New York Governor Andrew Cuomo bagged $100,000 in campaign donations from a developer that, two days later, received tax breaks that will cost New York taxpayers $35 million in revenue over 10 years.
The company, Extell Development, made two $50,000 contributions to Cuomo through two of its corporations. Three weeks after Cuomo signed the bill granting Extell and four others the generous tax breaks, Extell President Gary Barnett stroked another $100,000 check to a state Democratic Party account that the NY Daily News says is to be used to push Cuomo’s policies.
Neither Extell or its president had previously donated to Cuomo.
Extell and Cuomo deny any wrongdoing.
“At no time has there ever been any kind of quid pro quo for our contributions,” claimed an Extell spokesperson.
Cuomo’s office agrees.
“To suggest any connection,” says Cuomo aide Melissa DeRosa, “is an irresponsible distortion of the facts.”
A special New York state corruption commission has subpoenaed Extell and the other companies who received the lucrative tax breaks.