Call it The Book From Hell.
As nursing homes filled with the dead, Governor Cuomo decided to go on a book tour. The book touted his imaginary leadership and was a key element in the Democrat campaign to claim that New York, in contrast to the Trump administration, was a model for dealing with the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Cuomo was scoring millions.
The biggest curiosity of all remains the size of Cuomo’s book deal with Crown, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House. The governor has declined to specify how much he got for the book, saying in August, “You’ll see it on my financial disclosure,” the deadline for which is May 15.
Will the number of dead nursing home patients also be in the disclosure? How much will that factor out to? A hundred bucks for every dead nursing home resident?
But the talk among sources familiar with the deal is that the book sold for at least low to mid-seven figures, which is a blockbuster sum by industry standards.
But right up there for a guy who was being touted as a potential presidential candidate. Not to mention the boss of a state where much of America’s publishing industry operates.
Cuomo has said he would donate a portion of his earnings from the book to an unspecified COVID-19-related charity.
It’s actually even better than that from the original story.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo declined Wednesday to provide any details about the financial terms with his publisher for a book he has authored about the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Cuomo administration is also not making public an approval letter officials say the governor obtained from a state ethics agency pertaining to outside income he will receive from the book contract…
Cuomo said Wednesday that he would donate an undisclosed amount of money to a Covid-19-related charitable group, but he did not elaborate.
So it’s an unspecified charity and an unspecified amount in a financial disclosure whose deadline was extended…
It could be a while before that information surfaces; the state’s Joint Commission on Public Ethics requires Cuomo, and thousands of other state officials, to file details about their finances – including sources of outside income – by May 15 each year.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the deadline for those submissions was extended until Aug. 16 – the day before Cuomo announced the deal for his new book entitled “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from The Covid-19 Pandemic.”
The above is reporting from last year. All this stuff is slimy as hell, but no national media operation highlighted it or blew the whistle.
Also, the origins of the deal are apparently murky…
The precise origins of the book are also a bit murky. One source with knowledge of how things played out told me the project was initiated by Crown. According to this source, executive editor Libby Burton approached Cuomo’s literary representative, Beltway power-lawyer Robert Barnett—who brokered the Obamas’s historic book deal with Penguin Random House—to express interest.
And that’s how The Book From Hell, and all the unspecified and murky details we don’t have about it came to be.