Even though he was just re-elected last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo is already back to fundraising. Donors to his 2018 re-election campaign are paying top dollar to see the critically acclaimed musical "Hamilton." Zack Fink filed the following report.
With donors paying up to $25,000 per ticket, campaign contributors to Andrew Cuomo 2018 were treated to an exclusive performance of the hit musical "Hamilton."
"It's kind of a different approach. We try to make politics a little different, a little fun," Cuomo said. "This is a great play. It's very hard to get to see, but I would encourage everyone to see it. Especially now. We're in a presidential year."
This is the second fundraiser Cuomo held this week. The governor hosted donors Monday night at Citi Field during the Mets game. Next month, the Cuomo is holding a fundraiser for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, rumored to be interested in challenging Mayor Bill de Blasio in 2017.
The Cuomo campaign would not say how much money they raised at the performance of "Hamilton."
"Leave it to the governor to come up with something innovative," said Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Frank Seddio. "Hopefully, he's doing as well for the state. I'd like to think he has."
Outside the theater, the governor was met by environmentalists who are protesting a proposed natural gas port.
"We don't want Port Ambrose, which is a really dangerous liquefied natural gas port that's being proposed just 19 miles south of Jones Beach," said Jessika Roff of Catskill Mountainkeeper.
Critics say the bigger story is that Cuomo continues to raise reams of campaign cash, even though he just got re-elected last year.
"Well, it's ironic, because Alexander Hamilton would be grossed out," said John Kaehny of Reinvent Albany. "New York's just awash in conflict of interest, in legal bribery, pay to play. We have people doing big money business with New York State."
This was an unprecedented year for corruption in Albany that saw the leaders in both houses get arrested and charged with corruption. The separate trials of former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos are scheduled to begin next month.