Cuomo fiddles while Rome burns (as well as Syracuse, Rochester, and Buffalo)
New York governor Andrew Cuomo apparently values his subjects (also known as New Yorkers) only by the amount of tax revenue he's able to squeeze out of them. Case in point: Cuomo's reaction to the news that President Trump is leaving N.Y. to become a legal resident of Florida: "Good riddance," he tweeted, adding, "it's not like @realDonaldTrump paid taxes here anyway... He's all yours, Florida." With this attitude, Cuomo is likely to preside over an accelerated exodus of tax-paying New Yorkers who have had enough of Cuomo and the Legislature's arrogance toward those who rebel against their ultra-liberal tax-and-spending schemes.
In 2011, Cuomo set the tone for his tenure: "I am the government," Cuomo said in an Albany radio interview. In another later interview, he said, "Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives, who are right to life, pro-assault weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that is who they are, and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York. Because that is not who New Yorkers are." I suspect that King Andrew will propose a commission to decide who is worthy to stay in N.Y. State and who must be banished to Deplorableland.
Now the governor and his cronies in the state Legislature have passed what one Republican state senator has called "a criminal Bill of Rights." This appalling law goes into effect on January 1, 2020, to the chagrin of many police chiefs, sheriffs, and prosecutors throughout the state. Despite their protests, Cuomo remains unmoved and will not budge on any modification to this policy. Under the label of "bail reform," the law virtually eliminates the cash bail requirement for those accused of misdemeanors and nonviolent crimes, to keep them from sitting in jail due to an inability to afford their bail. Law enforcement professionals are warning of a potential tsunami of crime resulting from this "catch and release" program.
If this virtue-signaling abomination of criminal justice "reform" sets off a crime wave, it will be interesting to track the subsequent comments of the governor. How will he find a way to blame the GOP on this one? It was passed by his own version of the Soviet Politburo, the current configuration of the N.Y. State Legislature. Both the Assembly and Senate are now controlled by Democratic majorities. Cuomo has blamed the departure of roughly one million New Yorkers over the last decade on "the weather." Well, he was partially correct. As Bob Dylan once said, "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." New York taxpayers, heading for the exit, are heeding that advice.
Michael Bertolone is a freelance writer and past executive vice president of the Monroe County (N.Y.) Law Enforcement Association.