Andrew Mark Cuomo (born December 6, 1957) is an American politician, author, and lawyer serving as the 56th and current Governor of New York, since 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected to the same position his father, Mario Cuomo, held for three terms.
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Andrew Cuomo was appointed to the Department of Housing and Urban Development as Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development in 1993, a member of President Bill Clinton's administration. After the departure of Secretary Henry Cisneros at the end of Clinton's first term under the cloud of an FBI investigation, Cuomo was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate to succeed him as Secretary of HUD. Cuomo served as Secretary from January 1997 until the Clinton administration ended in 2001.
During Cuomo's tenure as HUD Secretary, he called for an increase in home ownership. He also pushed government-sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy more home loans issued to poor homeowners, in an attempt to end discrimination against minorities. Some believe that this helped lead to the recent subprime mortgage crisis. Edward J. Pinto, former chief credit officer at Fannie Mae, said "they should have known the risks were large. Cuomo was pushing mortgage bankers to make loans and basically saying you have to offer a loan to everybody."
In 1998, Clinton-appointed HUD Inspector General Susan Gaffney testified to a Senate committee that she was the victim of "'escalating' attacks on her office by Cuomo and 'his key aides,' including cooked-up charges of racism, insubordination, malfeasance, and general dirty-dealing." In 1999, Gaffney's office concluded that "most (15 out of 19) Community Builders' goals were activities rather than actual accomplishments." and that Cuomo's initiatives "had a crippling effect on many of HUD's ongoing operations."
Cuomo declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for New York State Attorney General in 2006, and on May 30, 2006, captured the Democratic Party's endorsement, receiving 65% of the delegates. Though Cuomo won the endorsement, former New York City Public Advocate Mark J. Green, two-time candidate for lieutenant governor Charlie King, also earned places on the Democratic ballot. King dropped out of the race before the primary and endorsed Cuomo. Cuomo won the primary with a majority of the vote, defeating his nearest opponent by over 20%.
Cuomo took the gubernatorial oath of office at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2011, succeeding David Paterson. During his first year as governor, Cuomo worked to pass an on-time budget that cut spending without raising taxes, made a new deal with a large state-employee union, signed ethics reform legislation, passed a property tax cap, worked to enact a same-sex marriage bill with bipartisan support, and restructured New York's tax code. There was media speculation about a 2016 presidential run.
In 2014, Politico reported that Cuomo had been actively involved in the formation of the Independent Democratic Conference three years earlier, which gave control of the State Senate to Republicans. He has been accused of failing to bridge the rift between the IDC and the Democratic caucus in the Senate despite being able to.
In July 2014, it was reported that the Moreland Commission, a committee established by Cuomo to root out corruption in politics, was directed away from investigations that could be politically damaging. Cuomo later abruptly and controversially disbanded the Commission. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan launched an inquiry into Cuomo's dealings with the anticorruption panel and concluded that “after a thorough investigation," there was “insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime.”
On January 15, 2013, Cuomo signed into law the first state gun control bill to pass after the December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in neighboring Connecticut. The NY SAFE Act was described as the toughest gun control law in the United States. The act came under criticism, and the National Rifle Association called it draconian. The New York State Sheriffs' Association issued a statement supporting tougher penalties for illegal use of firearms, but criticizing several aspects of the legislation, including a magazine limit of seven rounds and a "too broad" definition of assault weapons. [...] On July 5, 2013, Cuomo signed an amendment to the NY SAFE Act that exempts retired police officers from some of the act's ownership restrictions.
In keeping with a campaign promise, Cuomo signed same-sex marriage legislation on June 24, 2011, following an "intense public and private lobbying campaign", and later called for all states to do the same. Cuomo was lauded for his efforts to pass same-sex marriage legislation. One prominent advocate stated that "for gay Americans, Mr. Cuomo was "the only national politician with hero status." Following the passage of the Marriage Equality Act, Cuomo was criticized for describing the viewpoints of same-sex marriage opponents as being "anti-American."
In 2013, Cuomo called for the passage of a Women’s Equality Act. The Women’s Equality Act included 10 component bills affecting issues such as domestic violence, human trafficking, and pregnancy discrimination. The tenth bill of the Women’s Equality Act was the Reproductive Health Act, which would have “enshrine[d] in state law existing federal protections for abortion rights,” “shift[ed] the state’s abortion law from the criminal code to the health care laws,” and “[made] it clearer that licensed health care practitioners as well as physicians could perform abortions.” During his 2013 State of the State address, Cuomo said, “Enact a Reproductive Health Act because it is her body, it is her choice. Because it's her body, it's her choice. Because it's her body, it's her choice."
The New York State Assembly passed the Women’s Equality Act on June 20, 2013. The Republican leadership of the New York State Senate expressed support for the nine non-abortion-related planks of the Women’s Equality Act, but objected to the Reproductive Health Act and expressed unwillingness to allow a vote on it.
On his first day in office, Cuomo renewed an executive order signed by Eliott Spitzer which prohibited Governors of New York from receiving donations from gubernatorial appointees. A February 2018 investigation by The New York Times, however, revealed that the Cuomo administration had quietly reinterpreted the order, and that Cuomo had collected $890,000 from 24 of his appointees, as well as $1.3 million from the spouses, children and businesses of appointees. Some donations were made to Cuomo just days after the donor was appointed.
On Tuesday, coincidentally the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the New York State Senate passed the Reproductive Health Act, and it was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The law, which is likely the most expansive abortion bill in the country, allows late-term abortion until the baby’s due date if it meets certain requirements.
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Last updated: Sun Jan 27 2019 19:02:41
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