Is Andrew Cuomo a 'gangster'? More politicians accuse NY governor of 'threatening' them amid Ron Kim row

The Democratic governor has been accused by politicians from both parties and even a meteorologist with Fox of issuing stern warnings over criticizing him for matters related to Covid-19


                            Is Andrew Cuomo a 'gangster'? More politicians accuse NY governor of 'threatening' them amid Ron Kim row
Andrew Cuomo accused of making threats to more politicians after Ron Kim's allegations (Getty Images)

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has found himself under the scanner over Covid-19-related deaths in nursing homes as his administration has been accused of hiding the number of deaths happening at those centers. The veteran leader, however, has refused to budge under mounting criticism and more politicians (and even a meteorologist) have accused him and his subordinates of regularly threatening him for criticizing him over the nursing home deaths controversy. 

Two New York politicians -- Nate McMurray, a former Democratic congressional candidate and Marc Molinaro, a Republican county executive who unsuccessfully challenged Cuomo in the 2018 gubernatorial election -- recently revealed before Forbes the hostile experience they faced with Cuomo and his staff members. McMurray, who ran for a House seat twice, told Forbes that after slamming Cuomo over his plans to attend a Buffalo Bills game, he received a call from one of the governor’s aides on the New Year Eve in which he was called a “motherf***er”. He was also told that he was “done in politics”. He said he took down his critical tweet because he was “scared” and started looking for a job adding that he heard from sources in both the governor’s staff and the New York legislature about a “pervasive culture of fear that has trickled down from his office”. “It’s like gangster stuff,” McMurray said of his talks with Cuomo and his team, Forbes added. 

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Molinaro said something similar. “We’ve all been yelled at by someone in that administration. It’s unacceptable but how they operate,” he was quoted as saying.

Allegations against Cuomo get more backing

Democrat Yuh-Line Niou, who is a member of the New York Assembly, granted credence to the allegations of McMurray and Molinari by tweeting that her “inbox is flooded with cuomo stories”. “I kid you not....my text messages, my DMs, and my inbox are flooded with cuomo stories. So many people have been bullied, mistreated, or intimidated by him,” the Taiwanese-American politician said. 



 

 

Former Cuomo aide Lindsey Boylan, who ran for a congressional seat in the last general election unsuccessfully and had accused Cuomo of sexual harassment in the past, responded to her party colleague’s tweet saying: “Same. Very much the same”. 



 

Another state leader Alessandra Biaggi also brought similar allegations against the governor in the past. The New Yorker cited her saying that Cuomo once asked her to tell him how her grandfather’s career ended (Mario Biaggi served in the Congress for nearly two decades before stepping down amid a corruption scandal in 1988) and she perceived it no less than a threat. “People don’t speak out—people are afraid. And it goes unchecked,” Biaggi, who had once criticized Cuomo along with some other leaders over inviting lobbyists and business executives to a high-priced fund-raiser, said. 

Lindsey Boylan attends The 9th Annual Elly Awards Hosted By The Women's Forum Of New York on June 17, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Women's Forum of New York)

Even Janice Dean, a senior meteorologist at Fox News, said in a tweet over the weekend that she was asked to watch her back by someone close to the Cuomo family after she criticized the governor over the deaths of her parents from coronavirus in a nursing home. "Very early on when I started speaking out publicly about @NYGovCuomo I was told by someone who knows the Cuomo family very well that I should “Watch my back"," she said.



 

 

The allegations have started pouring after NY Democratic Assembly member Ron Kim accused the 63-year-old governor of calling him up and seeking a “cover up” for aide Melissa DeRosa, who reportedly conceded that data on coronavirus deaths in the nursing homes were indeed hidden and that Cuomo threatened to destroy him. Kim, whose uncle presumably died of Covid-19 in a nursing home last April, said he wasn’t satisfied with DeRosa’s apology over the nursing home deaths.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has had an openly contentious relationship with Cuomo since the start of the pandemic, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week that he believed Kim’s version because “a lot of people in New York have received those phone calls”. “It’s a sad thing to say … but that’s classic Andrew Cuomo,” De Blasio said, adding that he has complaints like those brought by Kim “many, many times.”