She went from gor – to governor!
The main collaborators of the disgraced ex-governor. Andrew Cuomo said then-Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in a phone call saying she wouldn’t be on the ticket from 2022 as Cuomo planned to run for a fourth term – before her political career was undone by an epic sexual harassment scandal .
Cuomo had tried to get rid of Hochul once before, as he believed that in 2018 the veteran politician from western New York could not consolidate his position with the Left Democrats who were gaining influence in the New York City policy.
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“It was like in their mindset in 2018, they thought ‘we have progressive issues, we need someone downstate who has a relationship with the minority community, but who cares. worry, ”said a person familiar with the exchange.
“There was no relationship,” the person added, between Cuomo and Hochul.
It was part of a long-standing effort by the governor and his aides to keep the Buffalo-area Democrat out of the spotlight.
“There has been a concerted effort to dismiss him as much as possible,” added a former Cuomo insider, who said the governor’s aides went to great lengths to dismiss Hochul and downplay his profile as much as possible. “It was true before and during the pandemic.”
A third source, familiar with Cuomo’s thinking, said “there was a concern about diversity on the note.”
“We wanted to make sure, in the future, that the post more accurately reflects the diversity of the state,” the source added.
Hochul received the phone call in late January, three sources confirmed to the Post.
It came just days before Attorney General Letitia James released her explosive report on the then governor’s handling of data on nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.
James’ investigation found that selective counts released by Cuomo’s health department likely underestimated the death toll by around 50 percent, the first in a series of dominoes that would fall, leaving him badly damaged politically.
Furious lawmakers called in key Cuomo collaborators to explain, leading to a closed-door meeting where former collaborator Melissa DeRosa was filmed admit that the Cuomo administration “freezes” on the publication of data.
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This recording was obtained by The Post, which revealed the attempted cover-up.
This, in turn, has caught the attention of federal investigators in Brooklyn, who are investigating allegations that the Cuomo administration misled federal officials in Washington.
He also confirmed long-standing complaints from the press and good government groups that Cuomo and his aides violated the state’s freedom of information law.
As the retirement home fiasco returned to the public eye, two more scandals erupted that put his three-term tenure as governor in jeopardy.
Cuomo faced allegations that he abused state resources for his pandemic memoir, for which he was paid $ 5 million to write – and that his staff manipulated the reports to minimize the death toll as he marked the massive lead.
On top of that, nearly a dozen women – including several current and former state employees – made allegations that Cuomo sexually harassed or tampered with them, accusations that were confirmed by a prosecutor’s report. general of the state.
The trio of scandals forced Cuomo’s Democratic allies in the state assembly to move forward with the impeachment process, which he first vowed to fight before finally stepping down in August.
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Hochul’s office declined repeated requests for comment, as did a spokesperson for Cuomo.