[Hpn] Andy Cuomo resurfaces -- because nothing this evil EVER dies!
Wed, 07 Feb 2001 15:35:59 -0700
Whew! I don't find myself agreeing with the NY POST often, but this article
does hit a few nails on the head.
AMBITIOUS ANDY ENOUGH TO MAKE ONE CUOMO-PHOBIC
By ANDREA PEYSER
IN HARLEM, the brownstones he once promised to transform into middle-class
showpieces were crumbling into neglected open-air urinals.
Meanwhile, in Midtown, Andrew Cuomo attended a swank "homecoming" party in
his honor, peppered with bargain-basement celebs like Ally Sheedy, in the
glam showroom of his brother-in-law, the activist/shoe peddler Kenneth Cole.
What a week.
Six years after his father was shown the exit door of the governor's
mansion, and a month after his boss Bill Clinton got embroiled in one final
outrage, Andrew Cuomo is behaving as if Dad's old job is his for the asking.
Cuomo's main political experience is his appointment as President Clinton's
Housing and Urban Development secretary - a tenure that ended in crushing
loss for New York.
Cuomo's sidework as henchman for Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign was a
disgrace. And yet, this week Cuomo issued a grand "surprise" announcement
that he expects to be governor.
Which proves a basic law of the universe:
You get rid of one Clinton, and the resulting void is bound to suck up an
inexhaustible supply of cronies and disciples ready to step in his place.
Cuomo announced his gubernatorial hopes, tastelessly, on Monday inside a
store that profits blood relatives. His sister, Maria, is married to Ken
The party for Cuomo originally was scheduled for the home of Denise Rich,
but the tarnished Clinton groupie and Cuomo pal was considered too hot for a
Remarkably, Cuomo is behaving obliviously, not only to his Clinton taint,
but to his own disastrous term as HUD honcho.
"He's used HUD as a political prep machine for a long time," said one
political insider, who noted that Cuomo's agency operated a kind of Workfare
program for such Democratic operatives as former Dinkins press secretary Lee
Jones and Hillary campaign chief Bill DiBlasio, now a City Council hopeful.
"His staff was like the holding pattern at La Guardia," the observer
Under Cuomo's watch, millions in federal funds aimed at revitalizing this
city's houses, mainly in minority neighborhoods in Harlem and Brooklyn,
apparently were ripped off by shady developers and nonprofit groups. The
neighborhoods, which were supposed to enter a renaissance under Cuomo,
instead are in worse shape than ever.
State and federal investigations are under way. In June 1999, the federal
General Accounting Office put the scandal squarely in Cuomo's lap, accusing
HUD of "not adequately overseeing key aspects of the program."
What does Cuomo have to say about the mess he's left behind?
Not one word.
He had plenty to say in January 2000, when Rudy Giuliani was still in the
Senate race against Hillary. Cuomo publicly spanked Giuliani, announcing he
was removing the mayor's control over $60 million in federal money earmarked
for the homeless.
After his wife, Kerry Kennedy Cuomo, mocked the mayor over her hubby's move,
there remained no doubt that Cuomo was acting as a Hillary operative.
Former Sen. Al D'Amato has expressed a wish to see state Comptroller H. Carl
McCall run for mayor rather than governor - widely interpreted as fear that
McCall could pose a bigger threat to Gov. Pataki in an election.
"You can never discount a Democrat in this state, which has 1.5 million more
Democrats than Republicans," D'Amato said yesterday.
"The minority community might mobilize if Carl McCall was the candidate,"
D'Amato allowed, quickly adding: "I also think Italian-Americans are more
apt to vote for Cuomo. It kind of balances out."
As one who has no particular allegiance to Pataki - and who distrusts Cuomo
intensely - I'd like to see McCall, a decent man with a track record in
elected office, run unopposed for the Democratic nomination.
But then, I haven't got a fancy shoe store in which to announce my wishes.
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