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A unanimous call to resign

Calls for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to resign

Calls for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to resign didn't stop him from responding to Attorney General Lettita James' report on sexual harassment Tuesday, vowing to stay on the job. Credit: Office of Gov Andrew Cuomo

Daily Point

Long Island reacts

Contrary to her wait-and-see attitude when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was first accused, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran was fast to react to the report of New York Attorney General Letitia James, whose news conference was just concluding.

At 11:41 a.m., Curran’s office sent out an email with the curt statement: "The Attorney General’s findings are clear. The Governor must resign immediately."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, though, had not released a statement by Tuesday afternoon.

In Congress, Long Island Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin had called for Cuomo to step down in March, and doubled down Tuesday.

Democrat Rep. Kathleen Rice was one of the first to demand resignation, on March 1. But neither Republican Rep. Andrew Garbarino nor Democrat Reps. Thomas Suozzi and Rep. Gregory Meeks had … until they released a joint resignation demand Tuesday.

In fact, the entire congressional delegation of the state of New York has now called for Cuomo to step down.

So, too, have all nine of Long Island’s state senators, five of whom are Democrats.

But Tuesday, while both the Democrats and the Republicans issued new and far more aggressive calls for Cuomo’s resignation, none of the Island’s state senators was able to make a dent by demanding Cuomo leave office. That’s because all nine had called for Cuomo to step down long before the investigation was complete, back in March.

And State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who had called for Cuomo to step down in March, renewed his call.

It’s a sign of Cuomo’s deep political jeopardy that political luminaries in the region, whom the governor has so often relied on for support, including those in his own party, jettisoned him so quickly and comprehensively.

— Lane Filler @lanefiller

Talking Point

About that impeachment …

Seemingly unanimous calls for his resignation from the political world didn’t stop Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo from coming out with guns blazing Tuesday, vowing to stay on the job.

So what comes next? Even President Joe Biden gave a nod to the process Tuesday when, in an answer to a reporter’s question, he called for Cuomo’s resignation, but said he did not know enough about the impeachment process to comment and said to take one thing at a time.

If Cuomo digs in his heels, all eyes will shift to the impeachment process moving forward in the State Assembly under the aegis of the Judiciary Committee, chaired by Glen Cove Democrat Charles Lavine.

And according to a source with knowledge of the impeachment investigation, things could now move very quickly.

The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to meet Monday, which gives members time to read the lengthy report, and make a start on the voluminous appendices. This is particularly necessary because some witnesses who spoke to Attorney General Letitia James’ investigators did not speak to the Assembly’s, perhaps fearing a perjury trap if they made their statements under oath.

Once the 21-member committee finishes its investigation, which could take as little as a month, it would decide whether to draft and approve impeachment articles.

If it did, the articles would then go to the Assembly for a simple majority vote.

If the Assembly voted to impeach, the process would then go to the "Impeachment Court," composed of every state senator except for the majority leader (excluded because the office is in the line of succession) and the seven members of the state’s Court of Appeals.

The Impeachment Court would need a two-thirds majority to expel Cuomo.

The source said all these moving parts could come together as early as November to remove Cuomo, if that’s the eventual outcome.

— Lane Filler @lanefiller

Pencil Point

Moving on

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Final Point

Cuomo's kiss-cam

With New York Attorney General Letitia James’ report on the sexual harassment allegations against Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo completed, and with her news conference and Cuomo’s pretaped response in the books, the reactions were coming in at warp speed Tuesday.

But it wasn’t in a political tell-all book that many Long Island pols were searching for signs of themselves or their friends.

Instead, Tuesday it was the "kiss cam" in Cuomo’s pretaped response to James’ report that had local politicians scanning for familiar faces.

Cuomo says his way of cradling faces with his palms and planting kisses on cheeks, foreheads and lips that so many of his 11 accusers complained about is simply his old-fashioned method of greeting, and to prove it he ran a clip reel of his kisses through the years.

Long Island luminaries featured on screen included Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, whose distinctive mop of white hair was more visible than his face, Long Island Federation of Labor president John Durso and Association for a Better Long Island executive director Kyle Strober.

— Lane Filler @lanefiller

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