New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has accepted more than $400,000 from appointees on executive boards across the state, despite a New York law that prohibits transactions that have the appearance of rewarding campaign contributors with jobs or prominent leadership positions, according to a New York Times report.
The $400,000 in donations might be significant as a standalone number; but according to the Times' data analysis, it represents just a "small portion" — approximately 11.4% — of Hochul's reelection campaign war chest.
Hochul, a Democrat, has reportedly raised more than $35 million; and she's on her way to making the 2022 gubernatorial race the most expensive in state history.
The New York Post reports that Republican challenger Lee Zeldin has accumulated more than $13 million.
According to the Times, Hochul's campaign says the contributions were appropriate to accept, since the board donors were appointed by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who resigned from his post in August 2021.
The campaign claims accentuate a supposed loophole in the election-law system, writes the Times, in terms of the candidate honoring a previous governor's board commitments, while also accepting future donations from the same board members.
The Times reports that, in some cases, Hochul's campaign team accepted donations from Cuomo appointees, who were eventually given new appointments from Hochul.
"We've been clear from the beginning of Gov. Hochul's term that people who are appointed by her are prevented from donating once they are appointed," said Jerrel Harvey, a Hochul campaign spokesman. "We have followed that straightforward standard consistently and strictly."
Some legal experts might disagree with Harvey's assessment of Hochul's fundraising ethics.
"It's a silly argument to say if I appointed you then you can't contribute to me, but if my predecessor appointed you, then I can hit you up for donations," said Bruce Green, a professor at Fordham University Law School and a former member of the New York City Conflicts of Interest Board. "Going forward, presumably, they’re both going to want to be reappointed."
Hochul has endured similar allegations of showing preferential treatment to individuals or companies connected to the state, according to the New York Post.
One rapid testing company received $637 million in no-bid business from the state Department of Health, citing the Post's reporting, after one of the owners donated to Hochul's campaign.
Another company that had given approximately $300,000 to Hochul and Cuomo cumulatively secured more than $403 million in transportation contracts with various state entities, according to the Post.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.