What’s up, New York? Greetings from Illinois. Heard you’ve had some ethical problems with your governor lately. Nasty business that, we’ve had a bit of experience there.
Oh, this is the second time? That’s cute, good for you guys. You’re almost at Alabama status! It must feel like you live in the most corrupt place in the world right now. Well, much like our respective NBA franchises in the 90s, you are permanently blocked by us from the title.
We have had no fewer than 4 of our governors go to jail and a couple more who probably should have. Our former House Speaker is well on his way. I myself have had my own alderman and U.S. Congressman head to the big house. What this has ingrained in me is a sense of which scandals have legs, what is likely to force someone from office, when someone might actually go to jail and the timeframes for all of this to potentially go down. For political gambling purposes, we have two relevant questions: Will Andrew Cuomo resign by May 1st and will he remain in office through the end of year.
Let’s dig in.
Start by asking yourself: Who would go on the Mount Rushmore of shitty governors that have teetered on the brink of impeachment, arrest and/or resignation in recent years and where does Cuomo fit in?
Greitens. Blagojevich. Spitzer. Northam. Bentley. Christie. And I’ll throw in Le Page just because I don’t like that guy. In my opinion, Cuomo’s trajectory is leaning more towards the criminally bad end of Greitens, Bentley and Blagojevich than the embarrassing and scandalous end of Northam and Spitzer.
So since he is on the worse end of spectrum, that means that you should bet on his imminent arrest and resignation, right?
Criminal investigations take a long time as proven by the Greitens case and Blagojevich and Bentley’s sagas showed that impeachment threats require a preponderance of evidence and don’t automatically yield resignations. Bentley’s case shows that they can also take a very long time.
If these cases are indicative of Cuomo’s options, open criminal and impeachment investigations actually incentivize him NOT to resign anytime soon. Greitens got to successfully dangle resignation as part of a plea deal to avoid prosecution, but only after an extensive investigation had concluded and charges were imminent. Resigning from office ended up being the key part of the deal he made to avoid any charges. Being that an investigation into Cuomo is in its infant stages, why would he give up the “Ok, I’ll resign” chip so early? As for Blago, he was impeached relatively quickly by the Illinois legislature but only after he was criminally charged (also note the threat of impeachment did not lead to him resigning as many think will happen with Cuomo). So my opinion is that unless you think Tish James is going to have an indictment ready by May 1st, you should bet on Cuomo remaining in office beyond this date.
“But iSavage, did you hear that a bunch of New York assemblymen and SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND said he should resign?”
Stop. Andrew Cuomo looks at these people as plebes and is not going to be swayed into resigning by their press releases, especially if staying in office might keep him out of jail at some point. Now that there has been such a unified cavalcade of voices that he has already resisted, I think he is above being moved by high profile calls for his resignation, even if they were to come from Joe Biden or Kamala Harris.
However, from a betting standpoint it makes sense to keep from holding a full max bet on no resignation until this happens. At most I think he compromises by stepping down from power without resigning, at which time there might also be a short term bargain buying opportunity.
It’s also possible that whatever Biden puts out will end up being relatively weak tea.
This is going to be a precedent-setting statement because, spoiler alert: There are going to be a lot of high profile creeps getting their comeuppance over the next four years that Biden will be expected to address. “He should resign now” is not a sustainable posture to establish and is why Biden might resort to the “Trust the women and let the investigations play out” stance. [Editors note: This is pretty much what played out during the drafting of this article] It’s also possible that Vice President Harris goes a little further to deflect from criticism of weakness from the White House, which would create another buying opportunity for anyone still bargain hunting on odds that Cuomo stays in office.
If I am going to be objective and throw a bone to the Cuomo bears, I will recognize that we are relatively early in the year and respect the potential for impeachment by 12/31 as a real possibility. That’s why I’m more in and out of the “Remain in Office through 12/31” market than set and forget on Yes. With the degree of scrutiny and from what we know so far, I would probably pay up to 89c (‘natch) that prosecutable, smoking gun evidence of criminal fraud on the nursing home numbers cover up will be indictment ready by the end of the year. However, I was very cool with paying ~52c that it won’t be there by 5/1. Stay unimpeachable, my friends.
PS, New York: This was a nice try, but you can’t steal the “Candid Shot of a Disgraced Governor in Crisis” title from us, either.