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Lobbying Compalint- Cmte to Scam NY & Cuomo

Lobbying Compalint- Cmte to Scam NY & Cuomo

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02/16/2011

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VIAFAXto518-474-8322
February16,2011MitraHormoziChair,NYSCommissiononPublicIntegrity540BroadwayAlbany,NewYork12207
Re:InvestigationoftheCommitteetoSaveNewYork&GovernorCuomo
DearMs.Hormozi:TheundersignedorganizationsherebysubmitthiscomplaintrequestingthattheCommissiononPublicIntegrity(the“Commission”)preparetoundertakeaninvestigationintotheconnectionbetweenTheCommitteetoSaveNewYork(“CSNY”,orthe“Committee”)andtheofficeofGovernorAndrewCuomo.
WebelievetheCommitteetoSaveNewYork
--whichisinextricablylinkedtotheGovernor’sofficethroughpersonalandprofessionalrelationships,whichwasestablishedatthe“urging”ofthegovernorhimself,whichhasreportedlyraisedmorethantenmilliondollars($10,000,000)tospendontelevisionadvertisementsinexplicitsupportoftheGovernor’sbudgetproposalsthatarecurrentlybeforethestatelegislature,which,weoutlinebelow,didnotregisterasalobbyistwiththeCommissioninamannercompliantwiththeCommission’srulesandtheStateLobbyingAct,andwhichshouldbeexpectedtofirstreportonthoseexpendituresbytheMarch15,2011bi-monthlyreportingdeadline--
shouldberequiredtolistGovernorCuomoonitslobbyingregistrationasathirdpartyonwhosebehalfitislobbying.
UndertheCommission’sauthoritygrantedtoitbytheNewYorkStateLobbyingActcreatedbyChapter2oftheLawsof1999,asamendedbyChapter62,oftheLawsof2003,Chapter1oftheLawsof2005,andasamendedmostrecentlybyChapter14oftheLawsof2007,theCommitteeshouldberequiredtoregisterasalobbyistlistingthemselvesasaclient.Thatregistrationformrequiresregistrantstostatethatifa"clienthasretained,employedordesignatedthelobbyist...tolobbyonathirdparty'sbehalf,[theymust]completethethirdpartiesnameaddressandphonenumber[onthestatementofregistration].”
ItisourunderstandingthatTheCommitteetoSaveNewYork,actingasbothaclientanditsownlobbyist,wasnon-compliantwithitsregistrationrequirementsunderthestateLobbyingLawandundertheCommission’srules.Further,itisourunderstandingthattheCommitteeisintendingtolobbyonthebehalfofathirdparty--namely,GovernorAndrewCuomo--andthereforemustincludetheGovernor’sname,address,andphonenumberontheCommittee’sstatementofregistration.
 
CSNYisinextricablylinkedtotheGovernor’sofficethroughpersonalandprofessionalrelationships
TheCommitteehasutilizedarangeofhiredguns,includingEricSedlerofASGKPublicStrategies,“thefirmfoundedbyDavidAxelrod,untilrecentlyaWhiteHouseadviser”tohelpcraftitsmessage.
1
TheprimaryspokesmandeliveringthatmessagefortheCommitteeisWilliam“Bill”Cunningham,amanagingdirectoratDKC,and“aclosefriendofthegovernor”
2
asthey“gobackdozensofyears.”
3
DKC(DanKloresCommunications)isa“publicrelationsandconsultingfirmcloselytiedtothenewgovernor”
4
because,likeMr.Cunningham,DanKloresis“aclosefriendofMr.Cuomo’s.”Inaddition,JohnMarinohasbeenactivebehindthescenesintheCommittee,andis“aformerstateDemocraticPartychairmanwhoisclosetoMr.Cuomo,[and]alsoworksatDKC.”
5
AsearlyasDecember9,2010,theNewYorkTimesreportedthatwhile,“Officially,Mr.Cuomohasnoconnectiontothecommittee,[sic]histiesareevident,andhehasbeenfullyapprisedofthegroup’sprogress,executivessaid.”
6
AJanuary18,2011reportcitedMr.Cunninghamassaying,onbehalfoftheCommittee,“We’remonitoring.Tosay‘coordinating,’Ithinkthat’sastrongword.It’sfilteredinthere,butthere’snotadirecthitaroundthetablewithpeopleintheadministration.”
7
Butjustonedayearlier,onJanuary17,2011,Mr.Cunninghamnotedthatwhile,“therewasnodirectcoordinationbetweenitsoperationandtheCuomoadministration…therewaslittleneedtodoso.”TheNewYorkTimesreported:“Weknowwhatthegovernor’sagendais,andwedon’tneedalotofguidance,”saidMr.Cunningham,whowasanaidetoMr.Cuomo’sfather,formerGov.MarioM.Cuomo.
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
1
“BusinessGroupPreparesPlanstoCounterUnions.”CharlesV.Bagli.NewYorkTimes.January7,2011www.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/nyregion/08save.html
2
“BusinessGroupPreparesPlanstoCounterUnions.”CharlesV.Bagli.NewYorkTimes.January7,2011www.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/nyregion/08save.html
3
“Thegovernor’slobby:Businessleaders(andothers)formacommitteetosaveCuomo.”JimmyVielkind.January18,2011.CapitalNewYork.www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/01/1178882/governors-lobby-business-leaders-and-others-form-committee-save-cuom
 
4
“GroupTakesOnAlbanyWithCuomo’sBlessing”NicholasConfessoreandThomasKaplan.NewYorkTimes.January17,2011.www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/nyregion/18cuomo.html
5
“CuomoGainsanAllyforaLoomingFightWiththePublic-EmployeeUnions.”CharlesV.Bagli.December9,2010.NewYorkTimes.www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/nyregion/10unions.html
6
“CuomoGainsanAllyforaLoomingFightWiththePublic-EmployeeUnions.”CharlesV.Bagli.December9,2010.NewYorkTimes.www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/nyregion/10unions.html
7
“Thegovernor’slobby:Businessleaders(andothers)formacommitteetosaveCuomo.”JimmyVielkind.January18,2011.CapitalNewYork.www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/01/1178882/governors-lobby-business-leaders-and-others-form-committee-save-cuom
 
8
“GroupTakesOnAlbanyWithCuomo’sBlessing”NicholasConfessoreandThomasKaplan.NewYorkTimes.January17,2011.www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/nyregion/18cuomo.html
 
OneaccountafteranotherreportsthattheinextricablelinksbetweentheGovernorandthestaffandleadershipoftheCommitteearesodeepthat“therewaslittleneed”todirectlycoordinate.
CSNYwasestablishedatthe“urging”ofthegovernorhimself
TheCommitteewasformedinresponsetodirectrequestsfromtheGovernor,asitwasreportedasearlyasDecember9,2010thathehad“publiclyaskedbusinessleaderstobackhimup.”
9
OnJanuary17,2011,Mr.CuomoexplicitlyreferencedtheCommitteeandsaid,“Iencouragepeopletojointhatgroup.”
10
Thereportcontinued,statingthattheCommittee“wasorganizedat[theGovernor’s]urging,afteraseriesofmeetingslastspringandsummeratwhichthethen-candidatepressedbusinessleaderstotakeamoreaggressiveroleinAlbany.”
11
OnJanuary9,2011,Crain’sNewYorkreportedthat,“Mr.Cuomopersonallycalledforthegrouptocoalescearoundhispushtooverhaulspending,”andthatthatpersonalrequestwas,“sparkingmuchoftheenthusiasm”arounditsfundraisingefforts.TheCrain’sreportcontinued:

“Andrewbringscommandandcontroltothetable,”aveteranDemocraticstrategistsaid.“Ifthegovernor'speoplecallyou,ifthegovernortellsyoutodoit,everyonehastodoit.”
12
AllofthiswasdoneattheGovernor’s“urging,”allthewhile,accordingtoaveteranAlbanywatchdog,themembersoftheCommittee,“collectivelyhavebillionsofdollarsatstakeinthedecisionsthatMr.Cuomowillmakeinthecomingyear,onissuesincludinginsuranceandbankingregulationsandrentcontrol.”
13

CSNYhasreportedlyraisedmorethan$10millioninundisclosedcontributionstoprovideexplicitsupportoftheGovernor’sbudgetproposals
OnJanuary7,2011,theNewYorkTimesreportedthattheCommitteehad,“alreadychangeditsnameonceduringitstwo-monthexistenceandoneprominentboardmember,RichardD.Parsons,thechairmanofCitigroup,hasalreadyresigned.”TheJanuary7reportcontinued:
9
“CuomoGainsanAllyforaLoomingFightWiththePublic-EmployeeUnions.”CharlesV.Bagli.December9,2010.NewYorkTimes.www.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/nyregion/10unions.html
10
“GroupTakesOnAlbanyWithCuomo’sBlessing”NicholasConfessoreandThomasKaplan.NewYorkTimes.January17,2011.www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/nyregion/18cuomo.html
11
“GroupTakesOnAlbanyWithCuomo’sBlessing”NicholasConfessoreandThomasKaplan.NewYorkTimes.January17,2011.www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/nyregion/18cuomo.html
12
“Businessleadersfilla$10Mwarchest.”DanielMassey.Crain’sNewYork.January09,2011.www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20110109/FREE/301099968/1072#
 
13
“GroupTakesOnAlbanyWithCuomo’sBlessing”NicholasConfessoreandThomasKaplan.NewYorkTimes.January17,2011.www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/nyregion/18cuomo.html

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