ALBANY – Facing mounting criticism for mixing politics and the World Series, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo canceled plans Wednesday night to hold a $5,500 per person fundraiser during two games this weekend at Citi Field when the New York Mets return to Queens for the start of their home stand.
The governor, who took a private jet on a Long Island-based charter service with the owners of the Mets to the first game of the World Series Tuesday night in Kansas City, said he was canceling the Friday and Saturday night fundraisers because of an “overwhelming demand for tickets” to the games. His campaign on Monday sent email invitations to donors asking for contributions of $5,500 apiece to attend a pregame reception and seats for either Game Three or Four or the World Series when it returns to New York this weekend.
Government reform groups this week criticized Cuomo for the timing of the events, saying they showed how deep-pocket contributors could gain access to New York government’s chief executive in ways ordinary New Yorkers could not. New York Post editorial writers Wednesday likened Cuomo to a ticket scalper.
As attorney general, Cuomo had gone after people who waited on line for Shakespeare in the Park tickets, then sold them on Craigslist.
But the only thing that stopped him from scalping World Series tickets for campaign dough was a public shaming.