How the New York Governor Has Avoided Accountability
Though the Democratic Party seems keen to hold sexual assaulters accountable, they are failing to do the same with one of the most prominent figures of their party.
Since December 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been accused of sexual harassment by several women. The claims have ranged from inappropriate touching to making inappropriate remarks about their bodies. The most damning of these accusations comes from current aide Alyssa McGrath, the first person currently working for him to speak out against her boss. Her remarks have exposed what she describes as a “demeaning office culture” that harbors inappropriate behavior from the governor.
So far, several women, many former staff members, have spoken out against the New York Governor.
The accusations cite years of sexual misconduct, including a strange work love-triangle in which Cuomo allegedly groped two co-workers who he knew were friends, after so, telling them not to discuss what happened after the fact. McGrath cites Cuomo’s pattern of misogyny and extremely commanding attitude as to why she did not report the harassment earlier. It took time for aids like McGrath to come forward as Andrew Cuomo made his victims feel comfortable around them, confusing them even more when he would be inappropriate towards them.
Ms. McGrath’s lawyer, Mariann Meier Wang, points out the hypocrisy of the lack of accountability New York’s highest government official is facing. She says that this behavior would not be tolerated by any other boss, let alone a governor. The fact that Cuomo has been able to not only avoid accountability but continues to work as a governor highlights the fight those assaulted endure to be taken seriously.
Governor Cuomo’s take on addressing the accusations has consisted of denying any wrongdoing while shifting the focus back to the victims instead of his own actions, saying the women could have misinterpreted a friendly conversation or relationship.
The extent of the Democratic’s Party involvement in holding the governor accountable has been prominent among party members, such as Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who called for Cuomo to resign.
Several high-ranking Democratic leaders have now called for Governor Cuomo to resign.
Though sexual misconduct claims can be detrimental to someone’s career, politicians have notoriously gotten off scot-free, with the claims sometimes even advancing their careers, such as in the cases of former President George H.W. Bush and former President Donald Trump. In fact, most New York natives are more upset over Trump’s alleged misuse of state funds to write and promote his upcoming book on how he handled the Covid-19 pandemic than the fact that multiple women have come forward against him.
This makes it even harder for the governor to be held responsible for his actions, as it does not get as much attention as the other claims against him. With no sign of slowing down his political ambitions, which have been rumored to include a presidential run, it is clear that Andrew Cuomo is having no trouble dismissing the serious claims mounting against him.