ALBANY — Gov. Cuomo headlined a big-money fund-raiser for the state Independence Celebration the identical day it was introduced the group was endorsing his reelection, the Day by day Information has discovered.
A supply with ties to the Independence Celebration stated Cuomo, a Democrat, organized the occasion, which was held Thursday night on the Capital Grille in Manhattan. Tickets went for at least $1,000.
One other supply stated the fund-raiser introduced in tens of 1000’s of of wanted money for the minor social gathering.
Authorities reform teams and political insiders questioned the timing.
Whereas it isn’t unusual for politicians to headline fund-raisers for events that again them, it’s uncommon to see it the identical day an endorsement is introduced, they are saying.
“It stinks like quid professional quo,” stated state GOP spokeswoman Jessica Proud. “You are not permitted to obtain something in alternate for a poll line. It actually raises eyebrows.”
Blair Horner, of the New York Public Curiosity Analysis Group, stated to him it’s clear Cuomo and the Independence Celebration had a deal in place for some time “since you simply don’t arrange a fund-raiser at a second’s discover.”
“New York’s system is wonderful on numerous ranges,” Horner stated. “The entire system cries out for change.”
Laura Ladd Bierman, govt director of the state League of Ladies Voters, stated the very fact the fund-raiser Cuomo headlined for the Independence Celebration was the identical day of the endorsement “sounds very uncommon and suspect to me.”
“It’s an instance of why we expect we want marketing campaign finance reform,” Bierman stated.
State Independence Celebration Chairman Frank MacKay could not be reached for remark.
Cuomo marketing campaign chairman Invoice Mulrow stated, “The Independence Celebration has at all times been with the governor.”
“That is simply the Republicans crying over spilled milk. They misplaced we received,” Mulrow stated.
In New York, events can cross-endorse candidates. The early endorsement of Cuomo by the Independence Celebration was seen as a message to the Republicans, notably Harry Wilson, a rich businessman stated to be within the ultimate levels of deciding whether or not to enter the race. Wilson was backed by the Independence Celebration and acquired 152,000 votes on the road throughout his unsuccessful run for state controller in 2010.
To this point, Meeting Minority Chief Brian Kolb is the one Republican who has formally introduced he’s operating for governor.
Horner known as the early endorsement “a shrewd political transfer by the governor.”
“It’s clearly a win-win for each of them,” he stated of Cuomo and the social gathering.