Cuomo received nearly $900K in campaign funds from appointees: report

Cuomo received nearly $900K in campaign funds from appointees: report
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations for his reelection campaign from his own political appointees, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The Times reports that Cuomo has taken nearly $900,000 from two dozen of his appointees since taking office, as well as at least $1.3 million from spouses, children and businesses of the appointees.

According to the newspaper, the total direct and indirect donations from 37 of Cuomo's appointees dating back to 2011 came to $2.2 million. Those appointees had given another $2.2 million to the Cuomo campaign before their appointments. 


The donations come despite an executive order signed by Cuomo's predecessor, Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D), banning campaign donations from most political appointees in the state. Cuomo renewed that order when he entered office.

Cuomo has reinterpreted the directive, according to the newspaper, to only govern donations from appointees who could be fired at any time by the governor, as opposed to those appointed to set terms in office.

“The purpose of the order is to prohibit employees and board members who serve at the pleasure of the governor from making political contributions,” Cuomo's counsel Alphonso David said.

“It does not apply to every single person who serves in government, to individuals who volunteer for government, or to individuals who were appointed by the Senate and cannot be removed by the executive."

But Spitzer told the Times that Cuomo's reinterpretation flies in the face of the order's original intent.

“The executive order was intended, and did, in fact, apply to all gubernatorial appointees, regardless of the need for Senate confirmation, or any term applicable to their service,” the former governor said in an interview.

Cuomo's press secretary told the Times that the majority of the governor's political appointees are not donors to the governor's campaign.

“Clearly, most board members are not campaign contributors, and most campaign contributors are not board members,” Dani Lever said in a statement.

Cuomo, 60, has served as New York's governor since 2011 and is considered a possible 2020 Democratic presidential contender.

The governor regularly conducts fundraisers outside of the state, and last March hired dozens of political consultants who previously served in the Obama administration and on Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump adds to legal team after attacks on Mueller Press: You can’t believe a word he says Feehery: March Madness MORE's campaign.