Just weeks before a California fund-raiser with Sony executives that netted Governor Andrew Cuomo's re-election campaign $300,000, a Sony executive requested the fast-tracking of $26 million in film credits from New York State.
Keith Weaver, executive vice president for worldwide government affairs at Sony Pictures Entertainment, wrote to an Empire State Development employee about some "pending production tax credits."
"I need your help, as we need to resolve a number of pending production tax credits by 1/15/14 in order to realize the benefit this year. Our tax and production finance folks were steadfastly working the process, but now we have approximately $26M in tax credits outstanding… We most assuredly can’t leave $26M hanging out there for another full year (i.e., next tax filing period)," he wrote on Dec. 20, 2013, according to emails obtained by hackers and published in searchable form Thursday by Wikileaks.Weaver asked if the E.S.D. employee, Rhonda Glickman, could "help move this forward."
And boy did Glickman ever move it forward - she got back to Weaver that day and Sony got indication it would get the $26 million in tax breaks three days later:
Three days later, Weaver wrote in an internal email that he believed the credit had been expedited."I just wanted to send you a quick note about this, as it looks like Gov’t Affairs will be effective in expediting $26M in outstanding film credit claims in time for our 1/15/14 tax filing date… I will know definitively by 1/6, but I just wrapped up a call were some commitments were made. While this a timing issue, our effectiveness will mean realizing a significant cash benefit in 2014 versus the next likely opportunity in 2017," he wrote, in the email released by Wikileaks. "Happy holidays!"
A few weeks after that, Governor Cuomo's reelection campaign took in $300,000 from a California fundraiser.
Preet, where are you?