In Emails, Zambelli Touted Pension Deal
The morning after lawmakers approved a new, cost-saving pension tier for yet-to-be-hired state workers, much of official Albany was sleeping in following the marathon overnight session of debates and votes.
Drew Zambelli wasn’t in bed.
Zambelli, counselor to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and leader of his communications team, touted the deal to both Business Council President and CEO Heather Briccetti and to Partnership for New York City President and CEO Kathy Wylde.
In emails sent on the morning of March 15, Zambelli sought statements in support of Tier Six’s passage from both the Business Council and PFNYC.
“In case you did not see we did well,” Zambelli wrote to Wylde in an email obtained through the state’s Freedom of Information Law.
“Statements in support on the pension deal would be helpful,” Zambelli wrote a few minutes later to Briccetti that included the plan’s previously released details. “As you know by now we got a good deal.”
It’s not unusual or out of the ordinary for communications staff to ask for statements in support of legislation or initiatives from various groups and Zambelli’s correspondence that morning wasn’t limited to lobbying groups after a flurry of bills – which included legislation expanding the state’s DNA databank and approving the lawmaker-drawn political boundaries — passed the Legislature.
Cuomo has said he doesn’t coordinate with CSNY, a lobbying coalition of business groups that has run advertisements in support of his fiscal agenda, including Tier Six. The group was formed to blunt the expected and traditional push back past governors have received from organized labor’s own advertising campaigns.
Overall the FOIL request, filed for all written and electronic communications between the governor’s top advisers and registered lobbyists between Jan. 1 and March 31 — the height of the state’s budget-making process as well as the lengthy fight over redistricting — yielded very little.
The FOIL sought any communications between registered lobbyists and second-floor staffers including: Zambelli, Press Secretary Josh Vlasto, Communications Director Richard Bamberger, Secretary Larry Schwartz, Deputy Executive Secretary Joseph Percoco and State Director of Operations Howard Glaser.
The response from the governor’s office garnered 14 pages of emails between Zambelli and a scattering of lobbyists.
Still, the emails sent offer a small snapshot view into the governor’s office.
For instance, Zambelli had worked the phones with Briccetti and Wylde in the run up to the pension plan’s approval, emailing them earlier in the week to ask if they were free to talk on the phone. And before the pension deal was passed, Zambelli in February sent a fact sheet pushing the need for overhauling the state’s retirement system to Wylde.
In one note unrelated to pension reform, Zambelli was thanked by Pat Zlogar of Patricia Lynch Associates after a hour-long telephone conference to discuss preneed insurance for funeral services.
The emails and response letter are after the jump.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, Lobbying. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|