New York Governor Kathy Hochul faces criticism after latest ‘pay-to-play’ deal with campaign donor
Political observers from all parties question another example of apparent “pay to play” behavior involving campaign funds raised by Gov. Kathy Hochul before the Nov. 8 election — this time involving $52,600 in donations tied to a company getting millions in the state’s Medicaid business.
“There’s the appearance of a conflict of interest — even though there isn’t,” Blair Horner, executive director of government watchdog New York Public Interest, told The Post on Monday. Research Group Executive.
Records show that Medical Answering Services, which handles the transportation of Medicaid patients on behalf of the state, donated more than $300,000 to the campaigns of Hochul and the disgraced ex-governor. Andrew Cuomo, whom Hochul replaced last August.
The governor has since come under controversy for amassing a huge war chest with the help of campaign donors connected to people with a wide variety of activities prior to his administration.
And even some Democrats are worried.
“It hurts my stomach,” Assembly Emily Gallagher (D-Brooklyn) tweeted Sunday night alongside a green face emoji.
“I support his candidacy for governor. But I wish this kind of thing, which REALLY LOOKS like pay-to-play, didn’t happen. Gallagher added.
Criticism intensified in July following revelations about how a family linked to a rapid-testing company secured $637 million in untendered business from the state Department of Health while contributing approximately $300,000 to his campaign.
“Had to double check that it wasn’t last week’s story about a Hochul contributor getting a huge, cherished state contract. Governors may change, but pay to play only goes up,” Howie Hawkins , former Green Party candidate for governor, tweeted Sunday.
Hochul raised more than $34 million during his campaign against Republican candidate Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Suffolk). The outgoing governor had $11.7 million to spend, compared to Zeldin’s $1.6 million in mid-July, according to state records.
That money includes $69,700 each from rival real estate mogul Steven Roth and Stephen Ross amid respective pushes for state support for the redevelopment of the Penn Station area and the installation of a casino in Hudson. Yards.
Hochul also raised eyebrows after a politically connected brewery successfully appealed a state denial of a liquor license renewal at a particularly rapid pace.
“We need to end the corruption in Albany. Here’s another big Kathy Hochul donor who ended up with a multimillion-dollar contract for Medicaid transportation,” Michael Henry, the GOP nominee for state attorney general, tweeted Sunday.
The governor and his campaign have denied that campaign donations buy special treatment for his supporters.
“Consistent with Governor Hochul’s commitment to maintaining high ethical standards, campaign contributions do not influence government decisions,” campaign spokesman Jerrel Harvey recently told the Post.
But mounting questions about how Hochul raises funds are giving political opponents a chance to turn his cash advantage into a liability as the GOP seeks its first statewide election victory in two decades.
“We’ve been messaging for a while that you know, she’s a clubhouse politician. And that will only fuel our arguments,” Conservative Party Chairman Gerard Kassar, who backs Zeldin for governor, said Monday.
New York Post