Mr. Cuomo, Tear Down That Wall

In the remake of President Ronald Reagan’s famous demand to Mikhail Gorbachev, read with the precision that only a trained actor could achieve, Andrew Cuomo  began his administration as Governor of New York.

In his first act as governor, Andrew Cuomo Saturday symbolically moved toward his promise to open up government to the people.

Crews were busy at work removing concrete barriers erected in front of the state Capitol under then Gov. George Pataki following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

 He was also preparing to open up the historic Hall of Governors that houses his suite of offices as well as portraits of past governors.

Dubbed “Fort Pataki,” the wing was sealed off from the public early in Pataki’s tenure.

This morning, the doors were open and the security desk moved to the side.

Like you, I’m a huge fan of symbolic gestures, particularly ones that bring the powerful closer to the rest of us.  Of course, Governor George Pataki’s concern that he would be a target of terrorists, who would squander their efforts on bringing Albany to its knees, might be seen as a bit overwrought nearly a decade later.  

The concrete barriers that protected him from the common folk have long since been paid for, and Cuomo, scion of Mario, a governor who knew how to keep the people happy at arm’s length with only a look, knows that some changes are needed.  After all, the last anointed governor, Spitzer, didn’t do too well.

In all fairness, New York State thrived under Mario Cuomo, the personification of the old saw, “I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.” 

Our new Governor has a decade of legislation and policies borne of fear, the decade of “better safe than sorry” that excused overreaching across the criminal justice system.  The concrete barriers and closed off corridors of power are very much symbols of what became of the State of New York.

The question now is whether this symbolic gesture reflects a change in how the Governor of the State of New York plans to do business, or is merely a gesture.  As I did when Eliot Spitzer assumed office, I wish Andrew Cuomo both the luck and fortitude to bring the legal system of New York back to its historic position of leadership and courage, an example of how a government can function by protecting the civil rights and individual freedoms of its citizens.

Thank you, Andrew Cuomo, for tearing down that wall.  But it’s only the first step.  I hope you inherited the strength of your father, even though Chris got the good looks.

If you need any help, let me know.

H/T Turk

One thought on “Mr. Cuomo, Tear Down That Wall


    I just want to say that this website is amazing and i cryed when i read all the storys,My husband was sentenced to 30 yrs for a drug crime HE DID NOT DO, He is loosing his wholee life his 5 children an i suffer every single day, We once had such a buitiful loveing family an picture perfect but the law is allowed to just point fingers with out knowing facts and the truth does not set you free because if that saying was true my husband would be right at home were he belongs!! We live in massachussetts an my husband is incarcerated in florida we are not allowed to see him because we are poor an have no way to get to florida so not only did they take him away from us they took him away to were his children have not seen him in 2 years,Never did i believe that innocent people really go to prison until this has happened to my family it has devasted me as well as ruined my life an my husbands an my children we have become homeless,we lost our buisness due to this our home,our cars everything i could not afford an attorney for my love an he was told no lawyer then no going home an what was i to do i could not even be there for my husband i had no way of showing him that im here an i love an care for him the law is jus able to come into our lives an tear my family apart an take away an innocent man i ask god everyday why this happened if my husband had jus came home a day later he would be with us today!!!!!! this websight is amazing it gives me a little hope inside i hope i am able to get some help an support thank you for that

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