July 25, 2018 Press Release

What do Trump, the Kochs, and Rupert Murdoch Have in Common? Andrew Cuomo’s Corrupt Government

Cynthia for New York releases video on Cuomo’s personal financial connection to Fox News’ Murdoch

NEW YORK, NY – As the Governor’s corruption scandals continue to grow, Cynthia for New York released a new video today highlighting Governor Andrew Cuomo’s sordid financial relationship with Fox News’ Rupert Murdoch.

Recently, news broke that Cuomo’s former campaign manager and now federal convict, Joe Percoco, illegally made 68 calls on campaign and personal business from his government office (next to the Governor’s), including one call to the publisher of Cuomo’s failed biography. The book was published by HarperCollins, a company owned by Rupert Murdoch. Cuomo made $783,000 or more than $244 per book in his deal with Murdoch, a sum that raised eyebrows especially when it was discovered that the Governor cut several tax deals to benefit Murdoch, both before and after the book deal.

In total Rupert Murdoch and his companies have received $31 million in tax breaks and subsidies from New York state in recent years.

“Coincidentally, America’s most prominent right-wing villains keep deciding that Andrew Cuomo is a wonderful investment for them – whether it be Donald Trump, the Koch Brothers, or now Rupert Murdoch,” said campaign spokeswoman Lauren Hitt. “Turns out there’s a million-dollar sized reasons why they keep donating to him: The bigger the check you cut Andrew Cuomo, the sweeter deal you get from his corrupt government. Thankfully, New Yorkers knows when something smells rotten. The only number smaller than Cuomo’s grassroots donors, is his book sales.”

Cuomo has also taken campaign contributions from Republican billionaire and Trump apologist, Ken Langone – $25,000 as recently as last June.  Langone, the former chair of Republicans for Cuomo, last week refuted the notion that income inequality is at an all time high, saying “’My driver is very happy.”

Murdoch Pays, Cuomo Plays: A History

HEADLINE: How Did NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo Make $783,000 In Royalties From A Book That Sold Only 3,200 Copies? [International Business Times, 4/19/2017]

Murdoch’s Companies “Put Tens Of Thousands Behind Efforts Related To State Legislation From The Executive Branch That Affected The Media Industry, While Paying Cuomo Book Royalties.” According to the International Business Times, ““Government documents reviewed by IBTimes show that News Corp. and its subsidiary Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., through the law firm Greenberg Traurig, put tens of thousands of dollars behind efforts related to state legislation from the executive branch that affected the media industry, while paying Cuomo book royalties.” In 2014, for example, those measures included the Fair Broadcast Employment Act, which would “authorize the use of certain contract provisions for the employment of key employees in the broadcast industry.” News Corp.’s lobbying efforts that year also included an Assembly bill and its State Senate version that required “awarding of costs and attorney fees in frivolous action involving public petition and participation,” which tend to involve reporters, and broadened “application of actions involving public petition and participation.” [International Business Times, 4/19/17]

Murdoch’s News Corporation “Gave Cuomo A Book Contract After Cuomo’s Administration Backed A Series Of State Initiatives That Benefited The Media Giant.” The International Business Times reported, “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo likes to portray himself as a crusader against corruption in Albany…But the Democratic governor’s strong words don’t quite square with his own personal appetite for cash earned outside the confines of his state work. Cuomo has so far raked in more than $188,000 from HarperCollins, a News Corporation subsidiary. That is part of a book deal that could ultimately net him more than $700,000. With Albany’s transactional politics now the subject of a federal probe, the context of thatApril 2013 book deal is particularly significant: An International Business Times review of New York state documents reveals that News Corporation gave Cuomo a book contract after Cuomo’s administration backed a series of state initiatives that benefited the media giant. One of the initiatives was a bill that created a special sales tax break for online-only publications that charge for subscriptions. News Corporation, which was one of the two companies that lobbied for the bill, was at the time investing tens of millions of dollars in such a publication. Another initiative was a special tax exemption that Cuomo’s administration created for electronic books, which are sold by, among others, HarperCollins. State records list News Corporation as lobbying Cuomo’s tax department in the months before the exemption was announced. News Corporation did not respond to IBTimes’ request for comment.” [International Business Times, 4/19/17]

Cuomo Has Refused To Release His Book Contract Even As News Corp. Has Taking In Roughly $31 Million In Tax Breaks And Subsidies From The State.The International Business Times reported, “Cuomo’s office — his calls for transparency notwithstanding — declined IBTimes’ request to release the text of the contract for the book, which has reportedly sold just 3,000 copies…. For years, News Corporation has had substantial public policy interests in New York. According to data compiled by watchdog group Good Jobs First, it has received roughly $31 million in tax breaks and subsidies from New York state and local governments over the last 15 years.” [International Business Times, 2/25/15]