Government Spending

The Cuomo Pandemic Scandal No One Is Talking About

Setting aside the harassment claims and the nursing home debacle, the Cuomo administration’s inability to run a minimally functional rent relief program should forever end his reputation as a competent executive.

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When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced his plans to resign come August 24, the response from almost everyone was "good riddance."

The sexual harassment allegations that prompted the governor's resignation are reason enough to wish Cuomo a speedy goodbye. Many writers, including Reason's Liz Wolfe, argued that the governor's policy early in the pandemic of requiring nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients—and his attempted cover-up of all the deaths that caused—should have led to his ouster long ago.

Before we say bon voyage to the disgraced governor, it's worth noting another of his pandemic policies that has proven to be a massive scandal: the disastrous rollout of New York's Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).

The last two COVID relief bills passed by Congress in December 2020 and March 2021 collectively appropriated $46 billion to cover the massive amount of unpaid rent that tenants have accumulated during the pandemic.

By the end of January 2021, the federal government had released close to $25 billion of that money—including about $1.2 billion to New York state's ERAP. Subsequent federal grants and state money would fund the program to the tune of $2.7 billion, according to City Limits.

And yet by the end of June, New York had, per U.S. Treasury Department data, managed to spend $0 of its rent relief funds. A month later only $1.2 million had gone out the door.

A major reason for the slow dispersal of funds is that the state's Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)—which is responsible for administering the program—took until June 2021 to start accepting applications. When it did get an online application portal up and running, tenants and landlords were met with crashing websites, and requests for documents they didn't have.

Applications would take hours to complete, yet the online web portal lacked a feature allowing people to save their progress and try again later. People who called into a hotline to report problems said that staff often had no answers for them.

This disastrous performance has gotten state lawmakers to start scrutinizing a $115 million no-bid contract that OTDA awarded to the Illinois-based company Guidehouse to set up ERAP.

Normally state contracts over $50,000 would have to be approved by the state comptroller, but the since-expired emergency declared by Cuomo in response to COVID-19 suspended those rules.

Expediting the ability of state agencies to sign contracts is a standard feature of emergency orders signed by governors during the pandemic. Nevertheless, the Associated Press reported in July that Guidehouse hired a Cuomo adviser shortly after winning its state contract, which has raised subsequent ethics questions.

There also doesn't seem to have been much back-and-forth between state officials and beneficiaries on the design of New York's ERAP. Nor has Cuomo himself appeared all that interested in the program's problems.

Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program, a small landlord association, told Reason back in June that had state officials worked with property owners when setting up their ERAP system, a lot of these issues could have been avoided. Instead, he says, landlords were left out of the loop.

OTDA Commissioner Michael Hein told state lawmakers in a committee hearing on Tuesday that he's had no conversations with Cuomo about the ERAP program, reports the New York Post.

To be sure, most state governments have done a pretty poor job of getting their rent relief programs off the ground. (The speed at which places like Virginia and Texas have managed to disperse funds shows that success wasn't impossible.)

Nevertheless, New York has earned the distinction of being the slowest. As of Monday, the state has spent $100 million on rent relief, or about 4 percent of total ERAP funds.

Being an effective writer of checks is not necessarily what libertarians want in an ideal governor. Nevertheless, rent relief is in large part meant to compensate landlords who have been prevented, partially by Cuomo's executive orders, from evicting nonpaying tenants. The failure to spend rent relief funds has also fueled demands to keep eviction moratoriums at the state and federal levels in place.

The governor's seeming lack of interest in making the program work, not to mention his administration's poor selection of vendors, mean he deserves the lion's share of the blame.

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  1. This isn’t dead grannies and MeToo victims. This is landlords, the worst villainy the left has ever conceived.

    To be fair, this would have surely sucked under any New York governor.

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    2. That was my initial reaction too, and not just in New York. I have read stories about incompetence in handing out the rental assistance in my own state (not New York).

      1. Because it’s people like collectivistjeff tasked with handing it out.

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  2. Ugh, more PUNCHING DOWN at Cuomo? Hasn’t he suffered enough?

    Reason.com needs to get on the same page as the rest of its progressive / corporate / neocon #Resistance allies and focus on the worst governor in America — #DeathSantis. If he somehow becomes President we’re looking at a return of “border enforcement” and the rest of the draconian anti-billionaire policies of the Drumpf years.

    1. which may be the real reason the Dems pushed Cuomo out, so they can vilify DeSantis as the worst COVID governor (with Cuomo and Newsom toast) in the 2024 presidential primaries.

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    2. I’ve never seen your Gerald Ford impersonation before

    3. Now that ain’t bad.

      I especially like the indignant ring of “…draconian anti-billionaire policies of the Drump years.” So congruent to the form of lefty reeeeing.

    4. Florida-population 21,500,000- Covid cases 2,806,813-Deaths 40,171
      New York-population 8,400,000- Covid cases 2,175,217- Deaths 53,576
      Governor Ron DeSantis is doing a terrible job? You can always tell the best of the best by who the left attacks the most. All they have is Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. There wonder boys Cuomo and Newsome are complete incompetents that have failed. They are terrified of Ron DeSantis because he continues to make Democrat governors look like incompetent idiots, which they are.

  3. Yeah, he’s pretty terrible. Notice how Democrats promptly ushered him into retirement once it became apparent that he was an abusing douchebag. How did conservatives do wrt Dear Leader in contrast?

    1. Democrats promptly ushered him into retirement

      They rabidly defended him for over a year.

      1. They did?

        “I think he should resign. I understand that the state legislature may decide to impeach. I don’t know that for fact. I have not read all that data,” Biden told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins during a news conference when asked whether Cuomo should resign or be impeached by state lawmakers.

        1. These are not new allegations.

        2. The Democrats knew some of this stuff for at least five years, and then there’s the fact that he helped kill loads of old people, for which you guys awarded him an Emmy.

        3. SleepyJoe is your source? LOL

      2. When did Republicans have their come to Jesus moment with respect to Dear Leader?

        1. When did Republicans have their come to Jesus moment with respect to Dear Leader?

          When did resident Socialist deflect to former President Trump as a response to a Cuomo article?
          Immediately.
          So predictable. You’ll also be happy to note that Cuomo leaves with an $18 million dollar war chest, which, I’m sure, he is anxious to add to the socialist coffers to help those who need.
          AmIRight?

        2. “No, ignore the granny-killing rapist! Look over there! It’s Trump! And he’s writing a mean tweet about CNN!”

        3. “When did Republicans have their come to Jesus moment with respect to Dear Leader?”

          When did you pay your mortgage, you parasitic asshole?
          Fuck off and die.

    2. Awesome, it’s our resident in-name-only “socialist” promoting the party of billionaires yet again.

      Can you believe how efficiently this Biden economy is concentrating wealth at the very top? The 10 richest Americans have gained a combined $225 billion this year. Genuine socialists would be disgusted by this. You, OTOH, constantly defend the party that makes this possible.

      Larry Page (up over $40,000,000,000 under Biden) says thanks!

      1. Bernie Sanders went from being an outcast in the Senate to chairing the House Budget Cmte in order to pass a multi-trillion dollar infrastructure bill. It’s axiomatic that I consider Democrats insufficiently radical and cautious, but they’re moving towards me and not away. I give them that. Mostly that happened because of the collective efforts of gaslighting bullshitters like yourself. I mean, sure socialism is still pretty unpopular, but it doesn’t even approach the loathing people feel towards Proud Boys dicks and their enablers. Is there a place I can donate to for your efforts? You’ve made Biden’s Stalinist treachery all the more possible and I wanted to give thanks.

        1. “It’s axiomatic that I consider Democrats insufficiently radical and cautious, but they’re moving towards me and not away.”

          LOL

          Is that why Biden had more billionaire donors than Drumpf? Billionaires want to reward the Democratic Party for moving left on economics?

          You’ve also gone on record preferring Charles Koch’s position on immigration to Bernie’s. So both in terms of who you want controlling the government (Democrats) and specific policies you want to implement (open borders) you’re fundamentally on the same side as billionaires.

          Jeff Bezos would love it if every self-described “socialist” was like you.

          1. Damn you’re good today! If I was gay I’d have a crush on you!

      2. At least, unlike the unmasked Trumpist anti-vaxxers and grandma killers, he’s responsibly distancing himself.

        On the island he bought. We all must sacrifice in our own way.

    3. Promptly? I’d hate to see what you think dragging their feet looks like.

      1. The thing I kept hearing from right-wing flacks like yourself with regard to Dear Leader was that in order to make the case that he should resign there had to be some sort of judicial process in a court of law. I disagreed then and I disagree now. That’s pretty much because I have integrity and your playing games with Team Red.

        1. Meh… these accusations against Cuomo need to be vetted in a court of law before I’m willing to judge. Innocent until proven guilty!

          1. That’s because you’re a pathetic piece of lefty shit, willing to accept even murder from another piece of lefty shit, and give him a pass.

        2. Oh, I’m not a right-wing anything. I was just questioning your point about how “promptly” the Dems dumped Cuomo.

          And there is a judicial process for getting rid of the President. If the Senate had voted to convict him either time he was impeached, he would have been out. Trump’s objectionabled personal conduct appears to have been long before he took office, not abusing his own staff members for years.

      2. I muted Amsoc a while ago, so I just enjoy the hilarious retorts and pillory now. It’s win all around!

        1. Same

      3. Bill Clinton’s many abuses. AmSoc’s pathetic twisting of facts to fit a narrative is hysterical, if completely untrue.

    4. Cuomo — three terms.

      Trump — one term.

    5. Promptly?

      He killed ten thousand people 15 months ago.

    6. He wasn’t removed by socialists for being a douche bag.

      He was removed by the socialists for being an obstruction to their plan to destroy NY.

      As bad as he was, he’s just been replaced by someone worse at the behest of someone far worse.

  4. So Reason thinks the best reason to get of a governor is that he was incompetent on handing out welfare?

    1. This publication has become a complete fucking joke regarding libertarianism.

    2. So CE is struggling with reading comprehension? This aspect is addressed right there in the article.

      1. You actually read the articles?

        1. There’s articles? I thought it was headlines and comments.

    3. The author (not Reason, which is not a person and therefore does not cogitate) did not say his administrative incompetence was the BEST reason, just that it was ANOTHER reason. If you disagree, cite the verbiage in the article that supports your view.

      1. Had this article represented an addition to other articles directly addressing those other offenses as reason for getting rid of him then your bitching might have a leg to stand on.

        They soft pedaled all of it and only now that the coast is clear are they willing to speak out on anything. But rather than being obviously late to the party with the big ticket items they instead give us this weak tea.

    4. They also think:
      – questioning government is authoritarian
      – medical procedures should be mandatory/forced by the state as condition of employment
      – it’s proper to jail political prisoners in solitary confinement and deny them bail, ultimately conditioning their release after conviction on pledging loyalty to the government (Party, not country or constitution), for trespassing on public property

      And that’s just today

  5. Still nothing on Biden sending troops back into Afghanistan?

    Damn, Reason really isn’t even pretending to be libertarian anymore.

    1. 3,000 to put a number on it.
      After giving billions in weapons to the Taliban…

  6. By “No one” you mean everyone but the media?

  7. Woman on the far right side of the picture: Sex worker
    Woman just to the left: Prostitute.

    1. Made me look, damn your eyes!

    2. The fit of the jacket makes it look like she’s there to take Cuomo’s bags.

  8. People who called into a hotline to report problems said that staff often had no answers for them.

    Well, it was a hotline to *report* problems, not have them solved, DUH!

  9. Masks work, vaccines work, social distancing works!

    Mysteriously, COVID-19 hasn’t spread among Seattle’s outdoor homeless population. What does that mean for a vaccine?

    I remember right here on these pages asking why COVID was somehow not a problem for the least sanitary, least locked down, least masked up people with the most comorbidities in the country.

    “Shut up and put your mask on, Trumpy McTrumpmeister!”

    1. And level 2 analysis will recall that the CDC says the rent eviction must stay in place because otherwise people will be homeless, increasing their risk from covid.

  10. Normally state contracts over $50,000 would have to be approved by the state comptroller, but the since-expired emergency declared by Cuomo in response to COVID-19 suspended those rules.

    How conveeeeeeenient.

  11. But it won’t because progressives are stone cold ideologues who refuse to even consider empirical data and evidence in their judgment. They are 100% emotion and feeling 100% of the time.

  12. So CE is struggling with reading comprehension? This aspect is addressed right there in the article.

    1. No his central point was not addressed in the article.

      The best they could come up with was Wolfe piling on only after Cuomo had already given his resignation.

      Brave truth tellers leading from the back of the parade.

  13. Cuomo is a faggot. That is all.

  14. “…Cuomo administration’s inability to run a minimally functional rent relief program should forever end his reputation as a competent executive…”

    The fact that he attempted one should be sufficient.

  15. The latest data I could find indicates that New York State has distributed around 4% of it’s Congressionally allocated rental relief funds as of a couple of days ago.

    Not too impressive.

  16. Dear Reason – This is a dog bites man story. That’s what dogs do. It is not worthy of a column. The real story is why has not this been reported by, well, by the MSM, where it might get some traction Oh what the heck, F . . . – it. We all know why. May the Good Lord help us. For sure no one else with any power will.

  17. No body in the liberal news media or social media nor the democrats in government wants to say anything about Cuomo and Covide-19 and nursing homes because it will detract attention from their trying to blame it all on President Trump. It will call attention to Biden and how he was so diametrically opposed everything Trump was trying to do to combat the pandemic which will not bode well for Biden if he decides to run again which I doubt that he will. I also doubt that Kamala Harris will take the challenge either.

    1. Hmmm…the silent treatment has also worked for the (unasked) “Where’s all that Homeless Money gone to, Gov?” question.

      And the unnecessary answer is, It’s gone to non-profits helmed by generously-salaried relatives, acquaintances and associates of Governor Cuomo. This is, apparently, such a New York thing it isn’t even newsworthy.

  18. Make no mistake about it, this Sexual Misconduct story was merely the vehicle used to oust Cuomo from office. Once he’s gone for good, look for any ‘investigations’ into Cuomo’s handling of the Covid situation to quickly and quietly DIE.
    We’ll NEVER hear anything more about that!

  19. The governor’s seeming lack of interest in making the program work.
    Well that’s true of anyone sitting on *stolen* money isn’t it?
    If there’s no association between *Value* and *Wealth* who’s gonna *create* any Value for society?

  20. The political weathervanes of Reason telling us what we already knew.

  21. The governor’s seeming lack of interest in making the program work.
    Well that’s true of anyone sitting on *stolen* money isn’t it?

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  22. The governor’s seeming lack of interest in making the program work.
    Well
    Sad Status for Whatsapp
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  23. Ol Joe, Bernie and the rest of the left proclaim taxing the wealthy and making them pay their share in public and yet all support repealing the SALT which will give the wealthy a huge tax break. Bernie voted for it as did other socialist. The sheep still believe what they say not what they do.

  24. This is classic Cuomo. Several years ago, Hudson Valley citizens objected successfully to the handing of National Grid $1B (capital B) for a transmission project they proved was completely unnecessary. Cuomo yanked the project and relaunched the unnecessary initiative under the banner of “Public Policy”. Public Policy projects do not require public hearings and do not invite input from tax payers. He just wanted to hand National Grid $1B and was going to do it one way or another. GOOD RIDDANCE. May Kathy Hochul be more humble, ethical and transparent to the people she serves.

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  26. This is on Guidehouse’s home page:

    “Guidehouse offers skilled consulting teams with fresh perspectives to help our commercial and public sector clients achieve mission success in innovative yet practical ways. We present agile solutions with sustainable outcomes that meet mission requirements and drive the transformation required to complete, deter, and win in our evolving world.

    “We are a vibrant culture that values and thrives on diversity, collaboration and innovation. If you have a desire to impact quality of life, enhance global sustainability and build solutions that enable future generations to thrive, welcome home.”

    From this, I gather that their main business is jargon generation.

    1. Either that or the “mission requirements” they were given were really, really low. “Put a website up with some words and pictures, and some text boxes with some buttons to click.

  27. Texas and Virginia dispersed funds? A Freudian slip, I’m sure.

    They didn’t disperse any in my direction, unfortunately. Nor did they disburse any/

  28. OT: Expanding on a point I made last week about the vaccinated being just as, if not more, likely to be the source of variants:

    There’s now irrefutable proof that the mRNA vaccine is being integrated into the human genome and there’s reason to believe that the mRNA vaccine is worse than wild-type COVID. Namely, the mRNA vaccines have had their codons altered to increase expression and transcription. I vast number of viruses already do, and have done this, which should raise suspicions when someone, anyone at the CDC says:

    Vaccine mRNA is non-infectious and is broken down quickly in the body. It does not become part of the cell or affect a person’s genes or DNA.

    After integration, the expression has been shown to be triggered by subsequent and ancillary infections (COVID and HIV). So, a vaccinated person with COVID integrated into their genome is walking around mutating well after they’ve cleared the virus, typically doing so at the worst possible time, concomitantly with other infections.

    Again, it wouldn’t be the first time the government or even the CDC gave people syphillis or hepatitis when the methods of infection were known, treatment/cure was widely available, and outcomes were generally favorable:

    Nina became one of more than 50 mentally disabled children, ages 5 to 10, under the care of Dr. Saul Krugman, a respected pediatrician from New York who wanted to determine if there were multiple strains of hepatitis, and whether a vaccine could be created to protect against the disease. Krugman and his partner, Dr. Joan Giles, used the Willowbrook residents to test a preliminary vaccine for this disease that had killed millions worldwide. From 1955 to 1970, the children were injected with the virus itself or made to drink chocolate milk mixed with feces from other infected children in order to study their immunity.

  29. The governor’s seeming lack of interest in making the program work.
    Well that’s true of anyone sitting on *stolen* money isn’t it?
    HUM tum song lyrics
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  30. After integration, the expression has been shown to be triggered by subsequent and ancillary infections (COVID and HIV). So, a vaccinated person with COVID integrated into their genome is walking around mutating well after they’ve cleared the virus
    https://www.lovewhatsappstatus.com/2021/08/heart-touching-status.html

  31. Nina became one of more than 50 mentally disabled children, ages 5 to 10, under the care of Dr. Saul Krugman, a respected pediatrician from New York who wanted to determine if there were multiple strains of hepatitis, and whether a vaccine could be created to protect against the disease. Krugman and his partner, Dr. Joan Giles, used the Willowbrook residents to test a preliminary vaccine for this disease that had killed millions worldwide.
    https://www.healthstatue.com/2021/09/how-long-does-sunburn-last.html

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