Mayor Bill de Blasio has no more cares to give when it comes to embattled Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Whether it’s pent-up frustration from seven years of feuding or continued anger over the revelations in the independent investigation Attorney General Letitia James announced Tuesday, de Blasio seethed Thursday over the governor’s apparent refusal to step aside — publicly wishing that the state’s chief executive would “just get the hell out of the way.”
De Blasio made the remarks during his Aug. 5 press briefing at City Hall, during which he was asked about the sexual harassment allegations made against Cuomo by 11 women and its impact upon city business.
The mayor said that the situation is hurting the city, and blamed Cuomo for being too distracted by his personal issues to properly deal with the issues affecting the Five Boroughs. De Blasio made a similar charge at his Wednesday briefing, when he criticized Cuomo for failing to sign off on legislation permitting the city to install weight sensors on the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway cantilever in Brooklyn Heights.
Thursday, de Blasio alleged that Cuomo was ignoring the city’s cash-strapped tenants by failing to properly oversee the distribution of billions in federal relief.
“Forty-eight other states managed to get their rent relief money out,” de Blasio said. “New York State dropped the ball on rent relief, and one of the reasons is a distracted governor. We’ve got hundreds of thousands of people who need that money.”
A spokesperson for Cuomo’s office indicated that the mayor’s comments were not true. The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance began distributing payments on July 19, sending out more than $20.3 million thus far — including $13.3 million issued on Aug. 4.
The payment system is still ramping up, and it’s expected that much more relief will be provided in the weeks and months ahead, the spokesperson noted.
The mayor also said Cuomo has yet to sign legislation that the state legislature approved weeks ago to increase the value of housing vouchers for homeless New Yorkers.
“All it needs is a signature from the governor to help people get an apartment,” de Blasio said. “The governor hasn’t managed to sign that bill weeks and weeks after it was passed. Again, that was in the middle of June. No action whatsoever.”
The mayor also tried to guess what Cuomo might be thinking amid the many calls from elected officials, unions and even President Joe Biden for the governor to step down. De Blasio reasoned that Cuomo was borrowing from a former president’s strategy in attempting to survive the scandal before him.
“I think he thinks he still may have some sleight of hand here and he’s obviously borrowing a page from the Trump playbook in trying to scorch the earth and attack the people doing the investigation, attack anyone that might prosecute him,” de Blasio said. “It’s not going to work. He’s out of options. It’s just a matter of time.”
The mayor thinks Cuomo should resign “out of respect” for the 11 women who came forward to accuse the governor of sexually harassing them, and to attempt “to atone for his sins.”
“But also think about the almost 20 million New Yorkers who are suffering,” de Blasio added. “Just get the hell out of the way. I mean, in the end, maybe he could close off his career with one act of dignity and decency and just step aside, but [I] don’t bet on that.”