New York Governor Andrew Cuomo presidential hopes for 2016 may have just vanished in a poof of scandal. The NYT has a devastating piece describing how Cuomo’s Administration quashed a campaign finance investigation of a media-buying firm connected to the Governor. The Moreland Commission, which Cuomo had set up with great fanfare to root out corruption in New York, had subpoenaed the firm, but the Governor’s office moved quickly to put a stop to it—and that’s just the tip of of the iceberg:
A three-month examination by The New York Times found that the governor’s office deeply compromised the panel’s work, objecting whenever the commission focused on groups with ties to Mr. Cuomo or on issues that might reflect poorly on him.
Ultimately, Mr. Cuomo abruptly disbanded the commission halfway through what he had indicated would be an 18-month life. And now, as the Democratic governor seeks a second term in November, federal prosecutors are investigating the roles of Mr. Cuomo and his aides in the panel’s shutdown and are pursuing its unfinished business.
If these allegations stick, Cuomo is facing a far bigger scandal than New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s “Bridgegate.” Camp Hillary must be thrilled. More than that, there is now a potential political opening for a gubernatorial candidate in New York who would vow to reinstate the commission and set it loose on all the rampant corruption in the Empire state. A liberated commission would certainly have more than enough material to keep it busy.
Political interference in an anti-corruption commission is further proof that New York politics is an ugly sewer of cronyism and theft. Entrenched interests, networks of patronage, rent-seeking, and rampant greed almost guarantee that even the most well-intended policies will be corrupted in implementation. Cleaning that up could be the first priority of the state’s next Governor.