Loophole allows New York AG to accept donation from targeted firm

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

August 19, 2010

ALBANY, New York: New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic candidate and frontrunner in the state's gubernatorial race, has reportedly accepted $150,000 in financial campaign contributions from individuals whose firms are currently under investigation or have faced legal action by his office. If true, Cuomo will have broken a promise he made early in the race stating that "he wouldn't take money from companies with pending or recently resolved cases."[1]

Although his campaign website does require contributors to swear that "neither I personally nor any entity which I own or control has any matter presently pending with the NYS Attorney General's office or has had any matter resolved within the last 90 days," there is a loophole in the policy that allows spouses and subsidiaries of companies under investigation by the Cuomo's office to make donations.[1] And while these contributions represent only a tiny fraction of the nearly $27 million the gubernatorial candidate has pulled in so far, it does severely undermine his claim of maintaining high ethical standards throughout the election race.

First American Corporation, for example, was sued by the state attorney general's office in November 2007 after it had been discovered that the company let a bank select appraisers who then inflated the values that increased the market value of homes they owned. Since then, however, Cuomo has accepted nearly $136,000 in campaign contributions from executives of First American Title Insurance Company of New York, a subsidiary of First American. What is more is that $106,000 of those donations came from the subsidiary's president, Steven Napolitano, between January 2009 and May 2010.

See also

Ballotpedia News