Oh my, oh my, oh my.
With Albany rocked by a seemingly endless barrage of scandals and arrests, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo set up a high-powered commission last summer to root out corruption in state politics. It was barely two months old when its investigators, hunting for violations of campaign-finance laws, issued a subpoena to a media-buying firm that had placed millions of dollars’ worth of advertisements for the New York State Democratic Party.
The investigators did not realize that the firm, Buying Time, also counted Mr. Cuomo among its clients, having bought the airtime for his campaign when he ran for governor in 2010.
…the New York Times maybe-possibly-glumly goes on at that point; I’ll give the summary, for people who don’t want to click through. Basically, the governor’s office quashed the subpoena, which was part of a general rule of quietly killing any corruption-related investigation that might have a chance of a possibility of a potential to make Gov. Andrew Cuomo look bad. And the excuse offered by Gov. Cuomo’s office? “While [Gov. Cuomo] allowed the commission the independence to investigate whatever it wanted, the governor’s office said, it would have been a conflict for a panel he created to investigate his own administration.”
In other words… no, the commission did not have ‘the independence to investigate whatever it wanted.’ It in fact had the independence to investigate whatever Andrew Cuomo wanted, because Governor Andrew Cuomo knows of course that every single member of his administration is a saint upon Earth to rival St. Francis of Assisi, or possibly one of those old-school Eastern Orthodox Stylites. The whole thing is fascinating reading, not least because the whole thing is emblematic of just how much a politician’s own staff can hobble him or her when it comes to policy implementation. Reading the article, you could argue that Andrew Cuomo wasn’t really aware that his staff was busily spiking the wheels of every corruption investigation that merely could be linked to the governor’s office. It’s a stretch, but weirder things have happened. The problem, though, is that the whole thing just simply looks bad – and worse, hypocritical to a remarkable degree. How bad? This bad:
— Larry Kudlow (@larry_kudlow) July 23, 2014
Maybe, maybe not – but here I thought that it was Andrew Cuomo’s moral peccadilloes that were going to scupper his future Presidential bid. Apparently not; probably because people will forgive a live-in girlfriend far more quickly than they’d forgive a governor who used his office to squash corruption investigations. But certainly Republican candidate for New York Governor Rob Astorino will be hitting this issue with all due speed…
Moe Lane (crosspost)