Blog: Maybe New York Needs a Woman

Burt Ross

The sad truth is that far too many of the men who have served as New York’s governor have transgressed before, during or after holding that office..  As far back as Franklin Delano Roosevelt to today’s Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governors have had an uncanny tendency to misbehave with women.

Please indulge me as we go back memory lane. President Roosevelt, who first served as New York’s Governor, had an affair with Lucy Mercer, his wife’s secretary. Despite assurances to Eleanor that he would never see Ms. Mercer again, he continued to see her throughout the years, and it was Lucy, not Eleanor, who was with him when he died in Warm Springs.

Nelson Rockefeller, who was New York’s Governor for almost 14 years before becoming our Vice President under Gerald Ford, was known for having extramarital affairs. His first wife was not very pleased with this arrangement and divorced him. When Nelson died at the age of 70 from a heart attack, he was in the company of a 25 year old woman with whom he was allegedly having an affair. Apparently his heart was not up to the occasion. Rockefeller’s second wife had him cremated in record time.

Not much has changed so far this century. Eliot Spitzer became Governor shortly after serving an illustrious career as New York’s Attorney General.  Early in his first and only term as Governor, he was exposed for hiring a prostitute in a Washington, D.C. hotel. He paid a total of $4,000 to spend the night with the young lady. The price included the hotel room but not the minibar.  His inability to include the minibar in the $4,000 tab should have been grounds enough for his immediate dismissal.

Spitzer was replaced by his Lieutenant Governor David Patterson. One of the first things Patterson did was to engage in a “mea culpa.” He publicly admitted to having a one time affair and sought the public’s understanding.  His confession was quite extraordinary. Governor Patterson could not see because he was legally blind, and therefore had the perfect excuse that any adulterer would want to have. All he had to do was say that, because he could not see her, he thought the woman he was with was his wife. Despite this indiscretion, Patterson managed to finish Spitzer’s unexpired term.

All this brings us to the current Governor, Andrew Cuomo, who has been charged with pursuing most of the women who work for the State of New York. Cuomo, unlike the aforementioned governors, is divorced, and so he is not cheating on his wife. He is however allegedly propositioning women who work for him, touching them when he should keep his hands to himself, etc. 

There are almost 20 million New Yorkers, more than half of whom are women. Most of these women do not work for the State of New York, so you would think that Cuomo would be able to get a date outside his workforce.

The solution to all these men and their misbehavior is simple—New York deserves a woman governor which it has never had in its entire history. If Cuomo is removed from office, his Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will become the chief executive. Hochul is 62, has been married to the same person for over 36 years, and is the founder of a home for victims of domestic violence. Let’s hear it for Kathy. I’m betting that, given the chance to serve, Hochul would finally keep New York out of the tabloids.