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Cuomo's Top Donors Have Deep Pockets

Friday, January 17, 2014

Governor Andrew Cuomo during his election-year State of the State address in January. (Judy Sanders - Office of the Governor/flickr)

A government watchdog organization says 80 percent of Governor Andrew Cuomo's $33.3 million campaign war chest comes from donors who have each given a total of $10,000 or more.

The New York Public Interest Research Group says 242 donors gave the incumbent Democrat $40,000 or more. According to the report, the top four donors gave well over $100,000 each to the governor's re-election campaign.

The largest single donor is real estate developer Leonard Litwin, who donated $800,000 in this election cycle. Litwin, who is nearly 100 years old, is one of New York City's biggest developers. His company, Glenwood Management, lists Barclay Tower and Liberty Plaza among its properties. He was named as one of the United States' billionaires by Forbes magazine.

Also among the top donors are two more real estate developers — The Richman Group INC and Extell Development — contributing $264,000 and $200,000, respectively. Law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP tied for fourth-highest donor with its contribution of $200,000. The firm specializes in antitrust and patent litigation.

Less than 1 percent of funding came from donors who gave less than $1,000.

But speaking on WCNY's Capitol Pressroom, Governor Cuomo said it doesn't matter how much individuals donate.

"Some politicians out there can be bought for $10. And some politicians can't be bought for $10 billion. It's a question of the person. It's a question of character. It's a question of values," Cuomo said. 

Cuomo spokeswoman Melissa DeRosa also said the governor abides by the same campaign rules as everyone else while leading efforts to change them.

NYPIRG ANALYSIS OF GOVERNOR CUOMO’S FUNDRAISING ELECTION CYCLE 2010-2014 by alechamilton

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