There was a major twist in the Andrew Cuomo saga Tuesday when Democrat New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced, at the conclusion of an investigation by her office, that the governor had “sexually harassed multiple women, and in doing so violated federal and state law.” Ouch times a million.
Governor Phil Murphy previously went on record declining to call for Cuomo’s resignation.
Will that change after today?
It’s a politically challenging moment for Murphy, folks.
Jack Ciattarelli (his GOP opponent this November) is already demanding that Murphy speak out:
Sexual harassment and assault in the workplace should never be tolerated. Women unequivocally deserve to be treated as equals everywhere. I am calling on @NYGovCuomo to resign immediately. @PhilMurphyNJ, will you do the same?
— Jack Ciattarelli (@Jack4NJ) August 3, 2021
I don’t think most voters are going to make the leap of a guilt by association despite the neighboring Democrat governors’ political alliance.
The problem for Murphy is what this development could do to the news cycle. Without Trump to kick around on daily basis, Cuomo’s woes could quickly devolve into a feeding frenzy for a tristate media establishment hungry to click bait. He may be a Democrat, but the Media is pretty desperate right now. There are also plenty of “progressive” Dems who aren’t big Cuomo fans and don’t mind seeing his suffer.
The Katie Brennan and Edna Mahan debables are topically-similar open wounds for Murphy Administration, wounds which his opponents could successfully target if the attacks are correctly executed. Newly-minted Ciattarelli AG candidate Diane Allen is headed to the women’s prison on Wednesday. The Brennan story in particular highlights Murphy’s surprisingly cold indifference to a young woman who had accused a senior Murphy World figure of raping her.
The Ciattarelli camp or the RGA might already be cooking up an ad starring Murphy, Cuomo, and Murphy’s infamous we’re “on it” email to Brennan.
Politics is personal. The more likable candidate almost always winds. If Murphy is allowed to pose as the woke champion of women, immigrants and COVID-19 patients unchallenged? He’s going to win, and probably by a low double-digit margin.
Exposing the truth of how he’s conducted business over the past few years is vital to disrupting that narrative.