Do As I Say…
ICYMI in this morning’s CapTon memo (if you’re interested in receiving it, please hit the “subscribe” button on the Capital Tonight home page), Gov. Andrew Cuomo had another moment of questionable optics on the topic of campaign finance reform yesterday.
Hours after he spoke at length with reporters about the evils of money in politics and his plan to take up the gauntlet to reduce its power, the governor headed down to Manhattan where he attended an exclusive fund-raiser at the home of his sister, Maria, and her husband, fashion designer Kenneth Cole.
A Democratic tipster told me the event was a $20,000-a-head dinner to benefit Cuomo’s campaign committee, Cuomo 2014. It took place at One Sutton Place, where Mario Cuomo and Kenneth Cole purchased a $14.5 million co-op back in 2008.
Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto confirmed the fund-raiser, describing it as “small.”
The isn’t the first time Cuomo has raised political cash on the same day he publicly lamented its outsized role in the process.
According to The Buffalo News, Cuomo raised at least $450,000, that night, making the event one of the most successful in Western New York history. His haul was thought to be the most ever earned locally for a gubernatorial campaign.
As of mid-January, Cuomo had $14.4 million in his campaign account – an amount that likely has grown considerably over the past six months, thanks in part to the fact that he hasn’t had to spend a dime to promote his policy agenda. The business-backed Committee to Save New York is doing that for him.
Cuomo isn’t the first governor to get caught up in the hypocrisy of publicly calling for campaign finance reform while raising money hand-over-fist behind the scenes.
Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer memorably imposed a $10,000 individual contribution limit on his own fundraising, but then encouraged donors to give to the state Democratic Party, which had no such contraints. He even had his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, headline a fund-raiser for the party, and then used the cash from the party’s coffers to help the Democrats with their quest to oust the Senate Republicans from the majority.
Spitzer never realized his goal of an all-Democrat controlled state government. (That didn’t occur until Gov. David Paterson’s tenure, and, as you’ll recall, it didn’t last long – thanks to the incredibly dysfunctional Senate).
The former governor’s zeal to get rid of Senate GOP and its leader, former Majority Leader Joe Bruno, sparked the Troopergate scandal and contributed to his trouble at getting things passed in Albany – including campaign finance reform.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on July 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo, Eliot Spitzer, Fundraising. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|