Gov. Andrew Cuomo has raised more money for his re-election than any governor in the country, and Billy Joel performed “Honesty” in his honor last night at his birthday bash where a table of 10 went for $50,000.
But don’t let that fool you: Cuomo said he still backs public financing of campaigns.
“I 100 percent support public finance. I have for many years. I proposed it this past session once again,” Cuomo said today on “The Capitol Pressroom,” a public-radio show.
In comments yesterday, Cuomo seemed to suggest that public financing wouldn’t be a top priority for him. His office quickly stressed that he still supports it, as liberal groups are pressing him and the Legislature to adopt a public-financing system similar to the one in New York City.
Cuomo put the blame on Senate Republicans for not backing public financing. The Republicans have balked at the idea, saying taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the bill for political campaigns.
“Public finance is the stumbling point. The Senate Republicans do not agree to public finance,” Cuomo said. “I believe we could come up with an agreement on the other elements, but for public finance.”
The state GOP in a statement yesterday knocked Cuomo’s fundraiser. Cuomo had $28 million in his warchest in July.
“That’s right, the same Governor who’s demanding welfare for politicians via publicly financed campaigns and is trying to cap contributions to political organizations is selling tickets to his birthday party for as much as $50,000 – or just a little less than New Yorkers’ median income,” the party said.