A consulting firm on retainer with the Republican Governors Association under chairman and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is implicated in a Andrew Cuomo scandal, according to the New York Times.
The firm, Mercury Public Affairs, of which Christie adviser Mike Duhaime is a top partner, has been paid $246k in consulting fees by the RGA since December of 2013.
According to the Times, Cuomo set up the Moreland Commission, which was supposed to be an independent commission, last summer to root out public corruption within the Empire state. Yet when push came to shove Cuomo created roadblocks anytime the commission attempted to investigate his office or his biggest supporters. Eventually, Cuomo shut down the commission in the spring.
Last September, The Times reported, Cuomo had at least two private meetings with Moreland Commission chairmen. At one meeting he convinced the commission to delay issuing a subpoena to the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).
The leaders of REBNY donated to Cuomo’s campaigns and supported a business coalition, the Committee to Save New York, which spent millions of dollars on advertising in support of his agenda. The latest Times expose points out that the commission was told to stay away from the Committee to Save New York, the biggest lobbying spender in 2011 and 2012.
The Committee to Save New York, The New York Daily News reported in December of 2011, used Mercury LLC, the same firm that the RGA hired for consultant services in December, for public relations work.
“New Yorkers cannot afford to have a crook in the governor’s mansion,” he said, charging there was “clear obstruction of justice and calculated public dishonesty by Mr. Cuomo and his subordinates,” Cuomo’s GOP challenger Robert Astorino told the Daily News.