Gay Rights Group Gives $60K Campaign Check To Gov. Andrew Cuomo

ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP)Governor Andrew Cuomo, who led the effort to legalize gay marriage in New York, received $60,000 in campaign money from one of the state’s leading gay rights groups, according to campaign finance records filed Friday.

The Empire State Pride Agenda’s check to the Democrat was one of the biggest among Cuomo’s $5.5 million in contributions since January. It comes as Cuomo has racked up big political wins in his first six months and this week’s Siena College poll showed his job performance rating rose to 58 percent among New York voters.

Legislators key to passage of the gay marriage law last month also saw big contributions from gay marriage supporters, according to the state Board of Elections filings.

“The fervid campaign in support of gay marriage filled both the halls of the state Capitol and legislators’ wallets,” said Bill Mahoney of the New York Public Interest Research Group, who analyzes campaign financing and spending.

He said, however, that Cuomo’s biggest benefactors remain the traditional lobbying powers: businesses supporting his initiative to cap the growth of property taxes; landlords, developers and tenant advocates who sought the continuation of New York City’s rent control law; and more from contributors with interests in health care and education.

Cuomo’s big individual supporters include people in New York City real estate and business circles, many of whom have business with the state. Cuomo has appointed some of those supporters to state boards and positions. Howard Milstein, for example, contributed $25,000 to Cuomo on Feb. 3. Cuomo appointed the Manhattan banker and real estate developer to head the Thruway Authority on May 31.

“Fundraising in Albany usually peaks in March, the month before the budget is due,” Mahoney said. “This year, the highly public battles over issues such as gay marriage, a property tax cap, and rent control kept the special interest spigots running into the summer.”

Such fundraising while issues are being negotiated and debated is common and a concern of good-government groups, including the League of Women Voters. Cuomo campaigned last year on a promise to limit Albany’s “pay to play” culture, part of which is addressed in an ethics bill he and the Legislature approved this year.

Records show Cuomo’s campaign received the check from the gay marriage lobbyist on May 3, the same day he announced it was a “different day” and he was optimistic gay marriage would pass, despite its defeat in 2009. Rallies and a stepped-up effort began days later to lobby the Senate’s Republican majority, closely allied with Cuomo, to provide enough votes to pass the historic measure.

In April, Cuomo had committed top staffers to organize the lobbying of supporting groups.

Cuomo signed the legalization bill June 24 after he helped persuade four Senate Republicans to vote for it.

Those Republicans each received $10,300, the maximum contribution allowed by law, from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who supports gay marriage.

National gay marriage advocates also provided as much as $50,000 to the senators.

“The mayor said he would support Senate Republicans who stood up — and he did,” said Bloomberg spokesman Micha Lasher.

That prompted Democratic Sen. Ruben Diaz Sr., a minister who was the lone Democratic senator to vote against gay marriage, to question publicly if senators were for sale.

“If this is not a quid pro quo, please tell me what this is?” Diaz said.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


One Comment

  1. Prayer Warrior says:

    Yes, Jaypee,
    It is evident that both Governor Cuomo, his girlfriend and Bloomberg are people of minimal moral standards. Like in Sodom and Gomorrah anything goes for them, it is evident.
    Governor Cuomo has confused diversity issues with morality issues. All people are created equal and should be treated that way. However, marriage to another man is not equality, it is immorality. Read 1 Cor 6:12 – 17. When it comes to sexual mmorality, all things are permissible, however they are not profitable. A person that is an norale and mature Christian, Jew or otherwise, knows this. This is pure sin against the body, the temple of the Lord. But what does Governor Cuomo know, he is in fornication. He is not a moral leader, he is presenting himself as an immoral politician. Pray for him, his girlfriend and Mayor Bloomberg. Throughout history we have had these types of spiritual wars and believe me, they have been led by darkness through politicians. Sins are also forgiven and should not be made law which attempts to denounce God’s laws.
    The Bible speaks to this in 1 Cor 6:12 -20. These passages speak to sexual immorality. In 1 Cor 7, the Bible speaks on marriage. It is evident that neither Cuomo or his girlfriend, is up to date on the principles of the Bible. However, the people should remember Cuomo as well as the other congressmen, senators and politicians during the next election.
    Of course, God is not mocked as his people are called to lift up a standard. I pray for Cuomo, Bloomberg and the girlfriend.

  2. Gen B says:

    As Christians we are only supposed to judge the actions of those who claim to be a sister or brother in the Lord, if they sin. We are to use His Word as the basis for our judgement. We also are to disobey any Government that has a law that goes against God’s law. However, we all have to remember that God Himself gave the entire world freedom to follow Him or not. While Jesus’ death and resurrection fulfilled (put an end to) the Old Testament law, we are required to take every thought we have and bring it into obedience with His. We have to know Him to do this and you can only know Him if you have faith in Him based on the testimonies of all those who were with Him and heard Him while He was on the the earth and you can not say you accept one part of scripture and not another, because then you are just creating your own God.

  3. jaypee says:

    As a Catholic I am totally disappointed with Andrew Cuomo. He should be ex-communicated.
    He will do anything for a vote. He used the attorney general’s office as a platform to get the governor’s job now he is priming himself up for the presidency in 2016.

    What’s next Andy? PS why don’t you marry Sandra, your live in girlfriend if you believe in marriage so much.

    Sandra Lee you are being made a fool of.

    1. KPMc says:

      Well… It’s good that you got Christ’s message not to judge other people and leave that up to the Father.

      1. Brucie says:

        The only fool here is Jaypee. I bet Sandra doesn’t think of herself as a fool. You are ignorant.

    2. On Loving God says:

      It seems that Brucie is ignorant and is unablle to separate the fleshy thoughts of Sandra. It also appears that KPMc did not read all of the message. The Bible states that we should judge such immoral acts in the church against one another.

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