New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who added $2.1 billion to an incentive program for the movie and television industry, has collected almost $900,000 in campaign contributions from Hollywood since taking office in 2011.Cuomo, who lured NBC’s “The Tonight Show” back to New York City from Los Angeles, collected $121,600 from Comcast Corp. (CMCSA:US) and its NBCUniversal unit, campaign-finance records show. Paramount Pictures Corp. Chairman Brad Grey gave $35,000, while Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. (6758) Chief Executive Officer Michael Lynton and nine other executives donated a combined $45,200. Paramount’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” are among productions that took advantage of New York’s tax-credit program, the most generous in the U.S.
“What makes this industry more special than any industry that would invest here if you paid them to do it?” said E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for New York State Policy in Albany, which opposes government subsidies. “The difference is, well, it’s high-profile and it’s really glamorous. And oh, incidentally, it’s run by people who are really savvy, generous political givers too.”
Cuomo, a 56-year-old Democrat, who ran for governor vowing to clean up Albany’s pay-to-play culture of corruption by limiting contributions, has instead reaped the benefits of a system that allows individuals to give as much as $150,000 per year -- and even more through limited-liability corporations. Federal prosecutors are also probing the Cuomo administration’s effort to stymie investigations by an anti-corruption committee he created and then disbanded before its term was finished.
Cuomo took millions from overseas gambling consortia and expanded legalized gambling in the state.
He took hundreds of thousands from the real estate industry and handed out millions in tax breaks to his real estate industry donors.
And he took nearly a illion bucks from Hollywood and has handed them $2.1 billion in tax incentives.
Why isn't this criminal in prison?
How is this any different than convicted former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell who took money and gifts from donors in return for favors?
In Cuomo's case, he's getting money in return to bludgeon his political opponents and maintain his power and political office.
And remember, this is just the stuff we know about - you can bet there's a whole bunch more under wraps that we don't know about yet.