I am writing a newsletter about politics and Andrew Cuomo, New York's three-term governor and one of the most powerful people in America.
Hello and welcome to the Cuomo Files, a newsletter that will be dedicated to covering, analyzing, and holding to account Andrew Cuomo, New York’s governor. Why a newsletter about Cuomo? It’s simple. He is the most powerful person in New York State and, therefore, one of the most powerful in America. He has won great praise and become famous for his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst we have seen in a century. Many people have learned only recently about who Cuomo is and that he’s governed New York State since 2011. Without term limits, he can be with us another decade. I want to use this newsletter to illuminate and educate. As a journalist, columnist, and former candidate for state office, I have followed Cuomo closely since 2012. Time and experience has granted me a little bit of knowledge.
Most power in New York flows through the executive branch. The governor’s office has extraordinary clout and Cuomo knows how to use it. Since the state government has dominion over New York City - we city dwellers can’t raise income taxes, strengthen our tenant laws, or even change the speed limit on city streets without the state’s permission - Cuomo is effectively the leader of the five boroughs, the man who can determine the fates of nearly nine million people. This is not an exaggeration.
The Cuomo files will be a mix of commentary, analysis, and journalism. I am a contributor to the Nation and a Guardian columnist, as well as a contributor to GQ, Gothamist, and other publications. All that work will continue. But I see this newsletter as being a little something extra - what I can’t necessarily work into a story or a column, what is perhaps a better fit for Twitter, but without any character limits.
I believe journalists should hold power to account and that’s what I plan to do. The COVID-19 pandemic is the worst catastrophe to befall New York City in modern history, and that includes 9/11. Those who made decisions that failed us, that led to the deaths of more than 20,000 people - more than entire nations - must be held to account. As you’ll find, I believe Andrew Cuomo, perhaps America’s most popular politician of the moment, is partially to blame. Accountability is crucial. I hope, overtime, to create a public record here, in addition to my journalism and commentary. I hope I can be a resource to you.
Please subscribe, if you can. I plan to keep the newsletter free but it will take time and effort to make it strong. News is a precarious business. The more subscribers I have, the more time I can justify dedicating myself to the Cuomo files. It’s as simple as that.
If you have comments or questions, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org works) or DM on Twitter, @RossBarkan. These are tough times. We’ll get through them together.