Former Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) reflects in The Hill on a meeting with Andrew Cuomo, then HUD Secretary, on a low income housing project in Huntington, NY.
“Cuomo stepped out and smiled through all the obligatory handshakes and photos. He was warm and gracious. Then we stepped into the office of the town supervisor. Cuomo took a seat and wiped off the smile from his face. He asked us why the housing development proposal had not yet been approved. The town attorney explained that Huntington was complying with relevant state and federal laws. Cuomo was unmoved. He demanded that the town either do more or face grave consequences from the Justice Department. He walked out of the building, and his black SUV drove away.”
“One of my colleagues remarked that Cuomo bullied us. I thought about that moment as I watched his career advance from Cabinet secretary to New York attorney general and eventually governor. Today he is a leader whose daily coronavirus briefings command global attention. He is not a bully. But he is triggered when he sees someone standing in the way of a remedy to a crisis. He has an overpowering desire to fix what is broken.”Save to Favorites