AUBURN, AL- A rivalry is deepening in New York where Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio may have aspirations for the Democratic nomination in 2020.
An early wedge issue between the two seems to be emerging as campaign finance reform.
Previously, we wrote that Cuomo called some of de Blasio’s reform plans “dead on arrival,” and now the governor is taking heat for some of his own campaign finance practices.
A recent NY Times piece points out a November 2017 fundraising trip to Buffalo where two events raised more than $200,000 for Cuomo. Both of those events were hosted by appointees of the governor.
But, that is not all.
One host, Steven Weiss, who was appointed to two separate agencies with the first appointment coming in 2011, has personally donated $53,000 to Cuomo since taking his post.
The other host, Kenneth Manning, was appointed by the governor in 2011 and later named to another board by the legislature, has personally given $50,500.
Overall, Cuomo has accepted $890,000 in contributions from appointees and $1.3 million from spouses, children, and businesses of appointees.
While this provokes the appearance of impropriety, the Cuomo Administration has put effort into making this possible. They have reinterpreted an Executive Order dating back to Governor Spitzer. Their reinterpretation makes it permissible for the governor to collect funds from appointees so long as they do not serve at his pleasure.
The order also said appointees cannot solicit funds, but that has also been cast aside.
To read the full article, see https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/24/nyregion/cuomo-fund-raising-ethics-appointees.html.
What do you think? Do you agree with the article’s assessment that Cuomo’s record on reform is a “disappointment”? Or, do you believe it is fair and appropriate for appointees and their families to make and solicit campaign contributions to their benefactor? Join the conversation at https://www.facebook.com/takebackorg/.