Only hours after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D.) announced he would restore the voting rights of some 35,000 individuals convicted of felonies, journalists and progressives castigated the move on social media as being politically calculated.
The governor made the announcement Wednesday while addressing the annual convention of the National Action Network, a social justice group founded by Al Sharpton, in New York City. Cuomo, who is facing a spirited challenge for the Democratic nomination for governor from "Sex and the City" actress and political activist Cynthia Nixon, said he decided to move unilaterally, via executive order, after the legislature failed to act on the issue.
Journalists and progressive activists didn't buy the governor's reasoning, with many claiming he only pursued executive action because of Nixon's progressive influence and to ensure an energized left didn't stymie his plans for a third term.
This whole primary is turning into a lesson about the virtues of political competition. https://t.co/a71b54kyfH
— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) April 18, 2018
Each day, Cynthia Nixon is winning. She's pushing Cuomo on reuniting the Senate Dems, on LGBT rights, on franchising the formerly incarcerated—she's making him turn so hard, you'd think there was a rich lobbyist to Cuomo's left!
Some words I thought I'd never type:
— Dr. Steven W. Thrasher (@thrasherxy) April 18, 2018
Would be hilarious if all the people whose voting rights Cuomo just restored then vote for @CynthiaNixon.
— jelani cobb (@jelani9) April 18, 2018
The ONLY reason Cuomo is doing this is because Cynthia Nixon is challenging him. Why didn’t he have the courage to do this his first year? Or second? Or third? Or last year? https://t.co/Dn5ibCKazd
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) April 18, 2018
"I am absolutely not worried about Cynthia Nixon," Governor Cuomo announced in a Black Lives Matter hoodie as he legalized drinking in public parks
— Jason O. Gilbert (@gilbertjasono) April 18, 2018
The New York Working Families Party, a progressive political party that endorsed Nixon last weekend, rebuked the governor for an action it believed was long overdue.
"BREAKING: On 2,664th day in office, Governor discovers Executive powers.
#thecynthiaeffect," the party tweeted.
— NY Working Families Party (@NYWFP) April 18, 2018