There was more bad news for the administration of Governor Andrew Cuomo last week, after the man he tapped to lead the Buffalo Billion project, which steered a billion (that's billion, with a “B”) dollars of taxpayer money for economic development projects in the upstate city, was found guilty of simply steering that money to favored developers in a bid-rigging scheme.
So just hours after the conviction was announced, the state released a report that found the recreational pot would be good idea for the State of New York, which Cuomo has never supported in the past, but his administration is suddenly supporting.
Wait, tell us more about the killer hydro we're going to be able to buy at our new dispensary.
Seriously, Alain Kaloyeros, the founder of SUNY Polytechnic Institute, is the second Cuomo aide to be convicted on major corruption charges in just a matter of months. And one of the developers that benefited has given over $300,000 in contributions to Cuomo's campaign since 2006.
So we can just become our own ganjapreneurs once we can legally sell edibles, because we have a killer pot brownie recipe.
Are you listening? Cuomo's longtime righthand man Joe Percoco was convicted on corruption charges just a few months ago in March. The U.S. attorney's office is currently investigating why an upstate health care company received $25 million in state funds after padding Cuomo's coffers with a series of contributions!
Man, that's what I love about corrupt public officials, the older I get they just keep stealing the same money.
We're joking, of course. We don't think legalized pot will turn voters into a bunch of extras in a Cheech & Chong joint, but the timing of the announcement is more than a little curious.
Not only did it come on the heels of yet another corruption charge – can we just change the subject here? - but it's also as Cuomo's challenger in the upcoming Democratic Primary, “Sex and the City” actress Cynthia Nixon, is starting to become increasingly formidable.
Her campaign pounced on the news.
“The timing of the announcement really makes you wonder if Cuomo is hoping New Yorkers get too stoned to remember that the architect of his signature economic program is going to be joining his other top aide Joe Percoco in prison,” a statement read.
But the announcement about legalized pot wasn't just about letting voters get high without fearing the man. Buried in the state Health Department's report was a caveat that all prior pot-related convictions be expunged. That could be a major talking point for Cuomo in certain communities on the campaign trail in the coming months.
Vote for me, we'll clear your record!
As for the corruption convictions, Cuomo's story the entire time is that he had no idea that the people closest to him were this dirty and unscrupulous. In fact, this totally caught him off guard!
If that's the case, maybe Cuomo has been ripping his own massive bong hits in the governor's mansion and chilling to Netflix. Or perhaps he told the Health Department to release the report because he could use a little weed himself these days.
Roll another number, man!