Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s administration likes to hear compliments so much that it will write them for you.
The Democratic administration ghostwrote statements for two business groups that praised the state budget in a mid-April news release from the governor’s office, according to e-mails obtained by The New York Times through a Freedom of Information request. The correspondence provides an unusual look at how elected officials try to burnish their images.
The statements were written by Andrew Zambelli, a top aide to the governor, who e-mailed them to two business advocacy groups, the Business Council of New York State and Unshackle Upstate. In the e-mails to both groups, Mr. Zambelli wrote, “We have written a suggested quote,” and he then asked the top official of each group to review the quote and “edit as you see fit.”
Mr. Zambelli also made it clear he needed a quick answer, telling Brian Sampson, the executive director of Unshackle Upstate, that “this is kind of a rush.”
No changes were made. Both statements appeared verbatim in the news release, under the names of Heather Briccetti, the president and chief executive of the Business Council, and Mr. Sampson.
One of the groups said having public officials ghost write their p.r. releases for them was not something they usually do.
The other group said it's something they almost never do.
But when it comes to Little Andy Cuomo and his public relations, the Cuomo administration leaves no stone unturned and no press release to chance.