I started getting pushback from the governor’s office as soon as we called requesting comment. In a barrage of calls, his media handlers pushed me to spike the article, alternately approaching me with carrot (a hot exclusive to be named later) and stick. By 4:30 a.m. — our piece was scheduled to publish at 5 — I was only getting the stick.

Seven years later, I don’t recall precisely everything DeRosa hurled at me, though I’m positive she vowed to “destroy” my career and take revenge on my publication. I remember vividly how I felt: scared.

I had no reason to think these were idle threats. I was fully aware of the governor’s volcanic temper and track record of vindictiveness. If he wanted to crush me, he could and likely would.

This was a serious gut check for me. I worried about losing my livelihood, damaging my future, letting down my wife and daughter. But fortunately, I had bosses and colleagues who stood by the quality of our work. So we published the piece, like the press is supposed to do in the face of intimidation.