Cuomo’s link to the Committee to Save New York is ‘necessary,’ aides say

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Briefing: Albany. (Azi Paybarah )
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Andrew Cuomo's top aides said the coordination between the governor and the 501(c)4 group, the Committee to Save New York, is "wholly proper, common, and necessary." The aides made their argument in a 2,200 word letter to The New York Times after the paper reported that Cuomo aides helped convince casino companies to donate to the committee rather than run an expensive public ad campaign on their own.

The Times editorializes that the committee should proactively disclose the names of its donors, something it doesn't have to do under current rules. The paper said Cuomo should play a role in urging the group to make the disclosures. It's not clear Cuomo will.

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Andrew Cuomo is in Albany with no public schedule.

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7 p.m. Bloomberg speaks at the opening of the 10th annual Russian Heritage Festival.  

Wisconsin

Democrats' silver lining: "In exit polling of voters, 18 percent of Walker supporters said they favored Mr. Obama, and the president led in a matchup against Mr. Romney. Voters in the exit surveys also said they saw Mr. Obama as better equipped to improve the economy and help the middle class." [Monica Davey and Jeff Zeleny]

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New Jersey

Bill Pascrell, who was backed by Bill Clinton, beat fellow Democratic incumbent Steve Rothman. [Kate Zernike]

City Hall

Bloomberg's budget relies on $4 billion in "nonrecurring resources" and the city should come up with a contingency plan for what happens in 2014 when that money is gone, said state comptroller Tom DiNapoli. [Daniel Tucker]

Policing 

A Queens judge said he was struck in the throat by a police officer and a sergeant refused to document the complaint. It's now being investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau. [William Rashbaum]

Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly's support for curbing marijuana arrests is a "startling turnaround" for them. [Jim Dwyer]

Flashback: Bloomberg aide Frank Barry wrote, "Marijuana arrests can be an effective tool for suppressing the expansion of street-level drug markets and the corresponding violence." [Jim Dwyer]

Flashback: "On average last year [2010], someone was arrested every 10 minutes in New York City for possessing a few pinches of marijuana." [Jim Dwyer]

Flashback: "On the Upper East Side of Manhattan where the mayor lives, an average of 20 people for every 100,000 residents were arrested on the lowest-level misdemeanor pot charge in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

"During those same years, the marijuana arrest rate in Brownsville, Brooklyn, was 3,109 for every 100,000 residents." And: "For blacks and Latinos, it is very, very illegal. But not in Mr. Bloomberg’s neighborhood." [Jim Dwyer]

Committee to Save New York

"[S]uch coordination with elected officials is wholly proper, common, and necessary," his aides wrote in a 2,200 word letter to the Times. [Nick Confessore]

Why wait for Albany? Cuomo should tell the Committee to Save New York to disclose its donors now. [New York Times]

Committee to Save New York spokesman Mike McKeon said there are no plans to do that. [Nick Reisman]

Cuomo met face to face with casino lobbyists in October during a fund-raiser. [Jacob Gershman and Eliot Brown]

On the Wires: "Gov. Andrew Cuomo is denying reports that his effort to bring casinos to New York was influenced by $2 million in donations from gambling interests to a lobbying group created to support him." [Associated Press]

Remember, Genting's $2 million donation went to the pro-Cuomo group that is supposed to counteract the rich and powerful labor unions. [BidGovernment]

So far, it's a "scandal" that doesn't prove much. [Chips88.com]

"Genting Now Caught in Cuomo Web" [Tim Ferguson]

Genting's stock dropped 4.1 percent, "its largest fall since Feb. 8," after Cuomo said their talks about building a casino and convention center in Queens "haven't worked out." [Gan Yen Kuan]

From Capital

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