- Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo 56th Governor of New York Incumbent Assumed office
January 1, 2011
Lieutenant Robert Duffy Preceded by David Paterson 64th Attorney General of New York In office
January 1, 2007 – December 31, 2010
Governor Eliot Spitzer
Preceded by Eliot Spitzer Succeeded by Eric Schneiderman 11th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development In office
January 29, 1997 – January 20, 2001
President Bill Clinton Preceded by Henry Cisneros Succeeded by Mel Martinez Personal details Born December 6, 1957
Queens, New York
Political party Democratic Party Spouse(s) Kerry Kennedy (1990–2005) Children Cara
Residence Executive Mansion Alma mater Fordham University (B.A.)
Albany Law School (J.D.)
Religion Roman Catholic
Andrew Mark Cuomo (pronounced /ˈkwoʊmoʊ/; born December 6, 1957) is the 56th and current Governor of New York, having assumed office on January 1, 2011. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the 64th New York State Attorney General, and was the 11th United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Born in Queens, New York, he is the son of Mario Cuomo, the 52nd Governor of New York (1983–1994).
Early life, education and career
Cuomo was born in Queens, New York, to a family of Italian-American origin and is the eldest son of Mario Cuomo, and Matilda Raffa, daughter of Charlie Raffa. He is the older brother of ABC News journalist Chris Cuomo.
Cuomo graduated from Saint Gerard's School in 1971 and Archbishop Molloy High School in 1975. He graduated from Fordham University in 1979, and Albany Law School in 1982. A member of the Democratic Party, Cuomo was a top aide to his father during his 1982 campaign for Governor. He then joined the Governor's staff as one of his father's top policy advisors, earning $1 a year.
From 1984 to 1985, Cuomo was a New York assistant district attorney. Cuomo briefly worked at the law firm of Blutrich, Falcone & Miller. Cuomo founded Housing Enterprise for the Less Privileged (HELP) in 1986 and left the law firm to run HELP full-time in 1988. From 1990 to 1993, during the administration of former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, Cuomo served as Chairman of the New York City Homeless Commission, which was charged with developing policies to address the homeless issue in the city and to develop more housing options.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Andrew Cuomo was appointed to the Department of Housing and Urban Development as Assistant Secretary in 1993, a member of President Bill Clinton's administration. After the departure of Secretary Henry Cisneros at the end of Clinton's first term under the cloud of an FBI investigation, Cuomo succeeded him as HUD Secretary in January 1997 after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate, serving until 2001 when Clinton's administration ended.
In 1998, Cuomo's lauded work in the department garnered speculation that he could challenge Senator Al D'Amato but he ultimately declined, saying that he had more things to revamp in the Department. Instead, Congressman Charles Schumer won the Democratic nomination and ultimately defeated D'Amato. Cuomo was also mentioned as a candidate for U.S. Senator in 2000 but deferred to First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
In 2000, Cuomo led HUD efforts to negotiate an agreement with the United States' largest handgun manufacturer, Smith & Wesson that required Smith & Wesson to change the design, distribution and marketing of guns to make them safer and to help keep them out of the hands of children and criminals. Budgets enacted during his term contained initiatives to increase the supply of affordable housing and homeownership, and to create jobs and economic development. These include new rental assistance subsidies; reforms to integrate public housing; higher limits on mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration; a crackdown on housing discrimination; expanded programs to help homeless people get housing and jobs; and creation of new Empowerment Zones.
During Cuomo's tenure as HUD Secretary, he called for an increase in home ownership. He also pushed government-sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy more home loans issued to poor homeowners, in an attempt to end discrimination against minorities. Some believe that this helped lead to the current subprime mortgage crisis. Edward J. Pinto, former chief credit officer at Fannie Mae, said "they should have known the risks were large. Cuomo was pushing mortgage bankers to make loans and basically saying you have to offer a loan to everybody." But others disagree with the assessment that Cuomo caused the crisis. Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said Cuomo "was a contributor in terms of him being a cheerleader, but I don't think we can pin too much blame on him."
2002 New York gubernatorial campaign
Though Carl McCall was the favorite of the Democratic establishment, Cuomo initially had more momentum and led in fund-raising and polls. A turning point in the campaign occurred on April 17, 2002, when Cuomo said "Pataki stood behind the leader. He held the leader's coat. He was a great assistant to the leader. But he was not a leader. Cream rises to the top, and Rudy Giuliani rose to the top." The remarks were widely derided, and even his father Mario later admitted it was a blunder.
On the eve of the state convention, Cuomo withdrew from consideration after concluding that he had little chance of support as opposed to the favored party candidate, State Comptroller H. Carl McCall. Later, in September 2002, on the all-but-certain defeat that loomed in the state primary, again at the hands of McCall, Cuomo withdrew from the race, but his name remained on the ballot, as it did in the general election, as the Liberal Party of New York candidate. In the primary, the withdrawn candidate only received 14% of the vote. In the general election, he received 15,761 votes out of 4.7 million cast, handing a costly defeat to the Liberal Party, which thereby lost its automatic spot on the New York ballot. McCall, who ran a poor campaign and failed to resonate with voters, was defeated in a landslide by Governor George Pataki.
2006 New York Attorney General campaign
Some expected Cuomo to run for Governor of New York again as a candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2006, but he decided against a run when New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer entered the race in late 2004. Cuomo declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for New York State Attorney General in 2006, and on May 30, 2006, captured the Democratic Party's endorsement, receiving 65 percent of the delegates' votes. Though Cuomo won the endorsement, former New York City Public Advocate Mark J. Green, Charlie King, a two-time candidate for lieutenant governor, and Sean Patrick Maloney, a former aide to President Clinton, also earned places on the Democratic primary election ballot. King dropped out of the race before the primary and endorsed Cuomo.
Cuomo won the primary with a majority of the vote, defeating his nearest opponent by over 20%. Clinching the Democratic party nomination was considered a significant rebound following his unsuccessful and unpopular 2002 gubernatorial campaign and at the nominating convention, June O'Neill, the Democratic chairwoman of St. Lawrence County, called him "New York's own Comeback Kid." He won the general election against the Republican nominee, former Westchester DA Jeanine Pirro on November 7, 2006, winning 58%-40%. Cuomo won New York City in a landslide, and did quite well upstate, defeating Pirro in the Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany areas, as well as in Westchester and Rockland counties. Cuomo only narrowly defeated Pirro on Long Island.
Notable work as Attorney General
Police surveillance by the Governor's Office
On July 23, 2007, Cuomo's office admonished the Spitzer administration for ordering the State Police to keep special records of then-Senate majority leader Joseph L. Bruno's whereabouts when he traveled with police escorts in New York City. At the direction of top officials of the Spitzer administration, the New York State Police created documents meant to cause political damage to Bruno. The governor's staff had stated that they were responding to a Freedom of Information request from the Albany Times-Union in late June. A scathing 57-page report issued by the Attorney General's office concluded that Spitzer's aides did not simply produce records, as the state Freedom of Information Law requires, but were instead engaged in planning and producing media coverage concerning Senator Bruno's travel on state aircraft before any FOIL request was made.  The investigation looked into both Bruno's travel and the Senate leader's allegation that Spitzer used State Police to spy on him. A year-long investigation and a 57-page report was drawn up by AG Cuomo's office and leaked by Democratic State operatives (though not tied to AG Cuomo's office) to the Spitzer Group that has since been charged with numerous felonies involving illegal use of state positions and resources, to smear Senator Bruno, one of New York State's "three men in a room". It also suggests that the governor's staff lied when they tried to explain what they had done and forced the State Police to go far beyond their normal procedures in documenting Mr. Bruno's whereabouts.
The report cleared Bruno of any misuse of the state's air fleet, which had been alleged. The report criticized Spitzer's office for using State Police resources to gather information about Bruno's travel and releasing the information to the media. New York Republican State Committee Chairman Joseph Mondello claimed that "Today's explosive report by Attorney General Andrew Cuomo validates the frightening charges that Governor Spitzer's administration abused the New York State Police and New York's F.O.I.L. laws in an attempt to set up Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno" and that "This disturbing abuse of power by a Governor is unprecedented." The findings of the report were endorsed by Spitzer's own Inspector General, Kristine Hamann.
Spitzer responded at a July 23 press conference that "As governor, I am accountable for what goes on in the executive branch and I accept responsibility for the actions of my office" and that his administration had "grossly mishandled" the situation. The Governor issued an apology to Senator Bruno and stated that "I apologized to Senator Bruno and I did so personally this morning […] In addition, I apologized to the men and women of the State Police, and to acting Superintendent Preston Felton personally for allowing this esteemed institution to be drawn into this matter." Felton said he didn't realize he was part of a political scheme and claimed in a written statement that "I have never, in my 26-year career with the state police, knowingly undertaken any such action and never would […] To the extent that circumstances previously not known to me have now given rise to that appearance, I am particularly saddened."
Spitzer subsequently announced that he would indefinitely suspend his communications director, Darren Dopp, and reassign another top official. When questioned about his promise to bring a new dawn of ethical responsibility to state politics, Spitzer responded by saying "I will not tolerate this behavior […] ethics and accountability must and will remain rigorous in my administration", and that "I have always stated that I want ethics and integrity to be the hallmarks of my administration. That is why I requested that the State Inspector General review the allegations with respect to my office, and that is why we have fully cooperated with both inquiries." As of July 2007, Cuomo's office was considering recommending disciplinary action against the Governor's office.
Student loan inquiry
In 2007, Cuomo has been active in a high-profile investigation into lending practices and anti-competitive relationships between student lenders and universities. Specifically, many universities steered student borrowers to a "preferred lender," which resulted in the borrowers incurring higher interest rates. This has led to changes in lending policy at many major American universities. Many universities have also rebated millions of dollars in fees back to affected borrowers.
On June 10, 2008, Cuomo announced that three major Internet service providers (Verizon Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Sprint) would "shut down major sources of online child pornography" by no longer hosting many Usenet groups. Time Warner Cable ceased offering Usenet altogether, Sprint no longer provides access to the alt.* hierarchy, and Verizon limiting its Usenet offerings to the Big 8. The moves came after Cuomo's office located 88 different newsgroups that contained child pornography.
Andrew Cuomo opposes the death penalty.
United States Senate
After Hillary Rodham Clinton became Barack Obama's choice for the position of U.S. Secretary of State, Governor David Paterson was charged with appointing a temporary replacement until a special election in 2010 for the conclusion of her Class 1 seat. Cuomo was seen as a leading contender for this appointment (in fact, his name was first mentioned dating back to the 2008 Presidential primaries). Caroline Kennedy (the first cousin of Cuomo's ex-wife) was another leading contender, but withdrew for personal reasons two days before Paterson was set to announce his choice, leaving Cuomo and Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand as the most likely appointees. On January 23, Paterson announced he was naming Gillibrand to the Senate.
2010 New York Gubernatorial campaign
Cuomo was a candidate for Governor of New York in 2010. On September 18, 2009, advisors to President Barack Obama informed Paterson that the President believed Paterson should withdraw his 2010 gubernatorial candidacy, stepping aside for "popular Attorney General Andrew Cuomo." On January 23, 2010, the New York Daily News reported that Cuomo would announce plans for a gubernatorial campaign at the end of March. Later reports indicated he would announce his gubernatorial campaign coinciding with the state Democratic Convention in late May. On May 22, 2010, Cuomo announced his run for governor in a video posted to his campaign website. Cuomo announced his choice for Lt. Governor on May 26, 2010; Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy was offered, and accepted, the position on the ticket alongside Cuomo.
In the November 2, 2010 general election, Cuomo faced Republican Carl Paladino, a Buffalo-based businessman who had been heavily supported by the Tea Party movement. Cuomo won the election for Governor of the State of New York.
Governor of New York
In keeping with a campaign promise, Cuomo signed same-sex marriage legislation on June 24, 2011 following an "intense public and private lobbying campaign." After same-sex marriage legislation passed the New York State Senate, Cuomo remarked, "The other states look to New York for the progressive direction... What we said today is, you look to New York once again. New York made a powerful statement, not just for the people of New York, but for people all across this nation." In a post-vote press release, he added, "New York has finally torn down the barrier that has prevented same-sex couples from exercising the freedom to marry and from receiving the fundamental protections that so many couples and families take for granted... With the world watching, the Legislature, by a bipartisan vote, has said that all New Yorkers are equal under the law. With this vote, marriage equality will become a reality in our state, delivering long overdue fairness and legal security to thousands of New Yorkers."
In an interview with The New York Times, Cuomo stated his top goal in 2012 is the reduction of public employee pensions. On July 16, 2011, Cuomo finalized a five-year deal with the Public Employees Federation to end pay raises, implement furlough days, and require additional contributions to health insurance accounts.
Cuomo was married to Kerry Kennedy, the seventh child of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy, for 13 years. They have three children: Cara, Michaela and Mariah. The two separated in 2003 and divorced in 2005. He is currently dating Food Network host Sandra Lee.
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- Governor Andrew M. Cuomo official state government site
- Andrew Cuomo for New York Governor official campaign site
- Biography at the National Governors Association
- Biography, interest group ratings, public statements, vetoes and campaign finances at Project Vote Smart
- Biography at WhoRunsGov.com at The Washington Post
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Campaign contributions at FollowTheMoney.org
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Appearances on Charlie Rose programs
- Appearances at the Internet Movie Database
- Collected news and commentary at The New York Times
- Collected news and commentary at The Wall Street Journal
- Works by or about Andrew Cuomo in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
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AS Tulafono (D) GU Calvo (R) MP Fitial (R) PR Fortuño (R) VI de Jongh (D) Attorneys General of New YorkBenson · Varick · Burr · M Lewis · Lawrence · J Hoffman · Spencer · Woodworth · Hildreth · Van Vechten · Hildreth · Emmet · Van Vechten · M Van Buren · Oakley · Talcott · Bronson · Beardsley · Hall · Barker · J Van Buren · Jordan · Chatfield · Stow · O Hoffman · Cushing · Tremain · Myers · Dickinson · Cochrane · Martindale · Champlain · Barlow · Pratt · Fairchild · Schoonmaker · Ward Sr · Russell · O'Brien · Tabor · Rosendale · Hancock · Davies · Cunneen · Mayer · Jackson · O'Malley · Carmody · Parsons · Woodbury · M E Lewis · Newton · Sherman · Ottinger · Ward Jr · Bennett · Goldstein · Javits · Lefkowitz · Abrams · Koppell · Vacco · Spitzer · Cuomo · Schneiderman United States Secretaries of Housing and Urban Development Kennedy family Ancestors ofJoseph Patrick Kennedy, Sr.
(1888–1969)Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Children of(in birth order) Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr. • John Fitzgerald Kennedy (m.) Jacqueline Lee Bouvier • Rose Marie "Rosemary" Kennedy • Kathleen Agnes Kennedy (m.) William John Robert Cavendish, Marquess of Hartington • Eunice Mary Kennedy (m.) Robert Sargent Shriver, Jr. • Patricia Kennedy (m./div.) Peter Lawford • Robert Francis Kennedy (m.) Ethel Skakel • Jean Ann Kennedy (m.) Stephen Edward Smith • Edward Moore Kennedy (m./div. 1st) Virginia Joan Bennett; (m. 2nd) Victoria Anne Reggie Descendants
(in birth order)Joseph Patrick Kennedy, Jr. (1915–1944)NoneJohn Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917–1963)Rose Marie Kennedy (1918–2005)NoneKathleen Cavendish, Marchioness
of Hartington (1920–1948)NoneEunice Kennedy Shriver (1921–2009)Patricia Kennedy Lawford (1924–2006)Christopher Kennedy Lawford • Sydney Maleia Kennedy Lawford • Victoria Francis Lawford • Robin Elizabeth LawfordRobert Francis Kennedy (1925–1968)Kathleen Hartington Kennedy (m.) David Lee Townsend • Joseph Patrick Kennedy II (m./div. 1st) Sheila Brewster Rauch; (m. 2nd) Anne Elizabeth "Beth" Kelly • Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr. (m./div. 1st) Emily Ruth Black (m. 2nd) Mary Richardson • David Anthony Kennedy • Mary Courtney Kennedy (m/div. 1st) Jeffrey Robert Ruhe; (m./sep. 2nd) Paul Michael Hill • Michael LeMoyne Kennedy (m.) Victoria Denise Gifford • Mary Kerry Kennedy (m./div.) Andrew Mark Cuomo • Christopher George Kennedy (m.) Sheila Sinclair Berner • Matthew Maxwell Taylor Kennedy (m.) Victoria Anne Strauss • Douglas Harriman Kennedy (m.) Molly Elizabeth Stark • Rory Elizabeth Katherine Kennedy (m.) Mark BaileyJean Kennedy Smith (born 1928)Stephen Edward Smith, Jr. • William Kennedy Smith • Amanda Mary Smith • Kym Maria SmithEdward Moore Kennedy (1932–2009)Kara Anne Kennedy (m.) Michael Allen • Edward Moore Kennedy, Jr. (m.) Katherine Anne "Kiki" Gershman • Patrick Joseph Kennedy (m.) Amy Petitgout
Cabinet of President Bill Clinton (1993–2001) Cabinet Secretary of State Secretary of the Treasury Secretary of Defense Attorney GeneralJanet Reno (1993 – 2001) Secretary of the InteriorBruce Babbitt (1993 – 2001) Secretary of Agriculture Secretary of Commerce Secretary of Labor Secretary of Health
and Human ServicesDonna Shalala (1993 – 2001)
Secretary of EducationRichard Riley (1993 – 2001) Secretary of Housing
and Urban DevelopmentHenry Cisneros (1993 – 1997) • Andrew Cuomo (1997 – 2001)
Secretary of Transportation Secretary of Energy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
- acting secretary.
Cabinet-level Vice PresidentAl Gore (1993 – 2001) White House Chief of Staff Administrator of the
Environmental Protection AgencyCarol Browner (1993 – 2001)
Ambassador to the United Nations Director of the Office of
Management and Budget
Director of National
Drug Control Policy
Trade Representative Director of the Federal Emergency
Management AgencyJames Lee Witt (1993 – 2001)*
Director of Central Intelligence Administrator of the
Small Business Administration
- took office in 1993, raised to cabinet-rank in 1996
Current elected and appointed statewide political officials of New York U.S. Senate State government Senate Assembly Court of Appeals
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