Prior to a public meeting last Monday in New York City to address the city’s public housing crisis, “good progressive” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo reportedly showed more concern with how he looked versus the city’s housing needs.
Cuomo’s staff members demanded that other elected officials in attendance remove their ties so they wouldn’t make him look bad, sources confirmed to the New York Post.
“It would be nice if he cared as much about New Yorkers’ lives as he does about politicians’ ties,” one source said.
Cuomo showed up to the event dressed casually in a navy windbreaker and a button-down shirt, and he apparently felt it absolutely necessary other officials present at the event not outdress him.
“Once we got there, they just told everybody that they had to be dressed on par with him and they made all the guys get casual,” another source added. “They were asked to take off their ties.”
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) April 2, 2018
When questioned by the Post about these claims, one of Cuomo’s spokeswomen failed to deny it. Instead she attempted to divert attention from away the governor’s finicky clothing requirements and to his recent policy decisions.
“The budget secured $550 million for NYCHA tenants, design build, and an independent manager who can actually get the work done. Anyone snarking about attire is missing the entire point,” said spokeswoman Dani Lever.
That was actually misleading. Of the $550 million Lever mentioned, $350 million had already been earmarked for the New York City Housing Authority. A recent budget signed by Cuomo added only an additional $250 million, as reported by The New York Times.
During the hearing Monday, Cuomo signed an executive order mandating that an independent monitor be appointed to oversee how NYCHA spends all $550 million.
“For years the authority has been struggling with budgetary troubles and has neglected repairs. Those maintenance failures came to a head this winter when thousands of residents were left without heat and water,” the Times noted.
— Passion Is Purpose (@Cool_Riss_) April 2, 2018
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio appears to disapprove of this move. In his weekly address later Monday evening, he specifically shared his fear that Cuomo’s executive order would create “a whole lot of bureaucracy.”
Interestingly, Cuomo seems far more concerned with micromanaging New York City (not to mention other elected officials’ clothing) than his own staff.
Newsday notes that last month Cuomo’s former closest aide, Joseph Percoco, was convicted in a bribery scandal. Moreover, Cuomo’s own upstate development projects are slated to be the focus of an upcoming corruption trial.
Yet the governor has reportedly sought “no increased oversight of spending and no new restrictions on officials’ outside income or influence peddling by ex-officials.”
It seems rather self-focused, though it does admittedly feel fitting for a “good progressive” like Andrew Cuomo.
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