HRC Will Conduct Review Of President Implicated In Cuomo Report

Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David

The report released by the New York Attorney General which led to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation also referenced Human Rights Campaign president Alphonso David several times mentioning his time as a counselor to Cuomo prior to becoming the head of the HRC. In response, the HRC has announced it will launch an independent review in regard to the report’s implications referencing David. Continue reading “HRC Will Conduct Review Of President Implicated In Cuomo Report”

NY Gov. Cuomo Slams Mitch McConnell “Who Is Bailing Out Whom?”

L-R Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky

From NowThis News:

States across the U.S. are struggling to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. New York state has been hit especially hard, as coronavirus cases across the state and New York City increase.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who holds coronavirus press briefings regularly, has called out Donald Trump and the Trump admin for its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Recently, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo laid into Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans for blocking emergency aid for Democratic states amid COVID-19.

As Gov. Cuomo points out, New York state pays $29 billion more to the federal government than it gets back on an annual basis.

But Sen. McConnell’s state of Kentucky regularly takes $37 billion MORE than it sends to Washington DC, and Sen. Rick Scott of Florida sees his state take $30 billion more than it sends to the federal government.

So, when McConnell and his GOP compatriots say they don’t want to “bailout” states like New York, Cuomo rightfully asks, “Who is bailing out whom?”

As NY Gov Fights For His State, Trump Demeans Requests For Help

The Supreme Court has refused to block the release of hundreds of documents from the Trump White Houses ought by the House committee investigating the violent invasion of the U.S. Capitol building on January 6.

Donald Trump took to Twitter to troll New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday claiming the governor was “begging” for federal government assistance to combat the COVID-19 threat.

“Cuomo’s been calling daily, even hourly, begging for everything, most of which should have been the state’s responsibility, such as new hospitals, beds, ventilators, etc,” Trump tweeted. “I got it all done for him, and everyone else, and now he seems to want Independence! That won’t happen!”

This follows Cuomo’s repeated statements denying Trump’s claim to have “total authority” on when U.S. states will cease their COVID-19 lockdowns.

On Monday, Trump told reporters he has “total authority” to run the country, which he believes, re-opening the country’s businesses at any given time. But legal experts point to the fact that Trump never issued a national disaster proclamation. And so, there’s no ban from his office to lift.

Cuomo told reporters that he would sue Trump if he attempted to re-open the Empire state too early. Cuomo also said, “there’s no value” in the president’s coronavirus press conferences.

New York Sees First Decline In Daily COVID-19 Deaths

The state of New York reported its first decline in daily coronavirus deaths possibly signaling better days on the horizon.

From Bloomberg News:

New York State reported 594 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday, fewer than the 630 it reported on Saturday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said at his daily news briefing. The state has had 4,159 fatalities so far.

New Jersey, which has the second-highest number of U.S. cases, reported a slowdown in the death rate: Fatalities rose by 71 on Sunday, compared with 200 the day before. It also reported fewer new cases, 3,381, for a total of 37,505. Total deaths are 917.

As President Donald Trump and other leaders warned of rising death tolls, Cuomo said it was too early to say if the outbreak had reached a peak in New York — the center of the nation’s outbreak.

“You could argue that you are seeing a plateauing,” he told reporters in Albany. “Next week they will tell you whether we are on a plateau or is it just a blip,” he said, referring to statisticians.

Additional encouraging signs: New hospitalizations declined to 574 on Sunday from 1,095, and 74% of those hospitalized have been discharged.

News Round-Up: March 19, 2020

(image via OMG Blog)

Some news items you might have missed:

OMG Blog: This dog (above) recreated Madonna’s iconic photos to hilarious results.

Reuters: A pill containing two HIV drugs that was touted as a potential treatment for the novel coronavirus was not effective, according to a study released late on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Slate: The Coronavirus Diaries – “The guys are wild on Grindr right now.”

The Recount: As Trump pivots to coronavirus crisis mode (finally), let’s take a look at the months of downplaying and denial.

Washington Post: Breaking with tradition, more than 80 career national security professionals have signed an open letter of support for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, saying that President Trump “has created an existential danger to the United States.”

Las Vegas Review-Journal: Little Darlings strip club in Las Vegas will begin offering drive-through strip shows for those who want to indulge in some adult entertainment, but do not want to enter the building, per the CDC’s recommendations that people keep 6 feet in distance between themselves and others. Ten minutes shows will cost $100 plus tip.

CBS News: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has announced the end to her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination after consistently low rankings in national polls and dismal finishes in primary contests. Making her announcement, she endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president.

KIT212: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo chatting with his brother, CNN host Chris Cuomo is pretty funny as the bros fight on-air about who was their mom’s favorite child, calling their parents, and breaking curfew growing up.

NY Governor Signs Laws Banning Trans Discrimination & ‘Ex-Gay Therapy’ For Minors

Thanks to new Democratic control of the New York state Senate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was finally able to sign two important LGBT bills into law today.  With an American flag, a New York state flag, a rainbow flag and a transgender flag displayed prominently, the governor signed his name at a ceremony held at the New York City LGBT Community Center.
(image via Depositphotos)

Thanks to new Democratic control of the New York state Senate, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was finally able to sign two important LGBT bills into law today.

With an American flag, a New York state flag, a rainbow flag and a transgender flag displayed prominently, the governor signed his name at a ceremony held at the New York City LGBT Community Center.

One, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, or GENDA, adds gender identity to the New York Human Rights Law to which bans discrimination in employment, housing, public spaces and education.

GENDA took a 16 year journey to receiving a New York state governor’s signature. While it was passed 11 times in the state Assembly, the Republican-controlled Senate kept the important legislation out of reach.

New York is now the 20th state in the country with statewide protections banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at signing ceremony at NYC LGBT Community Center

The second piece of legislation bans the use of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ on LGBTQ youth.

Major medical organizations like the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics have all denounced ‘conversion therapy’ which treats being gay as a mental illness.

Also known as ‘ex-gay therapy,’ the practice has been shown to lead to depression, decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, anxiety and, in some cases, suicidal behavior.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, issued a statement which read:

“Today, with Governor Cuomo’s signature, New York has made bold, historic progress by making GENDA the law of the land and banning the abusive and life-threatening practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ on LGBTQ youth.

“These laws will literally save lives, and their passage would not have been possible without the tireless work of advocates and allies across New York over the last decade. We also owe today’s celebration in large part to Senator Hoylman and Assemblymembers Gottfried and Glick for their strong leadership on this legislation, and to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, who made them a top priority this session.”

New York is now the 15th state to prohibit the harmful practice on LGBTQ youth.

Other states that have enacted similar laws are Connecticut, California, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Illinois, Vermont, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire, as well as the District of Columbia.

It’s a great day to celebrate in New York state.

Check out video from the event today in New York City below.

Cynthia Nixon Falls Short In Bid For Dem Nomination For NY Governor

Actress Cynthia Nixon (L) Gov. Andrew Cuomo (R)

 Last night marked the end of one of 2018’s most high-profile political campaigns by an LGBT candidate as Sex in the City star Cynthia Nixon came up short in her attempt to become the Democratic nominee for governor in New York.

With 99% of the votes counted, incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo trounced Nixon by more than 30 points winning the Democratic primary 65.6% to Nixon’s 34.4%.

Nixon, a political novice who’s never held public office, had an uphill race pitted against Cuomo, who now heads into the general election seeking his third term as governor.

Nixon took to Twitter to thank her supporters and also take credit for pushing Gov. Cuomo further to the left on some issues.

“While the result tonight wasn’t what we had hoped for, I’m not discouraged. I’m inspired. I hope you are too. We have fundamentally changed the political landscape in this state.”

“This isn’t just a symbolic victory. This campaign forced the Governor to make concrete commitments that will change the lives of people across this state.”

Nixon went on to list several issues like legalizing marijuana, fixing the New York City subway system and banning plastic bags as issues her campaign helped to move the governor into making promises to address.

LGBTQ Advocacy Groups Choose NY Gov. Cuomo Over Out Actress Cynthia Nixon

Cynthia Nixon (L), Gov. Andrew Cuomo (R)

Out New York gubernatorial candidate and award winning actress Cynthia Nixon is finding no love from prominent LGBTQ advocacy organizations when it comes to endorsements for her nascent campaign.

Both the Stonewall Democrats and the Human Rights Campaign have issued announcements throwing their support for incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo instead of the openly lesbian actress.

In terms of the LGBTQ community, Cuomo believes his record on gay issues shows results not ‘rhetoric.’

“The governor is focused on results. We’ll leave the baseless election-year rhetoric to others,” said Cuomo spokesperson Abbey Collins. “With LGBTQ rights under attack from Trump, New Yorkers know they can count on Governor Cuomo to stand up and fight back.”

The Grammy/Tony/Emmy Award winning actress, however, points to what she says are lapses in the governor’s record including no ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’ in the state. She also believes she did more heavy-lifting in the fight to bring marriage equality to New York state.

“Gov. Cuomo may have signed the bill, but Cynthia was fighting alongside other activists for the right to marry her now wife, Christine,” Nixon spokesperson Sarah Ford told Buzzfeed. “She understands the needs of the LGBTQ community as a wife and mother of a transgender son on a deeply personal level.”

Aside from the political posturing, though, the endorsements by HRC and Stonewall Dems raises an important question: should LGBTQ advocacy groups focus their support on candidates from the community? Or should experience carry the day?

Allen Roskoff, president of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club in New York, criticized the HRC’s endorsement of Cuomo saying, “The Human Rights Campaign has been more interested in their real estate, high salaries, and hobnobbing with middle-of-the-road Democrats — while, in many cases, thumbing their nose at labor and other civil rights groups.”

“Their endorsement is not based on what’s best for the community – it’s about what’s best for their brand,” he added.

But Marty Rouse, HRC’s national field director, told BuzzFeed his organization backed Cuomo because “we stand with elected leaders who stand with us.”

The most recent polling, from Siena University, shows the Emmy, Grammy and Tony Award winner trailing 31 points behind Cuomo 29% to his 60%. That same poll showed Cuomo’s favorability at 67% and Nixon’s at 29%.

The primary is scheduled for September 13.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time the HRC has been accused of ignoring LGBTQ candidates over straight, cisgender nominees.

One example – earlier this year, this writer interviewed openly lesbian, black, female state Sen. Patricia Spearman prior to the state primary for the 4th Congressional District of Nevada.

Even with years in the state legislature, having a BA in political science, a Doctor of Business Administration degree, a Masters in Divinity and being a 29 year veteran of the U.S. Army where she achieved the rank of Lt. Colonel, she says the Human Rights Campaign never called her to even inquire about how they could help her campaign.

Instead, the HRC backed former congressman Steven Horsford, a straight, cisgender male, who won the Democratic nomination.

Some political folks have chimed in on the subject saying the Trump administration is an example of what can happen when ‘celebrities’ with no prior experience in public service take office.

What do you think, readers?

Should our advocacy groups focus on backing candidates from the community who step up?

Or should experience count more?