Andrew Cuomo hits New Yorkers’ TVs again.
The former governor, who resigned from grace last summer, will begin an attempt at a political comeback with an ad claiming he has been acquitted of charges that he sexually molested several women, the Post has learned.
Cuomo’s campaign confirmed that it commissioned “a series of ads” in response to questions from the newspaper after The Post independently obtained one of the commercials.
The 30-second spot, reviewed by The Post, selectively strings together excerpts from TV reports of the outcomes in these cases to back Cuomo’s continued exoneration statements.
It highlights recent decisions by five prosecutors not to press sexual harassment charges against Cuomo for technical reasons.
However, the spot viewed by The Post fails to mention the fact that these officers also said their investigations confirmed the credibility of the women who made the allegations – and one prosecutor even said there was not “sufficient legal basis” to admit charges dropping the case is “no relief”.
The investigations were based on the findings of Attorney General Letitia James’ bombshell Aug. 3 sexual harassment report, which concluded that Cuomo had violated “multiple state and federal laws.”
The release of the independent inquiry helped torpedo his governorship in the middle of his third term.
“Political attacks have won and New York has lost a proven leader,” the ad concludes.
Charlotte Bennett — a former Cuomo assistant and one of 11 women whose claims were backed up in James’ report — condemned the ex-government’s attempted return.
“Innocent men don’t need publicity. However, the guilty, vindictive, and narcissistic do.” she tweeted.
Women’s rights activist and executive director of VOTEPROCHOICE Heidi Sieck added: “He should spend his days atoning for his abuses, not spreading more lies and victimizing women again.”
A Cuomo insider said the ad was about “clearing Andrew’s name.”
“He’s wanted to speak up for a while. Andrew has been stuck idle for a long time. He’s trying to break out,” the source said.
Another political source, who requested anonymity, slammed the ad after reviewing it.
“[Former Gov.] Mario Cuomo – who famously said, “You struggle in poetry” – is rolling in his grave right now. Not only is his son a sexual harasser, he can’t cut a decent ad to save his life. Instead of poetry, Cuomo is giving us a lazy lesson in shamelessness,” the source said.
The disgraced governor was omnipresent with his meandering Covid briefings on TV during the virus’ devastating first wave.
Sources said the ad would start running on Monday.
Subsequently, a company that tracks political advertising, Media Buyer, reported that Cuomo’s political committee had bought time for commercials on New York City television stations beginning the same day.
“We’ve produced a number of ads and haven’t decided what we’re going to run yet,” said longtime Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi, who is again on the politician’s campaign payroll.
James has confessed to the findings of her report. She blasted Cuomo into overdrive last week during a speech at the Democratic Committee’s nominating convention, in which she declared that she will “not bow” to repeated criticism from him and his allies.
“It has now become clear that the former governor will never accept any version of these events other than his own,” she said. “The [Assembly] The Judiciary Committee and five prosecutors all read the report and [heard from] the brave woman who came out and believed her.”
James’ office is still conducting a separate criminal investigation into Cuomo’s $5.1 million book deal after allegations he used government resources to write, produce and edit the pandemic-era memoir.
Meanwhile, a new Siena College poll released Tuesday found that a majority of New York voters don’t buy his claim to innocence and believe Cuomo is a serial sexual molester.
A total of 58 percent of those surveyed believe the former police officer has sexually harassed multiple women, compared to 21 percent of those who said they did nothing wrong.