OMBUDSMAN ALERT: LONDON BRIDGE, OR IS IT THE CUOMO BRIDGE THAT IS FALLING DOWN?

BY DR. LOUIS ALPERT
Ombudsman

In his rush to celebrate the opening of the “Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge” – better known to the general public as the New Tappan Zee – in time for his re-election bid, Governor Andrew Cuomo inaugurated the new bridge as soon as the easterly span was completed on Friday, September 7.

Not long after the ceremony which saw Cuomo joined in public by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, fate would throw a curve at the governor. The remnants of the old Tappan Zee bridge, standing parallel to the new bridge suddenly became destabilized and threatened to fall on the new bridge.  The new span was closed for several more days.

Meanwhile, Cuomo has been in more hot water for the controversial decision to name the bridge after his father. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s brother, Chris Cuomo, a leading TV personality, revealed that his father, Mario, would have rejected the honor to have his name exclusively on this bridge because “this bridge belonged to the people.”

On top of this, he is dealing with unflattering press from the NY Times, which paints Cuomo as promising favors for bridge developers if they completed the TZ project in time for the Democratic primaries. And a scurrilous mailer from the New York Democratic Committee painted his opponent Cynthia Nixon as an anti-Semite, an allegation without any apparent basis in reality.

As Cuomo has denied any connection to the ad, footprints appear to lead back to his campaign.

Cuomo has been faced with calls from his primary challenger Cynthia Nixon and his Republican challenger Marcus Molinaro, as well as a host of State Senators and Assemblypersons (including Senator David Carlucci and Assemblypersons Ken Zebrowski and Ellen Jaffee), to adopt a Compromise Bill allowing the new bridge to keep the Tappan Zee monicker as part of its official name.

Instead, Cuomo has decided to “jump the gun,” and has been tearing down Tappan Zee signs and replacing them with his dad’s name.  The Ombudsman Alert requests Governor Andrew Cuomo to “cease and desist” tearing down any more Tappan Zee signs, at least until the fall elections are decided.

At that point a new government in Albany will have the opportunity to vote on the Compromise Bill, which would include both his father’s name and the Tappan Zee name on the bridge, to help preserve the history and traditions of the Hudson Valley in which we all reside.

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