- The NYPD has already exceeded the overtime cap that Mayor De Blasio imposed as part of last year’s supposed “cuts” to the police budget, and is on pace to go over budget by 60%, continuing a trend of ballooning overtime expenses since De Blasio was sworn in.
- After an investigation of the NYPD’s widespread abuses during last June’s protests, only two officers will face serious discipline, according to Pro Publica.
- Amid the latest fallout for Governor Cuomo, the New York Times released audio of him comparing a leader of the Working Families Party to a “child rapist” (a charge he’d previously denied). A majority of likely voters now say the Governor should resign, according to a recent poll, while Cuomo tries to rally support among the Black leadership in the state.
- Andrew Yang is blaming teachers’ unions for delays in school reopenings.
- A group of New York’s biggest unions, including the AFL-CIO and the New York State Nurses Association, have endorsed the Tax the Rich campaign.
- Gotham Gazette reviews how the American Rescue Plan will impact the City and State’s finances.
- The FBI is investigating how the liability shield for New York nursing homes made its way into Andrew Cuomo’s budget last year.
- None of the candidates running the Republican mayoral primary are close to reaching the threshold for NYC matching funds, dependent on large donors or donors from outside New York City.
- The Bronx is seeing a flood of outside spending in a pair of City Council special elections, including a pair of competing candidates being endorsed by a real estate PAC in a ranked choice slate.
- Selvena Brooks-Powers won the race for City Council in the 31st district (Far Rockaway) after nine rounds of run-off voting, in the city’s second special election using the new ranked choice voting system.
In-Depth: Who Is Kathy Hochul?
With public demands for Governor Cuomo’s resignation, as well as the beginnings of an impeachment investigation in the New York Assembly, new attention has fallen to the next in New York’s line of succession: Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. If Gov. Cuomo were to be impeached by the Assembly, then New York law would require him to step down while the trial were conducted, during which time Hochul would be Acting Governor. So who is Kathy Hochul?
Hochul is from upstate New York, having begun her career on the Town Board in Hamburg, NY, just south of Buffalo. She first attracted attention in 2007, when she was appointed by then-Governor Eliot Spitzer to replace David Swartz as Erie County Clerk. While she was running for a full term, she broke with the Governor over his plan to give driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, declaring that she would work with ICE and the Department of Homeland Security to arrest any such immigrant who applied for a license. Later that year, she was elected to a full term as County Clerk, and was reelected in 2010.
In 2011, Hochul won a surprise special election in a solidly Republican Congressional district, beating a field that was divided between traditional Republican and a Tea Party candidate who garnered 9% of the vote. She ran in opposition to the Republican plan to “end Medicare as we know it,” but signalled that she was open to some cuts to the program. The next year, after her seat was redrawn into another Republican-leaning district, she lost a close race to Chris Collins. After that, she worked as a lobbyist for M&T Bank.
Two years later, in 2014, Andrew Cuomo’s first Lieutenant Governor, Robert Duffy, announced he would not seek a second term, and Cuomo selected Hochul to replace him on his ticket. At the time, Cuomo was being challenged by Zephyr Teachout, and some speculated that he selected Hochul to fend off charges of sexism, or lack of diversity. (2014 was also the year Cuomo launched the fake Women’s Equality Party.) Her selection was also seen as a nod to conservative upstate voters.
In the two terms that Hochul has served with the Governor, she has been a marginal but loyal figure in the administration. Her role has been mainly to serve on advisory boards and task forces, generally as a mouthpiece for the Governor. Although she touted an endorsement by the National Rifle Association during her 2012 Congressional campaign, she now echoes the Governor’s antagonism of the organization. Similarly, when Cuomo announced his support for granting driver’s licenses to undocumented New Yorkers–the same issue Hochul had vocally opposed when Spitzer pushed it in 2007–she defended and repeated his position. In her 2018 primary debate with Jumaane Williams, Hochul could not name a single time that she had disagreed with the Governor or changed his mind about an issue.
Hochul has also been implicated in the same political corruption as Andrew Cuomo. According to a report from LittleSis, she received over $35,000 in donations from the same donors involved in the Buffalo Billion scandal. In 2016, her husband, William Hochul, left his position as a US Attorney to work for Delaware North, a multibillion dollar hospitality company that has business before the state and has received favorable treatment by the Governor. And her campaign finance disclosures list the same type of large donors that fund Cuomo’s massive war chest: fossil fuel companies, telecomms, and of course the real estate industry.
If Andrew Cuomo is forced to resign, or removed by the legislature, then Hochul will become the state’s first female governor, but there is little in her past to suggest that she would be a departure from the abusive and corrupt governance of the last decade.