2:11 pm Dec. 19, 2011
A Democratic fund-raiser and good-government activist is calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to stop accepting corporate donations and to fulfill his campaign pledge to tighten rules on fund-raising in New York.
"The top priority for Governor Cuomo in the 2012 legislative year must be campaign finance reform," said Bill Samuels in a statement. "He campaigned on it, released a detailed plan on how to reform the system in the state. Yet to date he has not only failed to address the issue but has continued to raise money in the same manner which he claims to find fault with. If the Governor were to pledge not to take corporate campaign donations, he would be seen immediately as a leader in the state on campaign finance reform.”
When told of Samuels' statement, a Cuomo spokesman declined to comment.
According to Samuels, who is a former head of campaign fund-raising for the Democrats in the New York State Senate, Cuomo raised $1.8 million from 234 limited liability corporations. According to Cuomo's latest campaign filing from July, he raised $499,500 from corporations in the last six months. Overall, he has $9.2 million.
During the campaign last year, a public-radio reporter confronted Cuomo at stop in Ithaca, and asked how he could criticize corporate donations on the campaign trail while still accepting them.
Cuomo said, "I want to reform the campaign-finance system. To reform the campaign-finance system I have to get elected. To get elected I have to raise money. I don't have large sums of personal wealth, I don't come from a family with personal wealth, so I have to get elected which means I have to raise money so I can be in a position to actually make the reforms."