Source: Mike Miller
Looking back over the last several months, it’s “almost” as if embattled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tried — really hard — to get himself into as much trouble, bring as much shame to his family, and shroud his governorship with as much scandal as possible.
From the original nursing home scandal to the larger bogus COVID death count and alleged subsequent cover-up scandals, to the growing list of young females — which now stands at nine —who have come forward with allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior, randy Andy appears to have been on quite a reckless tear for a long while.
Then, almost as if to add insult to injury of those who lost loved ones to COVID as a direct result of Cuomo directives, the unabashed narcissist wrote his now-infamous book — American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 — in which he had
the ball gall to brag about the leadership “lesson’ he learned from the pandemic.
Unfortunately, of course, Andy failed to learn any of those lessons in time to save the more than 15,000 residents of New York nursing homes. As to be expected, none of them were available for comment.
Now, as reported by the New York Post on Wednesday, new details have emerged about Cuomo’s “pandemic memoir” including how much money he was promised — and worse.
According to a report obtained by the Post, Cuomo was offered more than four million dollars to write the now-ironic book — which, as noted by the Post, the publisher —Crown Publishing — has since “paused promoting” because of a federal investigation into the Cuomo administration’s handling of COVID in the nursing homes.
Here’s where it gets interesting.
According to the report, Cuomo enlisted staffers to help with the book — after having been specifically told not to. As the New York Times reported on Wednesday, top aides Melissa DeRosa and Stephanie Benton, as well as junior staffers, assisted the governor with drafts of “Leadership Lessons” which was published in mid-October.
DeRosa, for example, reportedly attended video meetings with publishers and helped Cuomo edit early drafts of the book. But early last summer, as noted by the Post, DeRosa and other top aides were also worried about an impending Health Department report about the COVID toll on nursing homes.
Here’s more background, via the Post:
Government staffers were reportedly helping with the manuscript by late June and early July — a potential violation of state laws that prohibit the use of public resources for personal gain.
A state ethics agency gave Cuomo permission last July to write it — but specifically told him not to to use state “personnel” or property “for activities associated with the book,” The Buffalo News reported.
That revelation came after the Times report, which detailed how Benton, for instance, twice asked assistants to print parts of the draft and deliver them to Cuomo at the Executive Mansion in Albany.
One of the requests, on July 5, involved a 224-page draft with edits from DeRosa, the report said.
The draft that DeRosa worked on didn’t include any mention of the Health Department report or its findings, but did have a searing indictment of Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to the Times.
Cuomo has declined to reveal how much he was paid for the book, noted the Post, saying in August, “You’ll see it on my financial disclosure” — the deadline for which is May 15. Ah, what tangled webs we sometimes weave. Especially when our name is Andrew Cuomo.
According to the Times, senior Cuomo advisor Rich Azzopardi of course denied any connection between the book and the Health Department report. Azzopardi also said DeRosa and Benton had “volunteered on this project,” something he added was “permissible and consistent with ethical requirements” of the state. I bet.
“Every effort was made to ensure that no state resources were used in connection with this project,” Azzopardi said. Uh-huh. Because if there’s one thing that’s super important to Andrew Cuomo and his closest aide, it’s protecting at all costs the besmirchment of the governorship of New York.
“To the extent [that] an aide printed out a document,” Azzopardi said, “it appears incidental.”
[Rolling-eyes emoji. Yuuge.]