As the saying goes, scratch a liberal and you’ll find a tyrant underneath. NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo is but the latest example. He shoved a very restrictive and ill-considered gun law through the state legislature in the dead of night. Among its flaws, the law criminalized police officers who tote firearms with magazines that hold more than seven rounds. Sheriffs around the state have objected to the law. Cuomo summoned them to the state capitol under what appears to be a false pretext, and used the meeting to threaten them into silence.
Cuomo invited its leaders to the Capitol last month, people briefed on the meeting said. The group included Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Peter Kehoe and Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss.
“We didn’t get a response (to the analysis) from him, but we could tell after the budget was passed that none of those recommendations were taken into consideration,” Moss said. “When we got there, we never got to the contents of the letter.”
Instead, Cuomo pushed the sheriffs to stop publicly speaking out against the act, Moss said.
“The governor was of the opinion that the sheriffs around the state should not be interjecting their personal opinions in reference to the law,” Moss said, adding that Cuomo said sheriffs can’t do that and enforce the law.
One person briefed on the meeting said Cuomo threatened to remove sheriffs from office, a little-used power afforded the state’s chief executive under the state constitution.
That would be an abuse of power. It would also not be out of character for Cuomo or, for that matter, Democrats writ large. Two of the three major Obama scandals — snooping on the press and the IRS — involve rampant abuses of power. Cuomo’s own tactics in passing the SAFE Act could be construed as abuses of power, as he used emergency provisions to waive the normal three-day public examination period. Legislators were not even afforded enough time to read the law they were voting on. The SAFE Act was not a response to any real emergency, but it did fulfill Cuomo’s wish to get a landmark bill through as quickly as possible.