Don’t Let Cuomo Silence Your Voice

Sound the horns and unfurl the parchment, King Andrew Cuomo has issued his latest decree.

Pardon our hyperbole, but Gov. Cuomo’s action last week in granting voting rights to 35,000 parolees was certainly more in line with a 17th century king than a 21st century governor.

One can have a debate on whether or not granting voting rights to parolees is good policy. That is, in fact, what happened in the months after Cuomo unveiled the measure. Members of the state Legislature deliberated and, in the end, Cuomo’s proposal was left on the legislature floor.

That didn’t stop Cuomo from forging ahead, however.

“I proposed a piece of legislation, General Holder, this past year, that said parolees should have the right to vote. The Republican senate voted down that piece of legislation, which is another reason why we need a new legislature this November. But I’m unwilling to take no for an answer. I’m going to make it law by executive order and I announce that here today,” Cuomo said during the press event where he announced the executive order.

He’s unwilling to take no for an answer. That sounds like something Henry the Eighth would have said.

Why do we need a new legislature? Perhaps King Cuomo could simply abolish the legislature and govern by decree. Cuomo did so in 2012 when he created state health care exchanges when Republicans in the state Legislature questioned the cost and legality of the exchanges and refused to approve the necessary legislation. King Cuomo had to go around the legislature again when Republicans wouldn’t abandon their opposition to a statewide minimum wage because of their concern that it would be hurt businesses. Cuomo decided to convene a state Labor Department Wage Board for fast food restaurants and threatened to convene a wage board for each and every job sector in New York state until he got his way. Just last week, King Cuomo has directed a state agency to urge insurance companies, state-chartered banks and other financial services companies to review relationships they have with the National Rifle Association and other similar organizations, encouraging the companies to consider if their ties harm corporate reputations and jeopardize public safety.

Cuomo’s contempt for Republicans in the state Legislature should be particularly galling for Chautauqua County residents, because the governor is repudiating the very same legislators who have been overwhelmingly elected in our area for years. Assemblyman Andy Goodell has won re-election in his last two elections with nearly 75 percent of the vote in both elections. State Sen. Catharine Young, meanwhile, has garnered roughly 80 percent of the vote in her past three elections.

It is your voice that Cuomo wants to silence. Keep that in mind in November.


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