New York State Assemblyman Kevin M. Byrne
Play • 31 min

Today’s guest is Assemblyman Kevin M. Byrne of the 94th District in the state of New York. Byrne resides in Mahopac with his wife, Briana. He is a Republican, and in 2018 he was one of the five state legislators with the highest rating by the Conservative Party of New York. Byrne joins host Brett Freeman to discuss the recent resignation of Governor Andrew Cuomo, why he feels it’s important for the impeachment investigation to move forward, and he offers his thoughts on why other scandals surrounding Governor Cuomo have largely been ignored by the media. Freeman asks Byrne about New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ statement in response to the 11 women who were reportedly harassed by Governor Cuomo, and Byrne shares his legislative priorities for the remainder of his term. 

On this episode, you’ll also hear about Byrne’s goals to make New York a more affordable place to live, with more economic opportunities for all demographics and businesses. He also goes into his decision to get vaccinated for COVID-19, why he does not believe in shaming or ridiculing people who may feel otherwise, and the long-term physical and social consequences we may see unfold as a result of the pandemic. Finally, Byrne discusses Lieutenant Governor Kathleen C. Hochul’s historical appointment as the first female governor of New York state, and moving on to the next chapter following Governor Cuomo's departure.


Episode Highlights:

  • Today’s guest is Assemblyman Kevin M. Byrne of the 94th District in the state of New York; Byrne is a Republican
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation on August 10, following numerous allegations of sexual harassment
  • Impeachment process will still move forward as it has already been initiated and Byrne believes taxpayers deserve to learn the findings of the investigation
  • The investigation also includes a number of other matters (e.g., Cumo’s nursing home scandal and how COVID-19 was handled in adult care facilities), and the public has a right to know what is found
  • A conviction by the State Senate would mean that Cuomo could not run for office in the state of New York in the future
  • This January, there was a report from the Attorney General which confirmed that the Governor’s Office and Department of Health underreported nursing home deaths by not including nursing home residents that contracted the virus in a nursing home and died in a hospital
  • It’s important to have accurate statistics on COVID-19 so that we can identify problem areas and create better policy to handle the virus
  • Byrne also holds that Governor Cuomo developed a $5.1 million book deal using state resources
  • He feels that Governor Cuomo’s sexual allegations received more attention in the media than his other scandals simply because sex sells
  • Byrne is committed to following through to achieve full accountability
  • He offers his thoughts on Lindsey Boylan’s December 2020 tweet regarding sexual harassment that took place in 2018 and what led Governor Cuomo to finally resign
  • New York State Attorney General Letitia James’ statement in response to the 11 women who were reportedly harassed by Governor Cuomo
  • Byrne feels we will not be able to get anything done politically if we allow this culture of corruption to continue
  • He wants to make New York a more affordable place to live with plenty of economic opportunities for all demographics, and “grow our pie” by being more welcoming to businesses
  • Byrne supports vaccines and feels they’re important, but does not believe in shaming people who feel otherwise - doing this will not persuade them, it will do the opposite
  • You can read his op-ed, “Why I Got Vaccinated” here
  • He feels parents should be able to decide what’s best for their family, and he opposes a vaccine mandate
  • He does not think masks necessarily need to be mandated in schools
  • There will be major social and physical ramifications for children and adults alike following COVID
  • Lieutenant Governor Kathleen C. Hochul will be the first female governor of New York State


Quotes

“We've already committed significant state dollars and resources to this impeachment investigation. They hired a law firm to do a concurrent investigation. And I have been very vocal in that. I want to see what those findings are. I want to see what their recommendations are. You paid for it as taxpayers, and you deserve to know what's in it.”


“It's very important because when we're looking at the measurement to see, How can we craft better policy? How can we respond better to this virus? You need to know where the problems are, and it was spreading like wildfire - the governor's own words.”


“And why are people...the media, and all these politicians commenting on the sexual misconduct allegations, more than anything else? I hate to say this, but I think it's the truth on social media and in the media in general - I think sex sells, and sadly, seniors that are deceased didn't get enough attention.”


“I'm committed to following through so we get true and full accountability.”


“[Lindsey Boylan] came out, and [Governor Cuomo’s] office leaked out her personnel files to victim-shame and attack her.”


“It wasn't until [NY State Attorney General Letitia James] came out with her other report last week, on the sexual misconduct allegations - that completely supercharged everything. That got to the point where the governor couldn't shoot this through. He had the President of the United States, Joe Biden, calling on him to resign. You had the neighboring Democratic governors, the state Democratic Party Chair, the entire New York congressional delegation, Republican and Democrats, calling on him to resign. It was over. Even Bill Maher called him to resign.”


“The reality is, we're not going to be able to get anything done, politically speaking...so long as we allow this culture of corruption to continue.”


“For me, I try to make New York a more affordable place to live with more economic opportunities. Far too many of our young people, and quite frankly, our seniors, they retire and leave New York.”


“When we talk about welcoming your business, and businesses, and job creators, that also brings in your tax revenues. You can grow that pie. It's not just about cutting services short. We’ve got to weed out the waste and abuse and the unnecessary spending, and we also can grow our pie by being more friendly towards business.”


“I support vaccines. I think they’re a life saving technology. And there's a reason why I got vaccinated.”


“I don't want to marginalize people who think differently. If people are vaccine-hesitant, ridiculing them and shaming them in public will not get them to come to your side and get the vaccine - it will do quite the opposite.”


“I feel like the nucleus for society really should be family, your core is family.”


“I think it's going to be an improvement and I think [Lieutenant Governor Kathleen C. Hochul]  will help us move the chapter forward.”


Links:

Halston Media Group website


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