Green Party calls out Gov. Cuomo on campaign finance hypocrisy, casino connection, minimum wage defeat
Green Party Says Cuomo is just another bought politician of the 1%
Questions why he has failed to fight for campaign finance reformand a higher minimum wage
The Green Party said today that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s secretive relationship with the Committee to Save New York highlights the failure of the Democratic Party over the last six years to reduce the power of money and special interests in Albany since taking back control of the Governor’s mansion. It was recently uncovered that gambling interests gave the Committee $2 million dollars at a time when Cuomo decided to promote casinos.
Cuomo has failed to release a campaign finance reform proposal this year with only two weeks left to the end of the legislative session, despite telling good government groups this winter that he would make it a priority. The Green Party has been a long time advocate of public campaign finance reform and a dramatic reduction in the amount of allowable campaign contributions.
The Greens said that the groups working on campaign finance reform had been too cozy with Cuomo and the Democrats. Too many of them have ignored Cuomo’s fundraising habits and lack of leadership, instead turning the issue into a partisan attack on the Republicans. The reality is that Cuomo has aligned with the Senate Republicans to defeat a host of issues such as the minimum wage, progressive taxes, public campaign finance reform and non-partisan redistricting, The Greens noted that the Koch brothers gave $92,000 to Cuomo in 2010 compared to $46,000 to Wisconsin Governor Walker. Both Cuomo and Koch have publicly attacked government workers.
“It is no surprise to the Green Party that Governor Cuomo has once again failed to enact legislation to eliminate selling state lawmakers to the highest bidder. Like Obama and McCall, Cuomo talks about the need to change campaign financing while bending the rules at every opportunity to maximize his intake from the 1%, from Wall Street to hedge funds to gambling interests. Cuomo has shown himself to be just another politician for sale, The bigger your check book, the more he is willing to do your bidding. Unfortunately, minimum wage workers can’t compete in the money game, which is why Cuomo has repeatedly tried to declare the wage hike dead,” noted Howie Hawkins, the Green Party Co-Chair who finished 3rd in the recent gubernatorial election.
When Carl McCall ran for Governor a decade ago, he dutifully said he supported campaign finance reform. In practice, he was the worst abuser in the country of “pay to play”, raising millions of dollars in contributions from companies profiting from doing business with him as State Comptroller.
The “Committee To Save New York” was identified in the NY Times as heavily funded by gambling and real estate interests. Last year, Cuomo publicly urged the Committee to bankroll a media campaign to support his austerity budget of cutting services and attacking public employees while enacting tax cuts for the wealthy. Cuomo has also been heavily financed by hedge funds which benefit from sizeable tax credits for charter schools. The NY Times has also reported that the natural gas industry gave more than one hundred thousand dollars to Cuomo, who is widely seen as pushing to allow hydrofracking to occur.
“Cuomo has been bought. The taxpayers of New York deserve a refund. It is disturbing that Genting and NYRA’s contributions to C.S.N.Y. obviously influenced the Governor’s decision to support a constitutional amendment to allow seven privately-owned casinos worth billions to the gaming and real estate sectors. Money clearly equals free speech for Gov. Cuomo and his allies in the State Legislature. When the Occupy Albany movement sprang up at the Capitol, challenging the power of the 1%, Cuomo and his lieutenants immediately sought to get the police to evict them. Now we know why,” said Peter LaVenia, Green Party Co-Chair.