Thugs gotta thug.
What’s the source of Cuomo’s cash machine that allowed him to dominate New York State politics? Intimidation.
Here’s a little insight from one of his big donors via Jimmy Vielkind at the Wall Street Journal.
Jeff Gural, a real-estate developer and casino owner who has previously given $175,000 to Mr. Cuomo’s campaigns, says he is turning his back on the Democratic governor because he doesn’t like the way he conducts business and has felt threatened to donate in the past.
Threatened? How did that work?
Mr. Gural said his worries about the strong-arm tactics of Mr. Cuomo and his staff date to 2011. Back then the governor suggested that REBNY members help fund a nonprofit lobbying group called the Committee to Save New York to support the governor’s agenda, Mr. Gural said.
At the time, Mr. Gural and other racetrack operators were pushing for the legalization of Las Vegas-style casinos, which then only existed in New York on tribal reservations. They formed a trade group called the New York Gaming Association to push their position, and Mr. Cuomo said publicly in August 2011 that he was open to a change in gambling laws.
But legalizing gambling wasn’t on the Committee to Save New York’s initial agenda. Mr. Gural said the racetrack operators were surprised in October when Howard Glaser, a top aide to the governor who had also advised his 2010 campaign, called their new gambling association to solicit a $2 million donation for the committee. The group declined, according to Mr. Gural and other track operators…
On Nov. 4, 2011, each racetrack operator received a letter from state gambling regulators, including the New York State Lottery, informing them that racetrack licenses were “not an ongoing entitlement” and they could be rebid. Former Lottery director Gordon Medenica said Mr. Glaser told him to sign the letter, which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal.
Strictly from the “nice business you have here” school of politics.
Track operators said they felt pressure from gambling regulators’ letter and decided to contribute the money because of it. Records provided by Mr. Gural show members were assessed for their share of the $2 million on Nov. 16; tax records filed by the New York Gaming Association for 2011 show a $2 million contribution to the Committee to Save New York, which disbanded in 2013.
Saving New York from Cuomo seems more challenging.