She went from goner — to governor!
Top aides to disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo informed then-Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in a telephone name that she could be off the ticket come 2022 as Cuomo made plans to vie for a fourth time period — earlier than his political profession was undone by an epic intercourse harassment scandal.
Cuomo had already tried to dump Hochul as soon as earlier than as a result of he believed in 2018 the veteran western New York politician couldn’t shore up his standing with left-wing Democrats who had been gaining affect in New York City politics.
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“It was like their mindset in 2018, they were thinking “we’ve got progressive points, we’d like somebody downstate who has a relationship with the minority neighborhood, however who cares,” said a person familiar with the exchange.
“There was no relationship,” the person added, between Cuomo and Hochul.
It came as part of a longstanding effort by the governor and his aides to keep the Buffalo-area Democrat out of the spotlight.
“There was a concerted effort to sideline her as a lot as attainable,” added a former Cuomo insider, who said the governor’s aides went to great pains to sideline Hochul and minimize her profile as much as possible. “It was true earlier than and through the pandemic.”
A third source, familiar with Cuomo’s thinking, said that “there was a priority about range on the ticket.”
“We wished to make sure, going ahead, the ticket extra precisely mirrored the variety 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 bombshell report on the then-governor’s handling of data about nursing home deaths during the coronavirus pandemic.
James’ investigation revealed that the selective tallies released by Cuomo’s Department of Health likely understated the number of fatalities by roughly 50 percent, the first in a series of dominoes that would fall, leaving him badly damaged politically.
Infuriated lawmakers hauled in Cuomo’s top aides to explain, leading to a closed-door meeting where former top aide Melissa DeRosa was caught on tape admitting the Cuomo administration “froze” over releasing the data.
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That recording was obtained by The Post, which exposed the attempted coverup.
That, in turn, caught the interest of federal investigators in Brooklyn, who are probing allegations the Cuomo administration misled federal officials in Washington.
It also affirmed longstanding complaints from the press and good government groups that Cuomo and his aides had been violating the state’s Freedom of Information Law.
As the nursing home fiasco returned to the public eye, two other scandals erupted that imperiled his three-term hold on the governor’s office.
Cuomo faced allegations that he misused state assets for his pandemic memoir, which he was paid $5 million to jot down — and that his employees manipulated stories to understate the demise toll as he scored the huge advance.
On high of that, practically a dozen girls — together with a number of present and former state workers — got here ahead with allegations that Cuomo both sexually harassed or groped them, prices that had been affirmed by a state Attorney General report.
The trio of scandals pressured Cuomo’s Democratic allies within the state Assembly to maneuver forward with impeachment proceedings, which he initially vowed to combat earlier than ultimately resigning in August.
Hochul’s workplace declined repeated requests to remark as did a Cuomo spokesman.
Credits : foxnews