New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could lose crucial financial backing as he faces an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations from two former aides. Fundraisers and donors told CNBC they are pausing and reevaluating their support of Cuomo,
Published: 2021-03-01 04:52 pm
Cuomo backers pause fundraising amid sexual harassment claims: report
nypost.com

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could lose crucial financial backing as he faces an independent investigation into sexual harassment allegations from two former aides.

Fundraisers and donors told CNBC they are pausing and reevaluating their support of Cuomo, who has said he will be seeking a fourth term when he’s up for reelection next year.

“No one is giving to him now. Everything is on hold,” one finance executive told the outlet.

The powerful Democrat’s campaign has raised more than $4 million since July, and started 2021 with a war chest of $16 million.

But several Wall Street executives close to Cuomo donors and bundlers told the network that efforts to raise funds have either halted or are being rethought amid the allegations.

“They’re in a wait-and-see mode, meaning not writing a check now but also not willing to completely cut him off yet,” one person told the outlet.

“f this blows over, they don’t want to have gotten on the wrong side of the governor,” the source added.

New York businessman Bernard Schwartz, who has given $70,000 to Cuomo’s campaign since 2019, said the governor may not deserve another term.

“Unless he comes forward and faces it completely and openly and honestly, he doesn’t deserve a fourth term, even though I like him immensely,” Schwartz told CNBC.

“I think people who like him and have been with him for a long time are scratching their heads asking, how did he put himself in that position,” he added.

But billionaire business mogul John Catsimatidis, who gave $10,000 to Cuomo’s campaign in 2018, told The Post he isn’t bailing on the gov just yet.

“Cuomo has explaining to do but we should give him a chance to prove his innocence,” Catsimatidis said.

“The people I talk to [say] there is a higher chance of Cuomo surviving this than not.”

Still, the Cuomo campaign likely won’t be asking for donations until the dust settles, said Kathry Wylde, CEO of the Partnership for New York City, which reps many of the Big Apple’s donor-rich financial services firms and business moguls.

“I doubt contributors have had an opportunity to digest the situation,” Wylde told The Post.

“But it would be surprising if the governor is soliciting campaign donations until the investigation of the sexual harassment accusations is completed.”

Meanwhile, corporations who backed Cuomo in 2018 — including AT&T, Comcast, Citigroup, JP Morgan and Bank of America — likely won’t push back on him right away, insiders said.

“Many of these corporations are located in New York and have interests in New York and they will likely stand with the governor because it’s in their interests to do so,” Democratic political strategist Hank Sheinkopf told CNBC.

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