The way this man governs should scare you
Gov. Andrew Cuomo     The governor of New York is digging the state into a deep hole financially and morally via his unchecked arrogance. Once considered a viable candidate for the White House in 2016 and then again in 2020, Andrew Cuomo is now approaching afterthought status at the national level as even liberals concede his vision for the country won't resonate with voters in 40 of the 50 states.

   Nowhere is it more apparent how Cuomo's "progressive" agenda is out of touch with the collective sentiment than in Upstate New York. But he is able to ram through his policies because New York City is in the pocket of a Democratic Party that is only too happy to spend extravagantly. Winning control of the state Senate in the 2018 election emboldened the Democrats to tax more so that they could spend more without regard for long-term debt.

   Whatever chance Cuomo had of gaining at least grudging respect from Upstate voters went out the window with his divisive January 2014 rant against "extreme conservatives" in a radio interview. "Who are they?" he asked rhetorically. "Are they these extreme conservatives, who are right to life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that is who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York. Because that is not who New Yorkers are."

    Even the most oblivious of observers could have seen that coming in 2011 when Cuomo bragged about his poll numbers in his first year in office by announcing "I am the government."

The dumbest of the governor's dumb comments

    "We are not going to make America Great again," Cuomo proclaimed in an August 20018 speech attacking President Trump. "It was never that great. We have not reached greatness. We will reach greatness when every American is fully engaged."

    Trump, whose "Make America Great Again" theme got him elected, pounced on that bit of sheer stupidity immediately as the comment dominated the news cycle, and a Cuomo aide tried walking the comment back later in the day. Still. it took the governor two days to concede defeat. "I want to be very clear. Of course America is great and of course America has always been great," he finally admitted.

And then there are those convictions ...

    The governor was never accused of wrongdoing during the trials of Joe Percoco and Alain Kaloyeros while Cuomo was running for his third term, but it's impossible to not wonder how much he could have or should have known.

    Percoco, Cuomo's former campaign manager and confidante, has a history with the governor dating back to Mario Cuomo's term as governor.

    Kaloyeros, the SUNY Polytechnic Institute president and the czar behind Cuomo's high-tech economic development projects, got caught up in a bid-rigging scheme along with construction executives who donated heavily to Cuomo campaigns. Early court documents in his trial showed executives from LP Ciminelli and COR Development were directed to donate to the campaign by Todd Howe, a co-conspirator who pleaded guilty to multiple felonies.

    Yet the scandals barely registered with New York City voters and assorted other liberals, who blindly returned Cuomo to office for a third term via a lopsided win over Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, the Republican gubernatorial nominee slimed by trumped-up allegations in an expensive Cuomo campaign in 2018.

Crunching some of the numbers

    Kaloyeros was the mastermind behind SUNY Poly and an ambitious campus in Albany that for several years gave hope that New York had found the balance between college-controlled infrastructure and private corporate operations in high-tech research.

    The model came crashing down as Cuomo rolled out the same business model across Upstate, primarily using SUNY Poly's clout. A $90 million LED bulb manufacturing plant (the tenant walked away during construction) and a $14 million film-production studio (no one wanted to use it) near Syracuse were doomed from the start and a photonics hub that was championed as the centerpiece of economic salvation for Rochester has been spinning its wheels for a decade.

    Worst of all, there are genuine concerns that the Buffalo Billion plan, sold to the gullible as Buffalo's path out of staggering child poverty trends, will never achieve the needed critical mass. A $750 million, 1.2 million-square-foot factory built by the state on behalf of SolarCity has been merged into Elon Musk's Tesla operations amid speculation that rosy employment projections might never be met as Tesla de-emphasizes solar-panel operations.

    In total, the failures confirm that state government has no business dipping a toe into private business putting taxpayer money at risk.

    Equally distressing has been Cuomo's push to raise the minimum wage to $15 across the state under the guise of assuring a "living wage." Putting aside the fact that a living wage would be more easily achievable with lower taxes, the increases in the minimum wage are proving to be destructive as predicted by critics.

    A March 2019 report showed that New York City restaurants are eliminating jobs, cutting workers' hours and raising prices to consumers. The result was a 1.6 percent decline in jobs at full-service restaurants in 2018, marking the first drop in two decades.

    Left unsaid during the rollout of the law was the fact that increasing the minimum wage is a revenue stream for the state in the form of collecting more income tax revenue.

More moments epitomizing Cuomo's arrogance

    • One of Cuomo's more outrageous affronts to the citizens of New York surfaced in March 2015 as media unearthed his administration's policy of automatically deleting state agency employees' emails after 90 days. The shameless "cover your ass" policy was lambasted by legal experts and open-government advocates.

    • Cuomo launched the Moreland Commission investigation in July 2013, declaring that nothing was off limits in a bid to root out corruption in government. Less than a year later, Cuomo announced the investigation would wind down after an ethics reform deal was reached with legislators.

    Those reforms proved to be nearly meaningless, and the suspicion was that the Moreland Commission was digging too close to Cuomo for the government's comfort.

    The explanation for shutting down the commission was vintage Cuomo: "The Moreland Commission was my commission," he said. "It's my commission. My subpoena power, my Moreland Commission. I can appoint it, I can disband it. I appoint you, I can un-appoint you tomorrow. So, interference? It's my commission. I can't interfere with it, because it is mine. It is controlled by me.

    The commission's files were snared by then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, whose office parlayed them into successful cases against Sheldon Silver and Dean Skelos.

    • Some aspects of the SAFE Act ("Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement") signed into law in 2013 in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., may have merit, but the reckless way it was rushed through the process reeked of shoddy examination of the facts.

    Notable among the many problems with the law was the failure to consider that numerous law enforcement officers were equipped with firearms utilizing magazines with a larger capacity than was now allowed for anyone in the state.

    Additionally, limiting handgun magazines to a seven-bullet capacity was folly since few models accommodate led than a 10-round clip. The solution? Handgun owners could continue using 10-round magazines, but they could not be fully loaded -- unlikely to be adhered to by criminals.