When the state Legislature revamped New York's lobbying laws in 2011, the reforms were meant to shine a brighter light on mega-donors seeking to influence the government. Yet this year's biggest lobbying spender—a pro-charter-school group that reported almost $6 million in New York state lobbying expenditures through August—hasn't had to reveal a single benefactor.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, the leading adversary of Manhattan-based nonprofit Families for Excellent Schools, recently called for the group to release its donor list so "the public can judge what interests are at play." The group's spending this spring helped foil the mayor's plans in a high-profile fight over charter schools' funding and sharing space with traditional public schools.
Lobbying records, however, show how Families for Excellent Schools was able to shield its donors' names. Even its critics acknowledge the group has found a way around the 2011 law.
"These guys have invented the 'hedge-fund loophole' in the dark-money world of [Gov.] Andrew Cuomo's Albany," charged Billy Easton, executive director of the Alliance for Quality Education, a nonprofit backed by the statewide teachers' union, which has been warring with charter-school proponents and the governor.
Mr. Easton's comment referred to hedge-fund executives who have donated to the governor's campaign and to charter-school causes. A Cuomo official once griped that Mr. Easton's group does not disclose its donors, either, but it does now, per the 2011 law.
Read the rest of the Crain's piece to see how the charter school criminals get away with their dark arts.
Just as Campbell Brown refuses to reveal who the donors for her anti-tenure group are even as she spends the money she gets from them on her anti-tenure campaign, Families For Excellent Schools spends millions lobbying politicians and millions more on pro-charter ads without revealing where that money is coming from.
This is life in Andrew Cuomo's New York, where he raised millions through his Committee To Save New York PAC, then had that PAC spend that money on ads touting his political agenda, all without having to reveal who was donating to the Committee To Save New York PAC.
When the law changed and he would have been forced to reveal that donor base, he shut down the Committee To Save New York instead.
The criminals are running the state, folks - they own it, they're throwing their dirty money around and buying whatever they want and whomever they want whenever they want and there's NOTHING you can do it about it.
Andrew Cuomo's New York - a cesspool of corruption.