I CALLED ASSISTANT U.S.Attorney Robert Zauzmer to find out what Vince Fumo said about me. But Zauzmer would repeat only what was in the federal filing last week regarding Fumo's upcoming resentencing hearing. Namely, that the convicted pol, referring to me in an email from the slammer, had used a "string of sexual epithets so crude and debased" that the feds wouldn't publish them in the filing.

Given that Fumo once referred, in an email, to a female Daily News reporter as "that f---ing bitch" - a tidbit the feds felt fine about sharing with the media - I have a pretty good idea of the kind of language he used.

I assume it includes the C word.

And I don't mean "cupcake."

I appreciate the feds' restraint in recapping Fumo's emails from prison (culled from the last six months) for use in their 87-page filing. But I think they should've printed his rant about me in the document that they've shared with U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter, who will resentence Fumo on corruption charges.

Because the last time we relied on the power of Buckwalter's imagination, he handed Fumo a shockingly lenient 55 months for betraying the public trust.

It fell so far outside established federal sentencing guidelines of 21 to 27 years for similar offenses that Zauzmer and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Pease sought and received an OK from the U.S. solicitor general to appeal the sentence.

(In a column, I praised the feds' tenacity, prompting Fumo's diatribe against me.)

This time, I say we leave nothing unclear. Although Fumo's opinion of me is the least we should worry about when he leaves prison.

We should worry more that he plans to set himself up as a Harrisburg lobbyist, as he mentioned in an email to a current, unnamed state senator who professes to "miss" Fumo's "leadership style."

"Well, as soon as I get home we will have a party at the farm and begin building again!:-)," Fumo responds.

We should worry about the "danger to public affairs" that the feds say he still poses because his political-action committees, according to an Inquirer article, remain "flush with cash."

Fumo's attorney, Dennis Cogan, told the Inky that Fumo "has nothing to do with the PACs anymore. He has extricated himself from that world and doesn't intend to go back to it."

Fumo's own emails tell a different story, as he advises Cogan that "we really need to get [the PAC] under the radar."

We should worry that Fumo seems to believe that he'd have been free of prosecution if the Dems had won the 2004 presidential race, since Fumo had made a deal to handpick the next U.S. attorney in Philly.

Instead, he emailed journalist Ralph Cipriano, with whom he is collaborating on a book, "because Gore and Kerry lost an election in FL + Ohio . . . I get f---ed over on BS by [Zauzmer and Pease]."

It seems obvious, in these and other emails excerpted in the filing, that an unrepentant Fumo is just biding his time until he can get back to business as usual.

Cogan disagrees. He told me yesterday that Fumo's emails portray a man who is merely trying to "dream and have hope." He also disagrees that 55 months is a "lenient" sentence.

"Fifty-five months in jail is a killer," said Cogan. "This punishment is not a slap on the wrist, no matter what anyone thinks. Whether you like him or not, you have to have some sense of how this human being has suffered."

My lack of compassion, he said, is what makes Fumo detest me.

Cogan said that he could not recall the exact words that Fumo used in the email referenced by the feds.

But he said that Fumo always uses expletives about me.

"He describes you in graphic terms as the most insensitive, uncaring person, devoid of any sense of humanity," said Cogan. "He thinks that you are really one of the most unfair people he has ever known, and he's met a lot of people in the press."

Further, he said, Fumo believes I am a tool of the feds, who control me "the way the Soviet Union controlled Pravda" (the newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party).

Yes, that must be it.

My disgust with Fumo's actions, my shock at his light sentence, my hope that the resentencing keeps him out of politics for as long as possible - none of it could possibly be based on the fact that he betrayed the trust that I placed in him when I voted for him twice, and that I am sickened by the brand of politics he plays.

Because, in Fumo's world, everything is transactional.

But if that's the case, what am I getting out of supporting the feds in seeking proper justice for an unrepentant criminal who is rattling his cage to get out and wreak havoc all over again?

Where's my payoff?

There is none.

In Fumo's world, I guess that makes me one stupid cupcake.