Governor Kathy Hochul continues to embrace and extend the worst traditions of her disgraced predecessor Andrew Cuomo.
This week brought news that a Medicaid services company owned by Russ Maxwell and his wife Morgan McDole won eight state contracts worth $403.7 million. And the couple are big donors to Hochul (and Cuomo).
Of course, this sounds like a classic example of pay-to-play, Albany-style: State rules, wildly, don’t prohibit or cap large contributions to the governor from those bidding on state contracts. that his underlings oversee. (New York City caps corporate and contractor donations at $400.)
Notably, Maxwell’s campaign donations were very light until 2012, when he gave $25,000 to Cuomo and quickly saw his company win contracts or have them renewed. Maxwell has given Hochul more than $32,000 since 2018. McDole, more than $52,000 in the past year (plus $20,000 to the state Democratic Party).
This all echoes the horrific story around Hochul’s COVID suspension of “emergency power” of some state purchasing laws, which allowed the state to pay another medical company (whose CEO’s family had donated nearly $300,000 to his campaign) an incredible $637 million to test devices.
This type of ROI is only possible in the Empire State.
Hochul has made a lot of shady moves around campaign money: misattributing corporate donations and possibly speeding up a campaign donor’s liquor license. And don’t forget the fact that her husband just happens to be a senior corporate executive likely to keep the franchise deal at Hochul’s massive Bills Stadium mess.
Not to mention the mad rush for a deal with Penn Station that doesn’t improve the station, but Is serve the mega-development dreams of mega-donor Hochul Steven Roth.
The government’s vow to bring a new era of transparency to Albany has long been in tatters. The only thing that is transparent here is Hochul’s viscous eagerness to please his powerful donors.
New York Post