Phil Harriman (left) and Ethan Strimling (right). Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

The BDN Opinion section operates independently and does not set newsroom policies or contribute to reporting or editing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com.

Phil Harriman, a former town councilor and state senator from Yarmouth, is the founding partner of Lebel & Harriman, a financial services firm. Ethan Strimling, a former mayor and state senator from Portland, is the president of Swing Hard. Turn Left, which promotes progressive policy at the local, state and national levels.

Phil: So, Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation Tuesday. Based upon the New York attorney general’s report, do you think he was right to resign over his treatment of women?

Ethan: Of course. I called for it when the allegations first came out. He is clearly unfit to serve in office and vacating his office is the least of what he should do. Had he not, he certainly would have been impeached by the legislature or lost in the Democratic primary next June.

Phil: Not so sure about that. Last I saw, he still led all potential Democrats by double-digits.

Ethan: If he somehow survived all that, I would have supported the Republican over him in the general election of 2022.

Phil: You read it here folks! Strimling would vote for a Republican! I never thought I would see you write that.

Ethan: Calm down, it’s obviously not going to happen. OK, your turn. Did he do the right thing?

Phil: Yes, for the state of New York, his toxic standing within the New York Assembly, the congressional delegation, the majority of the people and most especially for female employees the report stated he harassed. He should have resigned before this over how he concealed the deaths of so many elderly people in nursing homes during the early days of the COVID crisis, in my opinion.

Ethan: I am glad we are on the same page over his treatment of women. Now, let’s get on the same page with an even worse sexual predator: Donald Trump.

Phil: Classic, turn the spotlight away from the issue at hand to distract our readers from the Democrat deemed “America’s Governor.”

Ethan: Just looking for a little less hypocrisy from your side of the aisle. Trump has been accused by 26 women of sexual assault, including rape. Over twice as many as said they were harassed by Cuomo. Yet virtually none in your party have said these accusations have made Trump unfit to return to public service.

Phil: I have consistently opined on my dislike for Trump’s narcissistic behavior, the distinction is the top law enforcement officer for the state of New York, Attorney General Letitia James, a member of Coumo’s  party, spent four months investigating the issue and concluded that “… the Governor sexually harassed a number of current and former New York State employees…,” no similar official report exists for Trump.

Ethan: Agree, but the accusations have been investigated by multiple journalists and so far none of these 26 women have been discredited by any reputable news source.

Phil: Judgment by journalists is not the way to determine who should have the honor to serve. That’s up to voters and juries. No attorney general, judge, or prosecutor has concluded that Trump was guilty of harassment, either in a court of law or through impartial investigation.

Ethan: That’s because, unlike members of my party who are willing to investigate their own, no one in your party has the courage to call for or lead an investigation. Honestly, after the way your faithful trashed Republicans James Comey and Robert Mueller for holding Trump accountable, I can understand why.

Phil: Or maybe it’s because my party doesn’t see the need to embark on a witch hunt about a person no longer in office. By the way, read “Witch Hunt” by Gregg Jarrett and then tell me how Comey and Mueller were wrongly “trashed” as you say.

Ethan: The question is whether “no longer” becomes “never again.” In the end, neither of these men are fit to hold public office, now or in the future. One has done the right thing. The other? Not so much.