked courts. All brainwashed that fossil
          fuels equal death.

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          • Don’t worry, my appreciation of your observations is well under control also.

            I am here to get gas development in NY and to use it to revitalize New England and the Middle Atlantic states; nothing else.

            Unfortunately I do understand NY politics and know that Republicans participated in graft and corruption back when they could win elections, like in the Pataki administration, that “future democrat voters” didn’t vote in 2014, that unions are a pale shadow of what they once were and that the state is 3/4 urban, not just downstate.

            You had a golden opportunity to unseat Cuomo in the year that drilling was banned, had more than enough registered Republicans to beat his meager turnout and yet Republicans stayed home in droves. Your explanation doesn’t fit the data.

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  2. It’s very simple. Southern Tier landowners got absolutely screwed by this governor. Republicans and other “unwelcome” conservatives from basically four NY shale counties don’t have an ice cube’s chance in hell of overcoming statewide apathy nor is there any real upstate representation in Albany.

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    • I agree with you, except that it is not very simple. If attacking Cuomo politically has not worked, work to our strength, economics, not his politics.

      He has over-promised and under-delivered on renewable development. We could deliver the environmental benefits of gas to cover his supporters desire for a cleaner air and a way of dealing with climate change. The “ad volorem” tax on gas goes directly to school districts and local governments, not filtered through Albany like Lotto and casino revenue. Non existent wind and solar farms produce neither clean energy or tax revenue.

      I am not naive enough to think upstate conservatives will suddenly stop being climate change deniers, etc., but I do hope you will sell the economic and environmental advantages of gas to the urban and suburban customers. That is where Cuomo is weakest.

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  3. Upstate is currently politically irrelevant and impotent. The Assembly is essentially 100% NYC and the Senate is nothing but LI RINOs. Only a GOP governor who serves the people instead of his own ego could effect any significant change.

    Don’t assume all conservatives to be scientifically unenlightened.

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  4. Pingback: Reality Strikes: Another New Gas-Fired NY Power PlantNatural Gas Now

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