Wanted: Ad seeks well-paid PR strategist for New York governor amid nursing home deaths and harassment scandals

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Andrew Cuomo’s office has reportedly posted an ad seeking a communications director to handle “messaging” for the state’s many scandals, from nursing home death coverups to sexual harassment allegations to endless corruption.

“The State of New York’s Executive Chamber has an immediate opening for a top level executive to lead messaging for the Office of the Governor. The position reports to the Communications Director,” the listing, reposted on Wednesday, revealed.

The role pays handsomely, with a salary of between $100,000 to $150,000 per year, according to Daybook, a job posting site. The employee is expected to help develop “creative messaging to help explain the State’s public policy priorities.

More specifically, the hire should be able to communicate New York’s “innovative and groundbreaking public policies” with the aim of “helping explain the administration’s record and the government services available to New Yorkers.

Plenty of New Yorkers made a point of questioning that record, wondering why the city would want to talk up the disaster it had made out of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Rich Azzopardi, the governor’s senior adviser, insisted the administration had been looking for someone to fill the role since at least October, which Yahoo reporter Hunter Walker – who found the more recent Daybook post – confirmed.

However, the Cuomo administration’s scandals have been going on for quite some time – if anything, some pointed out, the ad’s vintage made the governor look worse, not better.

Cuomo’s office has been under fire over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with accusations flying fast after it emerged earlier this month that the governor had deliberately avoided releasing nursing home death totals to the Department of Justice when they asked, supposedly fearing the numbers would be used “politically” by the Trump administration. A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers has demanded a thorough probe of the Cuomo administration’s failures during the early months of the pandemic, in which Covid-positive patients were ordered into nursing homes despite the almost certain possibility they would sicken and perhaps kill the other patients.

During those same months, Cuomo’s brother Chris, host of CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, was having regular light-hearted interviews with his sibling.

The governor later denied he was to blame for the deaths, accusing nursing home staff instead. “What all the data says is the reason you had infections in the nursing homes was because the staff brought in the infection,” he told MSNBC’s Morning Joe.

On top of this scandal, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R) urged Cuomo to “immediately resign” on Wednesday after the governor’s former aide Lindsey Boylan detailed her sexual harassment complaints against him. Cuomo’s administration has denied wrongdoing.

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