Milk and cronyism: Scandals heating up for potential 2020 candidate Andrew Cuomo in New York


A part of the autopsy on the 2016 election was not simply that Democrats misplaced, however that they misplaced hope. Whereas in 2004, they already had Obama nicely on his manner, in the present day they’ve nearly nobody. Harry Reid grimly predicted that their bench for 2020 resembled an “outdated people’s dwelling.” So there are plenty of eyes on New York’s (comparatively younger) 59-year-old governor with a well-known title: Andrew Cuomo.

He is most likely hoping plenty of these eyes are solely half-open, although.

The governor has to kiss infants, spend cash on pet initiatives, pay-off cronies, and someway nonetheless run a profitable state. He is likely to be doing just a few of these issues—he’s undoubtedly paying off cronies—and if New York Republicans keep silent on his failures and controversies – like his new power tax that even the left opposes — Cuomo simply may be capable of declare success on the others.

A political scandal is not a scandal till the scandal police catch you and the courtroom of public opinion convicts you. Nixon maintained his innocence, however his legacy was without end tarnished. President Invoice Clinton denied virtually every thing, however his indiscretions hang-out him and his spouse to in the present day.

Nearer to dwelling for Cuomo, Anthony Weiner denied wrongdoing a number of occasions—simply to finally find yourself as uncovered as, nicely, he was uncovered. It is solely below intense stress that highly effective figures are held accountable.

Cuomo has been caught along with his hand in a number of scandals’ cookie jars, though one scandal is extra similar to getting caught with a milk mustache. Cuomo’s present “Milk-gate” scandal is not life threatening, nevertheless it does assist to show his indifference for companies, each for-profit and non-profit, that are not in his crony circle.

Working example: There’s a non-profit that is offered 25 cent glasses of milk for years on the New York State Honest. That value is artificially, unaffordably low, so that they not too long ago raised the worth to 50 cents—nonetheless an important deal.

Properly, Cuomo had an ice cream cone-level meltdown. That simply would not do in his state, not on his watch. The trains would run on time, the birds would sing, and attendees to the state honest would get their old-timey 25-cent milk.

To guarantee this, Cuomo promised the non-profit about $180,000 in funding. The funding would come from a number of totally different sources and in a number of totally different varieties, however because of this Cuomo would have been capable of say that he had abated the Nice Milk-Cup Value-hike of 2017. However, the governor solely got here via on half of his funding promise.

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So we have to ask: is the scandal here half-full or half-empty?

Well that depends on how things shake out. Cuomo would probably still see those milk cups as half-empty. This is also a largely unforced scandal, the difference between 25-cent milk and 50-cent milk isn’t going to dramatically change anything for fair-goers washing down a $15 turkey leg. But Cuomo is scared that this tiny increase in milk prices could hurt his approval rating.

That makes Cuomo’s other scandal—well, one of his other scandals—even more interesting. His nuclear-cronyism tax involves real money and will create real pressure on people’s lives.

Beginning now, energy producers in New York are paying for a Zero Emission Credit. Developed last year by Cuomo’s Public Service Commission, this “credit” is part of an energy plan to get New York to use 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

While the credit will largely fall directly on consumers, whom it will cost about $1 billion in the first two years, the money from the credit will go toward lining the pockets of Cuomo’s wealthy nuclear power plant-owning friends. It is very interesting that this plan includes such support for non-renewable nuclear power, and most likely influenced by crony relationships.

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That makes this ripe for a public investigation. State Senate Energy Chair Joe Griffo, a Republican, should already be holding hearings on this new tax that will hit New York, already the state with the absolute worst tax burden in the country. Griffo should be writing bills to reverse this wrong. He isn’t alone in his inaction, though.

Long Island-area senators: Elaine Phillips, Kemp Hannon, John Flanagan and John LaValle, all Republicans, should all be sharpening their pitchforks over this issue. The question is, why are fiscally-conservative Republicans silent in the face of this $8 billion government bailout that’s going to hit their constituents? Why are these fiscal conservatives laying down for Cuomo’s big government bailout?

The questions that they can ask are easy. Why is money in a renewable energy plan subsidizing nuclear? How is a group of unelected officials legally empowered to raise energy prices? Cuomo’s doesn’t want those questions hanging over him in a presidential primary or a general election.

The outcome of the investigations might not be an embarrassing selfie, but it will likely expose Cuomo’s cronyism just as much. Cuomo needs to be denied his underpriced milk as well as his plan for over-priced energy.

The lawsuits have started—it’s the Republicans’ turn to start the investigations. Let’s give Cuomo some spilt milk to cry over.

Charles Sauer (@CharlesSauer) is a contributer to the Washington Examiner’s Beltway Confidential blog. He is president of the Market Institute and previously worked on Capitol Hill, for a governor and for an academic think tank.


If you would like to write an op-ed for the Washington Examiner, please read our guidelines on submissions here.



Charles Sauer, contributor

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