New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he knew nothing about a bill he signed -- a bill that News Corp. lobbied on before the company gave Cuomo a lucrative book contract. Cuomo was asked about the bill at an Albany press conference Wednesday after International Business Times reported that he backed initiatives helping News Corp.
Questioned about the legislation he signed in September 2011, Cuomo declared: “I have no idea that [News Corp.] lobbied for it. I have no idea what it is, by the way.”
The bill in question exempted online pay-walled publications from state sales taxes. State documents show News Corp. was one of only two firms to lobby on the bill. At the time, the Rupert Murdoch-led media company was making multimillion-dollar investments in the Daily -- a publication that would benefit from the special tax exemption.
Prior to the IBTimes report, Cuomo challenged reporters to show how his book contract accepting cash from News Corp. presented a conflict with state business that he oversees. IBTimes documented state records showing News Corp. lobbying Cuomo’s office. Those records list the company lobbying on everything from tax policy to education policy to state contracts.
Caught red-handed taking dough from a company that directly lobbied his administration, Cuomo claims ignorance as an excuse.
Let us imagine how Attorney General Cuomo would react to such an excuse were he investigating a matter like this and the target said "Geez, I can't be held responsible because I didn't know..."
To make matters worse around this, Cuomo STILL refuses to release the contract he signed with News Corporation for his book deal - a book that has sold less 3,000 copies.
He is expected to be paid someone between $700,000 and $880,000 for the book and has already received $188,000 for it.
If he receives $700,000 for the book and it sells less 3,000 copies, News Corporation will be paying Cuomo more than $233 a book.
Considering the book lists at $30, that's an awful lot of dough Rupert Murdoch's paying Cuomo.
I bet he's happy he got some tax breaks and other deals from Cuomo on the side in addition to the memoir Cuomo wrote.