Good Morning from the State Capitol…

Gov. Andrew Cuomo works by the pool with Stephanie Benton, director of the Governor’s office at the New York State Mansion on Aug. 5, 2021, in Albany.

Wow.  The report issued this week by Attorney General Tish James was sweeping in its scope, thoroughness, and conclusion. It was also damning for Governor Andrew Cuomo. 
The report detailed accusations from eleven women that Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed them and found all eleven to be credible. The report found that Cuomo violated state and federal sexual harassment laws as well as internal Executive Chamber rules and procedures.
The fallout was swift with multiple calls for Cuomo’s resignation or impeachment from editorial boards across the state; labor groups including such stalwart Cuomo supporters as SEIU 1199RWDSU, and HTCnumerous state legislatorsNYS Democratic Party Chair Jay Jacobs; and even President Joe Biden.
In fact, according to a tally by the Associated Press, 86 members of the Assembly have publicly called for impeachment (of the members who have not called for impeachment remains a mix of Judiciary Committee Members who declined to answer before they vote, some who simply say he should resign, and only 15 who have been silent. No members have told the AP that they oppose impeachment). Most significantly, New York State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said publicly and privately to Cuomo that it was time to go.

Here are a couple of the best takes on the current state of play:
Cuomo’s pre-recorded denial was out of touch and missed the mark. Nitpicking by his lawyers similarly did little to change the narrative.
Instead, one of the women filed a formal complaint with the Albany County Sheriff. Brittany Commisso, the previously unnamed Executive Chamber staffer known as Executive Assistant 1, will give an interview this morning on CBS and in the Albany Times Union while the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee will meet at 9:30 this morning.  They have given Cuomo’s legal team until this Friday to provide evidence and rebuttals. Presumably, the Judiciary Committee will meet next week to adopt formal Articles of Impeachment.                                 
Late last night, Secretary to the Governor, Melissa DeRosa resigned. Her statement is here. Expect more resignations as well as additional revelations over the next few days. Scroll down for more fallout from the AG’s report.
What’s next for Governor Cuomo? The last Governor to be impeached was more than 100 years ago. Our Jack O’Donnell quite literally wrote the book on the procedure and Governor Sulzer’s downfall in 1913.                                                                                                                    
Jack shared his political expertise on impeachment from past to present with several media outlets last week:
Should you want to dig deeper on the last New York Governor to be impeached, you can grab a copy of Jack’s book Bitten By The Tiger: The True Story of Impeachment, the Governor, & Tammany Hall here.
About Bitten By The Tiger:
Sulzer’s story is one of great achievement and a most spectacular fall. A tale of money, lies, power, and treachery, the story of William Sulzer is also a lesson from New York’s political past. This is a story of great betrayal: Sulzer’s election victories came from Tammany Hall . . . and his impeachment was engineered by that same Tammany Hall, personally orchestrated by the man who made him governor, boss Charlie Murphy. Read more here.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
It was also an active week in Washington D.C….                                                                                                                                                             
The bipartisan infrastructure framework or “BIF” that we have been discussing for the past few weeks is moving forward in the Senate. Over the weekend, Senators voted to invoke cloture on both the substitute amendment that contains the bipartisan infrastructure framework (67-27) on Saturday night, and the original bill, H.R. 3684—The INVEST in America Act, by a vote of 68-29 last night. Senators had to close debate on both items before moving forward with final passage. (You should note the BIF, negotiated by the bipartisan group of Senators, was technically offered as a substitute by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer last weekend, so the two cloture votes were necessary.) The bills are now moving toward final passage, but unless there is an agreement to speed things up between all 100 Senators (and right now it looks like at least one Republican Senator will refuse to relent on the mandatory debate time), a 50-hour budget debate and an unlimited vote-a-rama on nonbinding but politically symbolic topics will ensue today and tomorrow—setting the bill up for final passage sometime early tomorrow morning.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Even though it is on-going, the Senate process is largely back on track after it fell apart last Thursday. Last week, Senators from both parties spent nearly all day Thursday assembling a package of amendments for consideration that could grease the wheels to final passage. Schumer and the Democratic Majority faced a number of objections to moving forward expeditiously, but the primary roadblock came as Senator Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) refused to sign off despite intense lobbying from Republican colleagues. In light of a report from the Congressional Budget Office, Hagerty said he “cannot in good conscience agree to expedite a process immediately after the CBO confirmed that the bill would add over a quarter of a trillion dollars to the deficit.” Friday brought a brief recess, as Schumer allowed the Senate the day to attend the funeral of Wyoming Republican Senator Mike Enzi.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
While Senators moved forward, House Democrats doubled down on their criticism of the BIF. House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and House Leadership have their own “first-of-the-twenty-first-century” $715 billion surface transportation bill. They have continued to  insist that without key provisions from the reconciliation package, the bipartisan infrastructure framework is a nonstarter. “We are not moving their so-called bipartisan bill until we have reconciliation in hand passed by the Senate,” DeFazio said. “At this point, we don’t know what will be in [the reconciliation package], but hopefully we will fix some of the issues that have been created by this so-called bipartisan bill.” Democrats hold a slim enough majority in the House that even a few defections could sink legislation, and progressives have been open in recent days about their reluctance to support the infrastructure legislation without an ironclad guarantee that the budget package, expected to cost about $3.5 trillion, will become law. “The Progressive Caucus has had moral clarity, and a clarion call for three months, that we need to deliver the entirety of these two packages together, so that’s going to continue to be our approach,” said Representative Pramila Jayapal of Washington, the chairwoman of the group.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       -Jack O’Donnell                                                                                                                                          



Andrew Cuomo’s Looming Exit Is Bad News For GOP Gubernatorial Prospects 

“Cuomo seeking a fourth term would be a great scenario for the Republican Party and its candidate,” said Tom Reynolds, a former Republican congressman from Buffalo who was minority leader in the New York State Assembly before coming to Washington. “The odds of him being there look bleaker as time goes on.” [Read more.]


Austin Bills? NFL Owners Are Running Out of Plausible Ways to Squeeze Taxpayers

We read a new chapter of a very old story recently, warning us that another billionaire will be holding their NFL city hostage in hopes of getting a new, publicly funded stadium in which to house their tax reduction machine. [Read more.]