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Posts Tagged ‘Andrew Cuomo’

Presser With Gov. Cuomo’s Girlfriend is Brought to an Abrupt End

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo being sworn in with Sandra Lee by his side. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

New York’s new Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a very blonde girlfriend named Sandra Lee who is also the host of two Food Network programs, Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee and Sandra’s Money Saving Meals. Just one more reason We Heart New York.

Today, she was also the host of a press conference that was quickly brought to an end when one of the reporters did his job and asked about Lee’s relationship with the Governor. Video after the jump.

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Twitter Prankster Takes Advantage of Link Oversight

Not even a weekend in office and New York’s new Governor Andrew Cuomo had a social media snafu.

Gov. Cuomo’s website went live over the weekend with links to a variety of social media sites where one presumably can reach out to the Governor and his office. However, the link to his Twitter feed, @NYGovernor, didn’t exist. So Nicholas Fahrenkopf, a PhD student in nanobioscience (who probably should’ve been studying since that sounds like a really hard subject), took that name and started tweeting as the Governor.

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Andrew Cuomo’s Girlfriend Sandra Lee Wants To Talk Tuna, Not Politics

sandra lee.jpg

Food Network personality Sandra Lee is trying to balance out public appearances for her various endorsement deals, while avoiding — or downplaying — talk about her boyfriend, New York Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo.

The New York Times attended one of Lee’s events for her gig as a Starkist Tuna spokesperson, and not surprisingly, the PR team did their best to deny interviews from the media altogether, and when they did allow them, reporters were instructed to ask about tuna, not politics.

A food blog was given the “exclusive” on the tuna news. It represents a longtime, but evolving strategy in PR: give the exclusives to those who will treat you best.

In this case, the Foodinasta NYC blog wrote in their post, “To say that my day was exciting would be an understatement, as I can’t express in words how incredible it was.”

Who wouldn’t take that over some probing questions from a Times reporter? Of course, trying to tell reporters what they can and can’t ask is a fruitless effort. The Times story that was published focuses mostly on how they were denied an interview, and mentions all of the PR handling around Ms. Lee.

As one agency CEO quipped to PRNewser, the move by Starkist PR “defies logic.”

“Why hire a PR firm for a media personality to have a media event but then shut out the media?” the CEO asked.

No Damage Control Possible for Paterson in Third Times Bombshell


The third New York Times bombshell on Governor David Paterson dropped today, confirming what we learned from sources two weeks ago. Paterson’s relationship with close adviser David Johnson has destroyed his image and his future in politics. The piece confirmed with Johnson’s ex-girlfriend that a beating occurred and that the Governor’s office hoped to cover it up.

Unlike the first story about Johnson which was actually well handled by the Paterson camp, or what’s left of it, this one left the embattled Governor with no damage control cards to play except to say that it was Johnson’s girlfriend who initiated the phone call to him, not the other way around. According to the story, she got the call just before she was scheduled for a court appearance that would’ve filed a protective order against Johnson. She failed to appear and the case was dismissed.

The story also shows that Paterson knew the exact nature of the bombshell when he met with the paper’s editorial board on February 8th, all while crying foul on accusations in the tabloids of marital affairs and influence peddling.

The other move left was for his office to issue a statement late last night, asking the Attorney General to open an investigation, and to suspend David Johnson without pay. The AG is of course, ironically, his challenger for re-election Andrew Cuomo.

One of our sources close to the “horrible” situation tells us Paterson won’t resign until he has another job lined up.

RELATED: Sources Conflict on Gov. Paterson Crisis Strategy

Times Scoop on David Paterson Reveals PR Struggle

Times Scoop on David Paterson Reveals PR Struggle


After weeks of speculation, the “bombshell” profile about New York Governor David Paterson dropped today in The New York Times, on page A1, above the fold, no less.

Except, the profile is about David Johnson one the two close advisers that are giving the Governor bad advice, sources close to the administration say.

It was revealed that Johnson, at one time Paterson’s driver who worked his way up to a six-figure salaried director of executive services, is in fact a convicted felon, and may have problems with violence against women. The revelations were not enough to force Paterson’s resignation today as predicted in the meta-story that has been unfolding over the past week about what exactly the smoking gun was.

The meta-story of Times + tabloids vs. Paterson aside (you can review the chain of events on FishbowlNY), there are two PR-related elements that emerge: Johnson is definitely acting in a communications capacity, and the story itself was handled well by whomever is in control of Paterson’s image. The former, critics argue, has divided the staff and contributed to a deep hole Paterson has to dig himself out of if he has any hope for re-election against the well financed Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

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Former Paterson Strategist Joins Kathleen Rice’s Run for New York AG


Less than a month after leaving her post at Governor David Paterson‘s office, Tracy Sefl joins Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice as a strategist in her bid to replace Andrew Cuomo as New York Attorney General. At least four Democratic candidates are expected to run for that office.

In the press release, Rice said of Sefl, “I trust Tracy’s political judgment, her integrity, her passion for progressive politics and her ability to effectively communicate with the public and with members of the media.”

Sefl was part of Paterson’s communications team for just under a year. As PRNewser noted last week, the Governor seems to rely more on his inner circle of advisers including David Johnson, the subject of the “bombshell” New York Times story that was expected to force a resignation.