Andrew Cuomo Outright Lied to LGBTQ Democratic Caucus — but Got Its Endorsement Anyway

Cuomo falsely claimed that he has never endorsed members of the Republican-aligned Independent Democratic Conference or an anti-LGBTQ candidate.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo attends the ceremony marking Billy Joel's 100th performance at New York's Madison Square Garden, Wednesday, July 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo attends the ceremony marking Billy Joel's 100th performance at New York's Madison Square Garden on July 18, 2018. Photo: Richard Drew/AP

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blatantly lied twice on the questionnaire of an LGBTQ Democratic club, whose endorsement he was seeking. In the application Cuomo filled out for the Stonewall Democratic Club of NYC, he wrongly claimed to have never endorsed members of the recently dissolved Independent Democratic Conference — a group of breakaway Democratic state senators who caucused with the Republican minority — or any candidate with a track record of working against LGBTQ equality.

On Thursday, the Stonewall Democrats endorsed him anyway.

His claim that he has never and would never endorse any member of the IDC or any candidate affiliated with the coalition is particularly absurd, given his role in the creation of the IDC. Cuomo, who is currently facing a heated primary challenge from Cynthia Nixon, formally endorsed then-IDC leader Jeff Klein in his state Senate race in 2014. (The questionnaire asks, “Have you or would you in the future …” to which Cuomo answered “no” for both IDC and elected officials with a track record of opposing LGBT equality.)

He also lied about not backing a candidate with an anti-LGBT rights track record. In March, Cuomo opened his remarks at a gala with praise for the chair of the Bronx Democratic Party, Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, who voted against same-sex marriage the year it became law.

“How about that Marcos Crespo? What a beautiful talent, what a great legislator, what a great representative for this State of New York,” Cuomo said at the 2018 SOMOS Gala. “We talk about young talent. You watch this man, because he’s a shooting star. Let’s give Marcos Crespo a big round of applause.”

When asked why Cuomo lied about his past support of IDC and anti-LGBTQ candidates, Abbey Fashouer, a spokesperson for Cuomo’s campaign, said that he supports all Democratic members and pointed to his record on marriage equality. “As we have said, the governor stands alongside Andrea Stewart-Cousins in supporting all members of the Senate Democratic Conference,” Fashouer said in an email. “If anyone threatens to defect from the Democratic Conference, he will be first in line to oppose them. The Governor is a national leader for LGBTQ rights and his record of leadership making New York the first big state to pass marriage equality speaks for itself.”

It should also be noted that Nixon gave the same answers to the two questions, and Democratic critics argue that Nixon filing petitions with Jumaane Williams indicates they’re running as a ticket. And Williams has previously said that he holds personal views against LGBT marriage and abortion, but supports both as legal rights for all when it comes down to policy.

But why would Cuomo lie on a questionnaire about his support of IDC candidates, an alliance that can be fact-checked with the click of a button? Here’s how HuffPost wrote about President Donald Trump’s dishonesty in 2017:

It’s a lie that is told, not just to achieve an objective, but to demonstrate the power of the person telling the lie relative to those affected by it. Fuckery creates a wall between the person or group telling the lie and the people hearing it. Fuckery throws down a gauntlet: It is too big to ignore, yet so absurd that it promises to debase anybody who grapples with it. It makes a mockery of the very idea of truth.

Update: July 26, 2018
This story has been updated to include that the Stonewall Democrats have endorsed Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Top photo: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo attends the ceremony marking Billy Joel’s 100th performance at New York’s Madison Square Garden on July 18, 2018.

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