Andrew Cuomo to be allowed to continue fundraising

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

This week has seen plenty of headlines involving ex-Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo. They ranged from his bizarrely pre-recorded resignation speech to the way he reportedly abandoned his dog. (A claim he is now vigorously denying.) Given all of the weirdness going on in Albany lately, another strange set of Cuomo headlines probably shouldn’t have shocked me, but there was one I definitely did not see coming. One of the top Democratic data firms has granted Cuomo a platform to continue soliciting campaign donations. Most of the others in that line of work have already dropped him like a hot potato, but for some reason, NGP VAN has given him a thumbs up to keep taking in campaign cash. The question is,.. what would he be campaigning for? (Free Beacon)

A top Democratic National Committee firm is allowing outgoing New York governor Andrew Cuomo to solicit donations, even as party leaders and fundraising platforms have abandoned the scandal-plagued Democrat in the wake of sexual harassment allegations.

Democratic Party data behemoth NGP VAN has given Cuomo a platform to collect donations from supporters through his official campaign website. NGP VAN is a major player in liberal politics, serving as the sole proprietor of the Democratic National Committee’s voter database.


Other major fundraising platforms for liberals such as ActBlue dropped Cuomo weeks ago. (ActBlue dropped him on August 5th.) The linked article provides a laundry list of major party contributors and activists who have all called on NGP VAN to drop Cuomo, but thus far they don’t seem to have had any effect.

What I still want to know is, to what purpose would Cuomo still be soliciting or even accepting campaign donations? He has a number of options as to what to do with any campaign money he has or receives in the future, but people will be watching that like a hawk.

The first and most common option for politicians is to pay off campaign debt. If you lose a race or finish a term, you may have unpaid campaign debts that need to be settled and you’re allowed to solicit campaign donations for that purpose. But as recently as July 15, Andrew Cuomo reported sitting on $18 million in his war chest and wasn’t reporting any debt. It would be surprising if he’d burned through all of that money in barely a month.

Another option would be to stockpile funds for a future campaign, which is also completely legal. Unless and until Cuomo is impeached and barred from future terms, he could still run for Governor again or any other office he’s technically qualified for. He’s never admitted to any guilt and hasn’t been convicted of anything (yet) so the sky is the limit. But after his swan song recording today, his right-hand woman put out a statement saying that he has no interest in running. Of course, there’s a little wiggle room here.

I will just note that DeRosa said he has “no interest in running for office again.” Does she mean this office or any office? And saying he “has no interest” really only parses out as a present-tense statement. It doesn’t mean that he might not redevelop an interest tomorrow, right? But who is going to vote for him for any office with enough stature that he would consider taking it? Remember that he long fancied himself a future president.

If there’s no other legal use for the $18M on the horizon, Cuomo could either transfer it to other political campaigns or return it to the donors, though that’s a very complicated process. Now put yourself in the shoes of other state or federal candidates preparing for their races in 2022. They know how closely every dime of this money is tracked and the level of scrutiny applied to it. Would you want a nice, big, fat check deposited in your account with Andrew Cuomo’s name on it? I’m sure there are plenty of shoestring campaigns that would still take it, but that money is going to come gift-wrapped with a lot of questions from the media.