Dem Governor Facing Tough Re-Election Accused of Padding Local Donation Numbers to Appear Grassroots

| JUL 19, 2018 | 3:22 PM

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In New York, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has a fight on his hands to retain his office. Facing a primary challenge from actress Cynthia Nixon, the incumbent is pulling out all the stops — including an apparent attempt to play fast and loose with reported donations.

With candidates in New York focusing on grassroots efforts, Cuomo wants to show that he has local support by any means at his disposal. However, in trying to do so, it appears his campaign staff may have gone a bit too far.

In what appears to be an incident that is not isolated, The New York Times' chief Metro political correspondent, Shane Goldmacher, reported that an individual who shares an address with a Cuomo campaign staffer gave multiple single-digit donations.

The apparent effect of doing so? The governor can claim that more of his donations — in number, not dollars — come from inside the state of New York than outside.

The intent is hard to deny given the timing of the contributions and how they padded Cuomo's stats:

Other similar donations followed suit:

Why would the governor be so intent on demonstrating his New York bona fides? Perhaps because on the periphery, there are accusations from Libertarian opponent Larry Sharpe that Cuomo is selling favors to out-of-staters in exchange for financial support:

The New York Post cited donations from the “Facebook-famous Winklevoss twins” as conspicuously timed with their receiving approval for a cryptocurrency exchange. It was the first time that they had ever offered the two-term governor financial backing, though not the last time.

In addition, according to the Post, the governor is facing some backlash from his Republican opposition for obtaining the names of scholarship recipients — allegedly in violation of privacy laws — and asking them to appear in his re-election campaign advertisements.

Polls show that Cuomo currently has a sizeable lead against both his primary opponent Nixon and his potential Republican adversary. However, with machinations like this, it is difficult to tell whether his constituents will continue to trust him come November.