Politico has a piece about a possible revenge campaign to be mounted by the ex-Governor….
CUOMO PLOTS HIS REVENGE — As governor of New York, ANDREW CUOMO was notorious among the Albany press corps for using the media as a tool to inspire fear and sow mayhem. He’d speak to reporters on background as a “senior administration official,” and use that anonymity to defend himself. He’d plant unsavory stories about political opponents. He’d get his aides to carry out his dirty work.
It’s an approach Cuomo plans to continue in life after office.
Playbook has learned that RICH AZZOPARDI — Cuomo’s longtime spokesperson and senior adviser — is the former governor’s first big hire using the $18 million in leftover campaign cash the governor had amassed for his now-defunct reelection campaign — and which he now plans to use to mount a campaign of retribution against his perceived political enemies, including now-Gov. KATHY HOCHUL.
According to a dozen reporters and political aides, during Cuomo’s final two weeks in office, Azzopardi mounted an aggressive last-ditch attempt to salvage the governor’s political career, including:
— Posing as an ally of Hochul’s and suggesting that he was recruiting candidates for her transition — a move that some observers saw as an attempt to test Cuomo aides for loyalty. Senior members of Hochul’s staff say they were unaware of Azzopardi’s outreach and, in the words of one senior aide, view it as “nonsensical.”
— Cold-calling reporters to plant stories about Cuomo’s perceived enemies.
— DMing journalists on Twitter and encouraging them to tweet out messages questioning the veracity of New York A.G. TISH JAMES’ report into the accusations of sexual harassment against Cuomo.
— Serving up background quotes questioning the competence of then-Lt. Gov. Hochul.
“The fever [with] which they are doing this — to relitigate the past and undermine Hochul — is incredible,” said one reporter. “They don’t seem to see that they are out of power and no one cares.”
Azzopardi denies that he has planted stories against Hochul. “I’ve been very clear about my thoughts, I wrote an op-ed, but I’ve never said anything about the governor or the new administration,” Azzopardi said.
But revenge is Cuomo’s hallmark….