NYSUT President: VP Authorized Cuomo Contribution
NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi is accusing the union’s vice president of authorizing a $10,000 donation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month and his changing political contribution rules as a result.
The contribution was surprising when it was first discovered in Cuomo’s campaign filing this month, given that it was the first donation the union’s PAC had given to the governor since 2009 and that the relationship has been rocky at best.
At the time, NYSUT spokesman Carl Korn declined to “categorize the reasons behind it.”
In a message posted on his supporters’ website today, Iannuzzi writes that Vice President Andy Pallotta purchased a $10,000 table at Cuomo’s birthday fundraiser, but was only directed to purchase three tickets.
“When the request came for a fundraiser for Governor Cuomo, I directed (NYSUT Executive Vice President) Andy Pallotta’s staff to purchase me a ticket to the event and suggested that Andy and UFT President Michael Mulgrew also attend,” Iannuzzi wrote. “Upon my arrival, I learned that Andy had unilaterally authorized (NYSUT’s political action committee) to purchase a $10,000 table for 10—highly unusual given the sentiments of our members statewide.”
Iannuzzi added that as a result, contributions over $5,000 now require the approval of VOTE-COPE’s members.
As Liz noted earlier, there is an internal battle between the statewide teachers union and their New York City counterparts, the United Federation of Teachers.
The full note from Iannuzzi is after the jump.
NYSUT receives countless invitations to political fundraisers from candidates we support and candidates we don’t. When the request came for a fundraiser for Governor Cuomo, I directed Andy Pallotta’s staff to purchase me a ticket to the event and suggested that Andy and UFT President Michael Mulgrew also attend. Upon my arrival, I learned that Andy had unilaterally authorized VOTE/COPE to purchase a $10,000 table for 10—highly unusual given the sentiments of our members statewide. Even more disturbing, Andy invited political candidates he was supporting and actively working with for NYSUT Officer positions — Karen Magee and Paul Pecorale, as well as their supporter Nadia Resnikoff to the event.
As a result, we are now requiring the approval of the members of the VOTE/COPE committee BEFORE any contributions over $5,000 are made to any statewide party committee or statewide candidate.
For the record, had this been brought to all of your elected NYSUT officers for a decision, Maria, Lee, Kathleen and I would likely have voted AGAINST purchasing a table for $10,000.
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