Lawmakers are routinely involved with shady political funding. What's unusual about Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) is that she's allegedly flouting her own rules.
Hochul reportedly received $475,000 in campaign funds from state officials who were appointed by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Breitbart reported. An existing executive order that she reissued on her first day in office expressly prohibits the practice.
Hochul raked in nearly a half-million dollars in donations from some 40 of Cuomo's appointees or their families serving at government agencies and on oversight boards. Hochul was previously the lieutenant governor under Cuomo before he left in disgrace over sexual misconduct allegations.
Some of the donations included $90,000 from trial attorney Joe Belluck, whom Cuomo had appointed to two New York legal panels, and his wife. Hochul also received $56,000 from Don Capoccia, board member for the Battery Park City Authority, in anticipation of her run in the June Democratic gubernatorial primary.
The governor's legal team claims Hochul was exempt from the order because the officials were appointed by Cuomo and not her. However, that's a contradiction considering that Hochul later appointed Belluck to the state's Cannabis Advisory Board in June.
"We've been clear from the beginning of Governor Hochul's term that people who are appointed by her are prevented from donating once they are appointed," Jerrel Harvey, Hochul's campaign spokesman, said. "We have followed that straightforward standard consistently and strictly," he claimed.
The governor's spokeswoman Julie Wood went further in her defense, claiming Hochul more "broadly and strictly" applied these rules than Cuomo. "Governor Hochul holds herself to a higher ethical standard," Wood reportedly claimed.
Rep. Lee Zeldin, who is the Republican nominee for governor, is making hay of the scandal. "We need to end the corrupt Hochul-Cuomo machine once and for all and remove Hochul from office in November," he said.
New York Democrats run roughshod over their constituents and do as they please. At least Cuomo is gone, but it seems his next in line was just as morally bankrupt.