Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Monday, December 8, 2014

What Cuomo's Charter School Donors Want In Return For Their Bribes

The NY Times published a piece today reporting it's still business as usual in the cesspool that is Albany - the legalized bribes masking as "campaign contributions" are flowing like rhetoric during a Cuomo phone call.

Capital NY has a piece today reporting what Cuomo's donors want - here's what his charter donors want in return for the money their bribes, er, campaign contributions:

Charter School Supporters

New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany, an independent expenditure committee formed by the pro-charter organization Students First NY, spent $4.2 million this past election cycle to help Republicans re-gain control of the Senate.

The bulk of that cash came in the final weeks of the campaign and was given by a dozen donors, most of them current or retired hedge fund managers like Paul Singer, Dan Loeb, Julian H. Robertson Jr., and Paul Tudor Jones II.

The alarm about this sector’s given has been sounded most aggressively by Zephyr Teachout, Cuomo’s Democratic primary opponent, who has now mended fences with the labor-backed Working Families Party (which first floated her as a candidate but ultimately endorsed the governor) to take on wealthy charter school backers.

According to Teachout, these donors are trying to undermine public education in New York by buying support for charters. In her mind, this is tantamount to “legal corruption.”

Students First NY executive director Jenny Sedlis says that’s not the case.

“There was no expectation of any kind of specific policies being enacted,” she said. “But there was a hope that we could send a message that leaders who put students first have support.”

The main idea behind New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany was to provide a counter-balance to the statewide teachers union, NYSUT, which matched the pro-charter interests almost dollar for dollar when it came to spending this cycle.

But NYSUT’s (unrealized) goal was to help the Senate Democrats gain control. And, for the second election in a row, the union did not endorse Cuomo.

Cuomo emerged this past session as an outspoken champion of charter schools, and said prior to the election that he wants to the public school “monopoly” this session.

The governor has received contributions from some of the same donors funding New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany over the past four years, including Loeb ($60,367), Carl Icahn ($50,000) and Louis Bacon ($48,600).

A July report on Chalkbeat found financial support for Cuomo among prominent charter backers slowed somewhat this past year.

Some, like James Simons, who, along with his wife, Marilyn, has given the governor $105,000 since 2010 (making them No. 37 on the donor list), gave big money ($1.65 million) to the state Democratic Party, which spent heavily during this election on TV ads to bolster Cuomo’s re-election bid.

Some in the charter community want to weaken New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s power over charter schools when the debate over mayoral control (which sunsets this June) takes place in Albany.
De Blasio raised campaign cash for the Democrats in their failed effort to take back the Senate majority, which did not endear him to the Republicans. The G.O.P. used the liberal mayor as a wedge issue in top races, warning voters against empowering his “far left” and “radical” agenda.

Others would like to see the state increase funding for charters and bump up the charter cap, though the current cap hasn’t yet been reached, or eliminate it altogether.

Bribes to Cuomo or the state Democratic Party apparatus which then spent that money on ads for Cuomo.

In return, more money for charters, an increase or elimination of the cap, and the "breaking" of teachers and public schools.

That's what charter backers want in return for their bribes.


  1. You can bet they will get some of what they want.

  2. 4:56

    Wrong! They will get everything they want. Once the get the elimination of the charter cap, they are home free!

  3. Both the NY state judicial system and the Federal prosecutors have failed in their mandate to prosecute Cuomo and the NY state legislators. Our government is now run as a mafioso style criminal entity.