Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cuomo Takes Free Charter Flights From Business Cronies

Governor 1% likes to berate any lawmaker or politician who looks out for union members up in Albany by asking "Who do you work for - the unions or the voters?"

The insinuation Cuomo is making is that lawmakers who try and help the unions are corrupt and crooked, no better than union appendages who shouldn't be trusted by voters.

And yet, what does one make of this news today about who Cuomo is taking charter plane rides from?

Gov. Cuomo was a high-flying fund-raiser in the last six months — thanks to campaign donors who lent him their private jets, the Daily News has learned.

A half-dozen contributors spent $145,583 to jet Cuomo to events in Puerto Rico, California, Buffalo, Syracuse, New York City and the Hudson Valley, according to records and his office.

The flights, legal under state law, were listed as in-kind contributions to either Cuomo or the state Democratic party.

They represented a fraction of the $6.2 million Cuomo raised between July and January.

Some of his contributors had business before the state.

Records show billionaire John Catsimatidis, the head of Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods, twice donated the use of a private plane for fund-raising trips to Syracuse.

The value of the flights cost a combined $20,228, according to campaign filings.

Cuomo’s campaign “asked for [use of the plane\],” said Catsimatidis, whose Red Apple company has lobbied the state over sulfur emission reductions and Indian cigarette tax issues.

“They said, ‘Instead of writing us a check, would you like to contribute?’ What do you say? You say yes.”

Stephen Green, the founder of real estate firm SL Green, lent his personal jet to Cuomo for a lucrative fund-raising trip to California. The flight was valued at $60,000.

A SL Green spokesman said neither Green nor the company — which has lobbied the state on various issues — had a comment.

Two flights taken by Cuomo showed up on the state party’s filing rather than his own.

800 XPI Holdings, a commercial transportation rental company located on Long Island, provided a flight to Puerto Rico, where Cuomo attended an annual gathering of state and city Hispanic politicians.

The in-kind donation was listed at nearly $48,000.

So Governor Cuomo, do you work for the voters of the State of New York or your business crony campaign donors?

You're not only taking free charter flights worth as much as $60,000 a pop from donors, you're the one suggesting the "contribution" be a chartered air flight.

Just another example of rampant hypocrisy from Governor Cuomo.

So far, he's getting away with this - the voters still overwhelmingly approve of him.

Boy, wouldn't it be nice if the press actually gave Cuomo the "Liu" treatment to see if he could stand up to it.

Because you can bet if they went over him with a fine tooth comb, more of this cronyism and criminality would come out.

But Cuomo gives Zuckerman and Murdoch the kinds of anti-working class, anti-union, anti-teacher, pro-Wall Street, pro-hedge fund, pro-1% policies they crave, so they let him off the hook easy.


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