Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) is facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment.
Last month, Lindsey Boylan — a former aide to the governor — detailed the environment of harassment that Cuomo allegedly fostered in the state government. Days later, Charlotte Bennett — a former executive assistant and health policy adviser — laid out similar claims. Anna Ruch — a former staffer of the Obama campaign — told the New York Times that Cuomo had asked to kiss her at a 2019 wedding.
In the aftermath of the allegations and his devastating decision to send seniors recovering from COVID-19 back into nursing homes, leading New York Democrats are working to strip Gov. Cuomo of his emergency powers.
In the past, Gov. Cuomo has frequently and harshly condemned sexual assault, harassment, and rape on numerous occasions. As the validity of the former aides’ allegations is determined, citizens of New York and members of the American public will be able to determine whether Cuomo holds himself to his own high standards.
Following allegations of sexual assault against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and amid the growing popularity of the #MeToo movement, Gov. Cuomo issued a statement affirming the importance of pursuing justice in cases of sexual harassment.
The recent revelations about sexual assault and harassment pervasive in our society are most disturbing. We are leading the way forward with the nation’s most comprehensive reform package.
This behavior must end. https://t.co/iqZwESsZ1k
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 20, 2018
“It is of great concern that sexual assault cases have not been pursued with full vigor by our criminal justice system,” he noted. “It is critical not only that these cases are given the utmost attention but also that there is public confidence in the handling of these cases.”
“The recent revelations about sexual assault and harassment pervasive in our society are most disturbing… This behavior must end,” he added.
During the confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, former acquaintances claimed that he had committed sexual assault in decades past. Gov. Cuomo commented extensively on the situation as it unfolded in the United States Senate.
“The allegations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh are disturbing and deeply concerning,” wrote Cuomo in September 2018. “I call on the Senate to postpone any vote until the allegations are fully investigated. Our democracy demands nothing less.”
“This is not just about a Supreme Court appointment, it’s about justice in the deepest sense,” said an accompanying statement. “Americans deserve the facts.”
The allegations of sexual assault against Judge Kavanaugh are disturbing and deeply concerning. I call on the Senate to postpone any vote until the allegations are fully investigated. Our democracy demands nothing less. pic.twitter.com/7To3xAzTVI
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 17, 2018
Cuomo, who described Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony as “very compelling,” also asked that President Trump demand Kavanaugh take a polygraph test.
“Dr. Ford’s testimony was powerful and compels reopening of the FBI background investigation,” commented Cuomo one day later. “We owe it to her and to all survivors to fully investigate Kavanaugh prior to a vote for a lifetime appointment.”
Cuomo also condemned Senate Republicans for voting to advance Kavanaugh’s nomination, writing that the lawmakers had “abdicated their constitutional duty and effectively said to every woman in this country that their voice matters less than a man’s.”
“We owe it to Dr. Ford and to all survivors of abuse to fully investigate these serious and credible allegations prior to a vote for a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land,” he added.
At multiple points in his tenure as New York’s chief executive, Gov. Cuomo worked to advance legislation designed to prevent sexual assault on college campuses.
“One of my top priorities is ending sexual assault on college campuses,” he tweeted in 2015. “Rape is rape and we need to protect our students.”
One of my top priorities is ending sexual assault on college campuses. Rape is rape and we need to protect our students. #EnoughisEnough
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) April 24, 2015
Cuomo signed a piece of legislation dubbed “Enough is Enough” to heighten New York’s standards for addressing sexual assault, which required all colleges to “adopt a set of comprehensive procedures and guidelines, including a uniform definition of affirmative consent, a statewide amnesty policy, and expanded access to law enforcement.”
“Today, New York is making a clear and bold statement: sexual violence is a crime, and from now on in this state it will be investigated and prosecuted like one,” he commented after the bill’s 2015 passage.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) July 7, 2015
Two years after the passage of Enough is Enough, Gov. Cuomo announced $6.5 million in state grants to organizations dedicated to fighting sexual assault in New York.
“Sexual assault is a scourge on our communities and college campuses and with this funding, we offer vital resources to victims of this heinous crime,” Cuomo said at the time.
Department of Education
Gov. Cuomo repeatedly condemned former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s efforts to grant better access to due process for college students accused of sexual assault.
“New York stands with survivors, and we will not go backwards in the fight against sexual assault,” he tweeted in September 2017.
New York stands with survivors, and we will not go backwards in the fight against sexual assault. pic.twitter.com/ncFotPMEcm
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) September 8, 2017
Cuomo touted his administration’s harsher approach to protecting victims: “We know that sexual assault is a crime, and we hold our colleges and universities to the highest standards.”
“Regardless of the federal government’s dangerous actions to rescind Title IX protections, this state and this administration will continue to stand with and advocate for survivors, and we will not go backwards in the fight against sexual assault,” he said in a statement responding to DeVos, a Trump appointee.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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