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Former Cuomo staffer turned Facebook exec helped smear Cuomo’s accusers

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By Jenny Goldsberry

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had a former staffer working at Facebook to smear his accusers according to the Attorney General’s report. Dani Lever was a communications director for Cuomo from 2014 to 2020. Then, she left to become a communications director at Facebook.

First, former aide Lindsey Boylan claimed in a February Medium post that Cuomo had engaged in inappropriate gestures, even including an unwanted kiss. In response, Communications Director Rich Azzopardi gave documents full of Boylan’s personal information to reporters. It was his way of trying to discredit her.

“Ms. Lever coordinated with some of the reporters who received the documents to let them know that the Executive Chamber would be sending them,” the report reads. At that point, she had been working for Facebook for months.

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Meanwhile, Lever other “advisors” including CNN anchor and brother Chris Cuomo never had official contracts with the governor to advise him. “None of them was officially retained in any capacity by the Executive Chamber or any of the individuals involved,” the investigators wrote. “Nonetheless, they were regularly provided with confidential and often privileged information about state operations and helped make decisions that impacted State business and employees — all without any formal role, duty, or obligation to the State.”

While working for the New York governor’s office, Lever even signed a statement denying that Cuomo ever made jokes about playing strip poker with state employees. However, there were other statements regarding the accusation she refused to sign. Later, when she participated in the investigation, she said she didn’t sign them because they amounted to “victim shaming” according to the report.

As a result, some are calling for her to lose her job at Facebook. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) called Lever out for “illegal professional retaliation against victims” in a tweet.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Chris Christie’s Book is Total Flop, Both Politically and Economically

2,289; that’s how many copies of Chris Christie’s new book “Republican Rescue” were sold in its first week.

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Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM

2,289; that’s how many copies of Chris Christie’s new book “Republican Rescue” were sold in its first week. As Eric Boehlert states:

How Christie was able to sell so few books after lining up so much national media attention during his marketing roll-out – “This Week” and “The View,” “Fox & Friends,” along with Fox News, Fox Business, the Daily Show, HBO twice, and CNBC – represents an extraordinary disconnect.

“So, this thing is a disaster,” writes The Triad’s Jonathan V. Last who details the economic failure of the book:

Just to walk through the economics of this for you: Christie’s book was published by Simon & Schuster. I haven’t seen any reporting on the advance they gave him, but for the sake of argument, let’s call it $50k.1Then there’s the PR costs—a minimum of $10k. Making the books—PP&B—runs about $3 a unit. And depending on how many copies the publisher printed, they’re then going to have to spend money converting the unsold hardcovers to paperbacks. And then they’ll eventually have to pay to pulp the unsold paperbacks.

So all told, Simon & Schuster spent at least $70k in order to sell $58k worth of books—of which they, the publisher, only take home about 50 percent. (The other half goes to Amazon.) And the likely true cost to Simon & Schuster is probably closer to 10x that number since we’re being so conservative with our guesses.

Last notes that in his book, Christie never “never pays for his mistakes. He never admits that he was wrong. It’s always someone else’s screwup. Someone else who gets stuck with the check.” Last adds Christie should not be welcomed into the pro-democracy fold for the following reasons:

•    There’s no repentance from Christie, no admission of the part he played in getting America to this place.
•    There’s no acknowledgment from Christie that the side he’s leaving is playing with authoritarianism unique in the American experience.
•    Instead, Christie frames his break with Trump as trying to put the Republican party in a better position to win future elections. His pivot is not from pro-Trump to anti-Trump, but to anti-anti-Trump.
•    There is no reason to believe that Christie is sincere in this halfway-break he’s making. Even his current “better position to win” schtick may well be expedient—just another gambit to put himself over.
•    It seems certain that if Trump called Christie tomorrow and offered him the 2024 VP slot, Christie would do it in a New Jersey minute.

So yes, the pro-democracy movement needs every ally it can get, no matter how unsavory. But I’m not convinced that Chris Christie is an ally.

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