That Sound You Here is Mario Spinning at 36,000 RPM

Matthew G. Saroff
2 min readAug 13, 2023

It appears that Andrew Cuomo’s sister was running the smear campaign against those accusing him of sexual harassment.

I do not know how Mario Cuomo’s kids ended up such irredeemably toxic dirt bags, but Mario’s kids are truly awful people:

The menacing posts began cropping up on Twitter last September just hours after a former aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York sued him over sexual harassment claims.

The tweets attacked the aide, Charlotte Bennett, in starkly personal terms. “Your life will be dissected like a frog in a HS science class,” read one of the most threatening, which also featured a photo of Ms. Bennett dancing at a bar in lingerie.

The post was part of a thread written by Anna Vavare, a leader of a small but devoted group of mostly older women who banded together online to defend Mr. Cuomo from a cascade of sexual misconduct claims that led to his resignation in August 2021. But it turns out, her tweets had secretly been ordered up by someone even closer to the former governor’s cause: Madeline Cuomo, his sister.


Far from an isolated episode, the unvarnished exchange is part of a trove of more than 4,000 text messages, emails and voice memos between leaders of the group and Ms. Cuomo shared with The Times this summer. Together, they provide unusual insight into how far members of one of America’s most storied political families were willing to go to rehabilitate a fallen Democratic scion and humiliate those they believed had wronged him.

Made up almost entirely of women inspired by Mr. Cuomo’s handling of the Covid pandemic, We Decide New York rapidly joined forces in spring 2021 to defend an increasingly isolated governor as traditional allies abandoned him. The group swarmed his critics on social media, sold Cuomo swag and pushed for due process.

But four of the group’s current leaders said in interviews that even as their work appeared organic to the outside world, Ms. Cuomo, 58, began privately exerting control. Starting just weeks after the group was formed, she steered its volunteer activists — many in their 50s, 60s and 70s — to prop up her brother and hound his accusers ever more aggressively.


Ms. Cuomo was adamant her role be hidden. She repeatedly asked her interlocutors to delete messages. And when a reporter for The Times called some leaders of the group for an earlier article, Ms. Cuomo instructed the women to falsely claim they had no contact with the Cuomos, according to Sandy Behan, the founding president of We Decide.

New York is fortunate to be free of this family.