I kinda like Andrew Cuomo even though (and shame on me) I really don’t know a lot about him – probably because I think so highly of his father. So sue me.
There’s a story at Bloomberg today about his campaign contributions. It’s caught my attention, as does any story about our corrupt campaign finance practices.
However, if I”m reading this correctly, it seems that in fundraising for his gubernatorial run, Cuomo is operating within the norm but because the ethics of this norm is often questionable, Andrew Cuomo may have acted improperly. It just seems like one of those non-story stories, which would be perfectly legit – in fact very welcome – if it were not hung off a single individual. Read the story and if I’m getting it wrong, let me know. Campaign finance reform is something I care deeply about so maybe I’m being deliberately blind because I like Cuomo.
From the story:
Cuomo’s donation forms ask contributors to sign a statement saying they have no “matter” pending with him. That rule “does not extend to attorneys representing persons or entities with matters before the NYS Attorney General’s office,” the form states, mirroring his predecessors’ policies.
The American Bar Association “Model Rules” for lawyers, which don’t address attorneys general, prohibit donations to judges made for the purpose of getting hired. Cuomo, who doesn’t hire outside lawyers, abides by that principle, Bamberger said. New York State rules for attorneys allow contributions to judges or public officials as long as the recipient is allowed to accept gifts.
Eliot Spitzer, attorney general from 1999 to 2006, took lawyer donations too from those with cases before him. Boies gave him $15,000 and the Boies Schiller firm gave $10,000 in 2004, according to state records.
“Candidates in New York State for district attorney, judge, attorneys general, and all other offices have operated under the very same rules for decades,” Bamberger said.