NY business owners slam Gov. Cuomo for Bills playoff game ‘exception’: ‘He’s a total hypocrite’


ALBANY, NY- Restaurant and business owners slammed Governor Andrew Cuomo after he announced that thousands of Buffalo Bills fans would be allowed to attend the upcoming playoff game while many New York businesses are forced to remain closed during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to reports, Cuomo recently announced that he would make an “exception” to his shutdown so that he and thousands of other New Yorkers could attend the playoff game.

Cuomo allegedly described that this exception is part of a “pilot program” that will allow New York officials to determine whether large group gatherings can be conducted safely. However, many New York business owners pointed out the hypocrisy of Cuomo’s “plan.”

Gov. Cuomo, who is being sued by several business owners due to coronavirus restrictions prohibiting indoor dining, said that he plans to be in attendance at the playoff game. They will be allowing 6,700 fans into the stadium provided they test negative for COVID-19 before entering. Cuomo said:

“A football playoff game is outdoors, which is a much better situation from COVID spread. We believe we are the first state in the nation to run this kind of pilot. We think it can be very instructive to us going forward.”

The Associated Press reported that 6,700 is about 10% of the stadium’s capacity and that in addition to testing negative for COVID-19, fans will be seated distanced apart. Fans must wear masks once they leave their vehicles in parking lots and until they return to their vehicles.

If any fan is seen with their masks off, they will be asked to leave. 

Allegedly, Cuomo sent health department staff to study COVID-19 protocols at stadiums in other states and defended his administration’s efforts to allow fans at the playoff game when more than 11,000 New Yorkers a day are testing positive for COVID-19.

Don Swartz, owner of Veneto Gourmet Pizza and Pasta in Rochester, told “Fox & Friends” that everyone in western New York wants to go to the Bills game, but is also simply asking that they also be allowed to dine in a restaurant. He said in a statement:

“I want the same opportunity to have people come into the restaurant and dine. It’s a personal choice.

If people feel comfortable about going to the Bills game in a safe manner and we’re following the CDC guidelines, that Rochester City, the County of Monroe also set up some guidelines for us to follow, I want people to be able to make the same choice and come and support us, just as they’re going to go root on the Buffalo Bills.”

Ralph Galluzzi, owner of Raphael’s in Hamburg, which is just minutes from the Bill’s stadium, said that he is down to one employee from 10 and only open three days a week because of Cuomo’s shutdown. He said:

“I’m six minutes from the stadium, so anybody that wanted to stop before or after, I lose that.”

He added:

“I feel that everything that is going on right now in the restaurant industry is totally unfair. People do not go out to dinner when they’re sick, they stay home, but they will go to Walmart or the drugstore when they’re sick. Are they spreading this in restaurants or Walmart?”

In addition to business owners suing Cuomo, several others have imposed lifetime bans on him. Bar owner Larry Baird said:

“He can eat some (expletive) roadside diner outside of Albany, but he will not be served anywhere in New York city, known universally as the world’s greatest dining destination! If he has to use the restroom he can go pee on my street-corner.”

Cuomo and State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker are urging fans to not hold and attend tailgates, parties, and other large gatherings. According to the team’s website, tickets will be offered to club seat and season ticket holders, based on seniority and likely not the general public. Fans will also have to pay the $63 cost of COVID-19 testing.

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NY Governor Andrew Cuomo gives himself a virtual birthday party to raise campaign cash

December 13th, 2020

ALBANY, NY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been in the news frequently this year, for good and not so good reasons.  His latest attention grab involves a virtual birthday party that he’s throwing for himself that is tied into fund raising for his re-election campaign. 

His re-election may not be necessary, though – more on that later.

Governor Cuomo is looking to fatten his campaign coffers with an online birthday shindig that will cost supporters up to $10,000 to — virtually — rub shoulders with him and a few of his favorite celebrities.

The Zoom call event, billed as a “Virtual Birthday and Holiday Reception,” is scheduled for Thursday, December 17th and will feature appearances by Robert De Niro, Rosie Perez, Whoopi Goldberg, Henry Winkler, and Ben Stiller.

Governor Cuomo turned 63-years-old on December 6th.

Just like any high-dollar affair, entry is exclusive and has conditions. 

High rollers who raise or donate $10,000 will get a code to join a half-hour pre-party earlier Thursday evening, along with “flex tickets” that friends can use to join the main reception later on. 

They’ll have to build their own cocktails and party prizes, though.

Donors at lower giving levels, ranging down to a $50 single-use pass for young Democrats and activists, will get varying levels of access for friends to join the virtual event.

Governor Cuomo has had his share of positive and negative press coverage.  He was lambasted in the press as it was alleged that his orders to place patients sick with Covid-19 into nursing homes caused the deaths of many senior citizens. 

On a contrary story, after publishing a book about how well the pandemic has gone for him and his state, he was given an Emmy Award for his appearances on television speaking about the pandemic.

It is rumored that, should Joe Biden be named president, Cuomo is on a short list to be appointed as Biden’s Attorney General. This is a suggestion that has drawn major criticism across the country, especially from one of Cuomo’s former staffers.

Lindsey Boylan, a former aide to Governor Cuomo has a less-than-stellar opinion of the man she used to call her boss.  In fact, she alleges sexual harassment against the governor, a claim that could derail both his re-election as governor and his appointment as United States attorney general.

Boylan has asserted that the governor would often discuss her physical appearance, something she said occurred over the course of several years.  That is, when he wasn’t showing displeasure with her work, which she insists was always above board.

Boylan took to Twitter to explain:

“Yes, @NYGovCuomo  sexually harassed me for years. Many saw it and watched.

I could never anticipate what to expect: would I be grilled on my work (which was very good) or harassed about my looks. Or would it be both in the same conversation? This was the way for years.”

She continued:

“Not knowing what to expect what’s the most upsetting part aside from knowing that no one would do a damn thing even when they saw it.

“No one. 

“And I *know* I am not the only woman. 

“I’m angry to be put in this situation at all. That because I am a woman, I can work hard my whole life to better myself and help others and yet still fall victim as countless women over generations have. Mostly silently.

“I hate that some men, like @NYGovCuomo abuse their power.”

Breanna Morello responded to Lindsey Boylan, piling on to Cuomo:

“Many women have made these accusations about the Governor but won’t go publicly with them.

“Even heard he joked around about a lesbian advocate who he’d love to sleep with, but she wouldn’t sleep with him. Room was filled with male staffers who just laughed it off.” 

It appears that no matter how negative a story or allegation may be, Governor Andrew Cuomo always comes out smelling like a rose.  With these latest allegations, and his Zoom birthday party, we shall have to wait and see how the public reacts.

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Cuomo smackdown: Supreme Court rules to temporarily bar NY from enforcing attendance limits in places of worship

November 27, 2020

NEW YORK- On November 25th, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to temporarily bar New York from enforcing strict attendance limits on places of worship in areas that have been designated as coronavirus “hot spots”.

According to reports, the court ruled that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive order violated the First Amendment’s “free exercise” clause and actively discriminated against religious institutions.

The groups sued to challenge attendance limits at houses of worship in areas designated red and orange zones, where New York had already capped attendance at ten and 25 people. However, the groups are now subject to less-restrictive rules because they’re not in areas that have been designated as yellow zones.

The justices split five-four to bar the state from enforcing the restrictions against the groups, for now, with new Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the majority. The court’s three liberal justices and Chief Justice John Roberts dissented. The unsigned majority decision read, in part:

“Members of this Court are not public heath experts and we should respect the judgment of those with special expertise and responsibility in this area. But, even in a pandemic, the Constitution cannot be put away and forgotten.”

It added:

“The restrictions at issue here, by effectively barring many from attending religious services, strike at the very heart of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty.”

The justices acted on an emergency basis while lawsuits challenging the restrictions continued. In the unsigned order, a majority of the court said the restrictions “single out” houses of worship for especially “harsh treatment.”

The court’s recent ruling is in contrast to two decisions it issued back in May and June concerning churches in California and Nevada, which allowed state officials to restrict attendance at religious services.

With Barrett’s liberal predecessor, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the court, the justices were divided five-four to leave in place pandemic-related capacity restrictions affecting churches in California and Nevada.

The opinion also noted that in red zones, while a synagogue or church cannot admit more than ten people, businesses deemed “essential” from grocery stores to pet shops can remain open without capacity limits.

In orange zones, while synagogues and churches are capped at 25 people, even “non-essential businesses” may decide for themselves how many persons to admit. In his dissent, Roberts wrote:

“There was simply no need for the courts action. None of the houses of worship identified in the applications is now subject to any fixed numerical restrictions.”

He added that New York’s ten and 25 person caps do seem “unduly restrictive.”

He wrote:

“The Governor might reinstate the restrictions, but he also might not and it is a significant matter to override determinations made by public health officials concerning what is necessary for public safety in the midst of a deadly pandemic.”

The court’s action was a victory for the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues that had sued to challenge state restrictions announced by Cuomo on October 6th. Randy Mastro, an attorney for the Diocese of Brooklyn said in a statement:

“We are extremely grateful that the Supreme Court has acted so swiftly and decisively to protect one of our most fundamental constitutional rights, the free exercise of religion.”

In an email, Avi Schick, an attorney for Agudath Israel of America, wrote:

“This is an historic victory. This landmark decision will ensure that religious practices and religious institutions will be protected from government edicts that do not treat religion with the respect demanded by the Constitution.”

It is still unclear how the case will proceed. However, New York’s Solicitor General Barbara D. Underwood recently informed the court that recent changes to the policies in question meant none of the diocese’s churches or the area’s synagogues would any longer be subject to the restrictions.

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