TODAY'S PAPER
Good Evening
Good Evening
Opinion

Cuomo stands his ground amid growing calls for resignation

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at press conference during a visit to a vaccination site in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, on Monday. Credit: SETH WENIG/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/SETH WENIG/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Note: These items have been updated because of breaking news since the newsletter was delivered to subscribers.

Daily Point

Cuomo says the state needs him at the helm

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo emphatically refused to resign during an afternoon press call, an effort to stop the hemorrhaging of support from fellow Democrats. On Friday, that support came from an ever-shrinking pool among state lawmakers and New York’s members of Congress.

"Politicians who don't know a single fact but yet form a conclusion and an opinion are in my opinion reckless and dangerous," said Cuomo. At the time, that list included 16 of the 19 members of the New York Democratic congressional delegation, including Kathleen Rice, who was the first to make the demand for Cuomo’s resignation last week and, from today, House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler. By the end of the day, Sens. Charles Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand as well as Democrats in the House delegation added their calls.

"Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of the people of New York," Nadler said. But most of the day Cuomo seemed to be betting that he hasn’t. That’s why during the news conference that took place on a telephone call, he elaborated on the arguments for why he needed to stay on the job. That includes the challenges of ramping up administration of the COVID-19 vaccine for the millions of New Yorkers who would be eligible on May 1 and overseeing the last two weeks of complex budget negotiations in which the governor’s office holds most of the cards.

Tom Suozzi later in the day stopped short of an outright demand that the governor leave office, hedging that if Cuomo "cannot effectively govern with all of the controversy surrounding him, he must put the interests of all New Yorkers first and he should resign." Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Gregory Meeks issued similar statements.

Some Long Island Democratic elected officials have been waiting for the governor to deliver a more forceful denial of the allegations of sexual harassment or intimidation, expressing the view that Cuomo’s earlier comments sounded like admissions. While Cuomo did so yesterday, denying any harassment, assault or improper touching, he opened the door to more controversy by not directly answering a question about whether he had a consensual relationship with any of the women who have come forward.

Some of the lawmakers The Point contacted afterwards thought he successfully battled back and might be able to continue handling the budget issues, while others thought he further weakened his relationships with lawmakers.

—Rita Ciolli @ritaciolli

Talking Point

Schumer calls on Cuomo to resign

Sen. Chuck Schumer’s call for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s resignation Friday evening came after a busy day of public events where he didn’t mention the governor’s name.

Previously, Schumer had called the sexual harassment allegations against Cuomo "deeply troubling," and said he supported Attorney General Letitia James’ investigation.

But Schumer stayed quiet for most of Friday, even after the flood of calls from members of Congress and others Friday morning for Cuomo to resign. Then came a Long Island Association virtual meeting, where Schumer talked about taking on the majority leader mantle, the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol, and the COVID-19 relief bill that President Joe Biden just signed into law. He highlighted the money Long Island will get from the relief package, and promised to "pay as much attention to New York and Long Island as I ever have."

But the word "governor" and the name "Cuomo" never came up, giving the sense that the event existed in an alternative universe. Even when LIA chief executive Kevin Law questioned Schumer, Law, a longtime associate of the governor, didn’t ask about Cuomo, instead focusing on the federal cap on state and local tax deductions and infrastructure. Schumer said he was hoping to get traction on the SALT elimination and expected to see an infrastructure bill that he hoped would include funds for key Long Island initiatives.

All important topics, to be sure. And all ones that have had the governor’s fingerprints all over them.

"I have faith in America and faith in New York," Schumer said. "We always bounce back."

By Friday evening, however, Schumer clearly didn’t think Cuomo could "bounce back."

—Randi F. Marshall @RandiMarshall

Pencil Point

Symbolism

"I drew a symphony of sketches on the pandemic aid bill, and this one was a contender, but didn’t quite make the cut into print. Slumbering for the last four years, GOP deficit concerns appear to be mostly … symbolic." — Matt Davies @MatttDavies

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/cartoons

Columns