He also got $60,800 from Stanley Druckenmiller, a charter school backer and former hedge manager, on March 4, the day the governor spoke at a pro-charter rally in Albany. By the end of the month, he had pushed through a bill giving charter schools in New York City some of the strongest protections in the country.The Cuomo camp was dismissive of any sense that the donation was associated with the governor’s advocacy. “It also rained that day,” said Peter E. Kauffmann, a spokesman for the Cuomo campaign. “Are they connected, too? Because one had nothing to do with the other.”
The Cuomo campaign can be as dismissive of this as they want - there is a trail of documentation on how much Quid Pro Cuomo has taken from the charter school industry and education reformers in general.
Here's Gotham Schools in January:
Backers of a top charter school network that Mayor Bill de Blasio has singled out in his plans to curb charter school growth are filling Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s campaign chest.Cuomo’s reelection bid has so far received nearly $400,000 from a cadre of wealthy supporters of Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy Charter School network, according to an updated tally of newly-released campaign filings. Some money has even come from Moskowitz’s political action committee, Great Public Schools, which has given $65,000 to Cuomo since 2011.
A broader analysis of the filings shows just how much the charter school sector and its education policy allies have embraced Cuomo, a Democrat, during his first term as governor. It also shows how much support from the state’s powerful teachers union, a more traditional ally, has waned.
By one tally of the 2014 filings, Cuomo racked up at least $800,000 in donations from 27 bankers, real estate executives, business executives, philanthropists and advocacy groups who have flocked to charter schools and other education causes in recent years.
The totals far exceed what the same group gave him for his first run in 2010: $136,000. The union, meanwhile, has donated one-quarter of the sum it gave Cuomo in 2010.
After having a close friend in City Hall for 12 years, the flood of contributions is a sign that charter school backers in New York City may have found a new powerful ally in government at a time when they need one badly.
And of course the seminal piece in the NY Times in 2010 that chronicled Cuomo's meeting wealthy, well-heeled members of the Democrats for Education Reform in order to raise cash:
When Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo wanted to meet certain members of the hedge fund crowd, seeking donors for his all-but-certain run for governor, what he heard was this: Talk to Joe.
That would be Joe Williams, executive director of a political action committee that advances what has become a favorite cause of many of the wealthy founders of New York hedge funds: charter schools.
Wall Street has always put its money where its interests and beliefs lie. But it is far less common that so many financial heavyweights would adopt a social cause like charter schools and advance it with a laserlike focus in the political realm.
Hedge fund executives are thus emerging as perhaps the first significant political counterweight to the powerful teachers unions, which strongly oppose expanding charter schools in their current form.
After hearing from Mr. Cuomo, Mr. Williams arranged an 8 a.m. meeting last month at the Regency Hotel, that favorite spot for power breakfasts, between Mr. Cuomo and supporters of his committee, Democrats for Education Reform, who include the founders of funds like Anchorage Capital Partners, with $8 billion under management; Greenlight Capital, with $6.8 billion; and Pershing Square Capital Management, with $5.5 billion.
Although the April 9 breakfast with Mr. Cuomo was not a formal fund-raiser, the hedge fund managers have been wielding their money to influence educational policy in Albany, particularly among Democrats, who control both the Senate and the Assembly but have historically been aligned with the teachers unions.
They have been contributing generously to lawmakers in hopes of creating a friendlier climate for charter schools. More immediately, they have raised a multimillion-dollar war chest to lobby this month for a bill to raise the maximum number of charter schools statewide to 460 from 200.
Mr. Cuomo also has expressed support for charter schools. A spokesman for Mr. Cuomo declined to answer questions about the breakfast at the Regency, but Mr. Williams said it had gone well.
“We said we were looking for a leader on our particular issue,” he said, and as a result, when Mr. Cuomo is next required to disclose his contributors, “You will see a bunch of our people on the filing.”
Yes, it rained on the same day Cuomo got a $60,000 campaign donation and spoke at Eva Moskowitz's charter school rally.
It rained cash for Cuomo.
As it has throughout his tenure for governor, as it did even before he was elected.
Quid Pro Cuomo is squarely in the charter school/education reform camp and they have rained down cash on him in return.