NY prison break fiasco may take down Governor Cuomo

Law enforcement is starting to get egg on its face in upstate New York, and the long knives are being unsheathed.  The scion of one of the Democratic Party’s second-tier (just below the Kennedys and Clintons) dynasties has a bulls-eye on his back.

For nine days, the nation has focused on the hunt for the two scary murderers who escaped the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.  Front and center has been New York governor Andrew Cuomo, lauding the forces mobilized to recapture them, and confidently predicting their apprehension.  Yet the escapees remain at large, though the terrified local community has decided to reopen local schools, albeit with an “enhanced law enforcement presence.”

If Richard Matt and David Sweat avoid capture, it is Cuomo who will bear the political consequences, and he is starting to admit that they may have made a clean getaway.

"The truth is that is the nature of the business," Cuomo said. "You follow up every tip, you follow up every lead. You are as conscientious as you can be on every lead because you never know which one is going to be the one."

"We don't know if they're still in the area or if they are in Mexico by now, right? Enough time has transpired," he said. "But we're following up every lead the best we can."

Those long knives have a big target.  Frederick Dicker, the very plugged in New York State politics correspondent of the New York Post, reports:

The massive manhunt for two escaped murderers from the Dannemora prison has been hampered by State Police secrecy, inter-agency rivalries, and the disrupting involvement of Gov. Cuomo on the first day of the breakout, law-enforcement sources have told The Post.

Cuomo’s surprise arrival at a still-unfolding escape scene a week ago Saturday generated considerable national publicity for the governor, but distracted investigators at a time when the full facts of the escape were not yet known, the sources said.

“Cuomo actually disrupted the early search efforts when he arrived at the ‘command center’ on Saturday and refused to enter the room until everyone was removed except state employees,’’ said a longtime law-enforcement figure who has regular contact with many involved in the search effort.

“Cuomo’s aides came in and threw out the US marshal, the sheriff [David Favro, like Cuomo a Democrat] and others who were there to help coordinate the search effort.

“And they did it without even saying ‘Thanks for your help,’ or such, just, ‘Get out so his highness can enter.’

“The State Police are trying to make sure that they’re the ones to catch these guys, that they get all the credit, and as a result, they’re not making full use of the assets that are available to them,’’ the source continued.

I strongly suspect that Cuomo saw the prison break as an opportunity to distract from the political corruption investigation that threatens his future:

Paralysis and “paranoia’’ brought on by US Attorney Preet Bharara’s ongoing corruption probe have come to define Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration with just seven days to go in the legislative session, a worried Cuomo ally and others have told The Post.

“Something is wrong. The place is paralyzed and the governor is not right. He seems frantic at times. He’s not acting the way he normally did,’’ said the ally, a prominent Cuomo political backer and longtime associate who has contact with the governor’s administration on a near-daily basis.

“Cuomo is paranoid, his staff is paranoid and nobody can make a decision on key issues, like the [about-to-expire housing construction subsidy] 421-a program and other big outstanding issues.

“Hardly anything is getting done, Cuomo has gone into seclusion, you can’t get to him, you don’t know what he’s thinking,’’ the ally, who described himself as a “friend’’ and “admirer’’ of Cuomo, continued.

He probably figured that, like most prison escapees, Matt and Sweat would be recaptured quickly, and he could bask in the glow as a tough law-and-order governor, a take-charge guy who got results.  Except he didn’t.

When you step on other people on the way up, you don’t have a lot friends on the way down.  The drama of Andrew Cuomo’s trajectory could get quite interesting.

Law enforcement is starting to get egg on its face in upstate New York, and the long knives are being unsheathed.  The scion of one of the Democratic Party’s second-tier (just below the Kennedys and Clintons) dynasties has a bulls-eye on his back.

For nine days, the nation has focused on the hunt for the two scary murderers who escaped the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.  Front and center has been New York governor Andrew Cuomo, lauding the forces mobilized to recapture them, and confidently predicting their apprehension.  Yet the escapees remain at large, though the terrified local community has decided to reopen local schools, albeit with an “enhanced law enforcement presence.”

If Richard Matt and David Sweat avoid capture, it is Cuomo who will bear the political consequences, and he is starting to admit that they may have made a clean getaway.

"The truth is that is the nature of the business," Cuomo said. "You follow up every tip, you follow up every lead. You are as conscientious as you can be on every lead because you never know which one is going to be the one."

"We don't know if they're still in the area or if they are in Mexico by now, right? Enough time has transpired," he said. "But we're following up every lead the best we can."

Those long knives have a big target.  Frederick Dicker, the very plugged in New York State politics correspondent of the New York Post, reports:

The massive manhunt for two escaped murderers from the Dannemora prison has been hampered by State Police secrecy, inter-agency rivalries, and the disrupting involvement of Gov. Cuomo on the first day of the breakout, law-enforcement sources have told The Post.

Cuomo’s surprise arrival at a still-unfolding escape scene a week ago Saturday generated considerable national publicity for the governor, but distracted investigators at a time when the full facts of the escape were not yet known, the sources said.

“Cuomo actually disrupted the early search efforts when he arrived at the ‘command center’ on Saturday and refused to enter the room until everyone was removed except state employees,’’ said a longtime law-enforcement figure who has regular contact with many involved in the search effort.

“Cuomo’s aides came in and threw out the US marshal, the sheriff [David Favro, like Cuomo a Democrat] and others who were there to help coordinate the search effort.

“And they did it without even saying ‘Thanks for your help,’ or such, just, ‘Get out so his highness can enter.’

“The State Police are trying to make sure that they’re the ones to catch these guys, that they get all the credit, and as a result, they’re not making full use of the assets that are available to them,’’ the source continued.

I strongly suspect that Cuomo saw the prison break as an opportunity to distract from the political corruption investigation that threatens his future:

Paralysis and “paranoia’’ brought on by US Attorney Preet Bharara’s ongoing corruption probe have come to define Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his administration with just seven days to go in the legislative session, a worried Cuomo ally and others have told The Post.

“Something is wrong. The place is paralyzed and the governor is not right. He seems frantic at times. He’s not acting the way he normally did,’’ said the ally, a prominent Cuomo political backer and longtime associate who has contact with the governor’s administration on a near-daily basis.

“Cuomo is paranoid, his staff is paranoid and nobody can make a decision on key issues, like the [about-to-expire housing construction subsidy] 421-a program and other big outstanding issues.

“Hardly anything is getting done, Cuomo has gone into seclusion, you can’t get to him, you don’t know what he’s thinking,’’ the ally, who described himself as a “friend’’ and “admirer’’ of Cuomo, continued.

He probably figured that, like most prison escapees, Matt and Sweat would be recaptured quickly, and he could bask in the glow as a tough law-and-order governor, a take-charge guy who got results.  Except he didn’t.

When you step on other people on the way up, you don’t have a lot friends on the way down.  The drama of Andrew Cuomo’s trajectory could get quite interesting.