A coward named Cuomo

Whether you liked him as the governor of New York or not, only a fool would doubt the courage of Mario Cuomo. He stood fast in his opposition to the death penalty (I oppose it too) even when he knew many disagreed.  He was courageous man. Not so his son, the current governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. All I know makes it clear to me he is a coward and, if you permit me a redundancy, a wimp.

Numerous sources tell me about the bullying he likes to do behind the scenes. Bullies are cowards. Able to act all tough and strong when there is no one to challenge them. Leave it to Cuomo  to run around New York playing like he’s John Wayne when inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt escaped. Notice Cuomo was always surrounded by state police. Easy to play tough guy when you have some real-life armed toughs as your escort.

And now, Cuomo has his Department of Health on the brink of pulverizing the lives of New Yorkers with brain injuries and the business stability of those who provide services to them under the state’s Traumatic Brain Injury Waiver Program. A waiver is a Medicaid reimbursement program that provide services so a vulnerable part of the population can live in the community or return to community life. It’s been in this state for 21 years now.  And under whose watch did it come to be?  Mario Cuomo’s, the Cuomo with the courage and integrity and compassion for others. Andrew’s DOH wants to shove the waiver into a form of managed care that will destroy the lives of New Yorkers with brain injuries, remove their housing subsidies, and get rid of their case managers. 

In other words, the son wants to destroy something great built by his father.

The reason? Well, one of Cuomo’s flunkies, DOH Official Mark Kissinger says, managed care is the way of the future.  Well, if the goal is to destroy lives and rob people of their independence, I suppose he’s right. Kissinger admits he has no formal training in the brain and the DOH admits no one on its staff addressing the needs of New Yorkers with brain injuries have any formal training in the brain either.

Another of Cuomo’s flunkies is yet another coward, a DOH official named Maribeth “Knuckles” Gnozzio.   Knuckles only escaped federal prosecution thanks to a plea deal her husband, New Jersey’s former Hudson  County executive and now convicted felon, Robert Janiszewski, cut with the feds. Media reports say the aforementioned Knuckles Gnozzio was spared charges as a result of Janiszewski’s agreement with the FBI. Too bad.  According to the Hudson Reporter, “Election records from 2001 show that the entire time that former Hudson County Executive Robert Janiszewski was working for the federal government, he was apparently directing campaign funds to a private campaign account” kept in the Knuckles’ name.

When this writer brought these details to the attention of Cuomo’s DOH, Knuckles was a contract employee. And how did Cuomo respond? As soon as Knuckles’ contract ran her made her a DOH staff member.  You have to have others do your dirty work when you’re a coward, and cowards like Knuckles fit the bill.

Several sources who were present say that during an October 6 DOH meeting about the state’s plan to knowingly destroy the lives of brain injury survivors,Knuckles said if people with brain injuries who were on the waiver were put on psychotropics they wouldn’t need waiver services.  At least the DOH’s support of chemical restraints is out in the open.

I’ve sent several emails asking the DOH to answer some questions, including an email to Knuckles asking her to explain her comments about drugging up waiver participants. And guess what? They refuse to respond. Why? Because they are cowards.

If any of you are wondering if this missive is meant, in part, to get a coward named Cuomo to step into the open with me, you bet. Do I think he will? No. He’s a coward. However, I’d be only too delighted to find out he found some unused courage sitting around one of his dresser drawers, under his socks maybe. Then we would meet in a public forum. Just the two of us, Andrew, no armed escorts, no Knuckles.


One thought on “A coward named Cuomo

  1. In today’s world there is no need for blanket managed care. We have the human, technological, public and private financial options to allow all but the most dependent persons with TBI to live in the community. DOH and the Governor seek to roll back the clock to the before the 1970’s before deinstitutionalization occurred. One agrees that too many homeless disabled persons languish on the streets, but this is due to their being denied treatment services, housing opportunities and care giving options. It is perplexing to hear that NYS wishes to employ managed care which is so dated, close minded and surely the most restrictive option.
    Less restrictive options can easily be and at lower cost created by carefully matching the client, his/her community, cognitive and physical abilities, medical and prescription requirements and opportunities for enhancing daily activity schedule
    This program that denies freedom of choice must be altered to ensure that in 2016 and beyond services for those with TBI provides mandated opportunities that allow this population to live in their communities.


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