Pay no attention to Andrew Cuomo’s big money behind the curtain.
In the thick of a re-election campaign, the governor is trying to have it both ways. He’s intimidating his opponents with a $31 million campaign warchest – but he also wants to look like he’s a man of the people. And what says “grass roots” more than a slew of small donations made by little people?
The governor’s team probably wants us to think more about the little people rather than the Winklevoss Twins. Remember the Winklevoss Twins? They’re the guys who helped create Facebook who aren’t Mark Zuckerberg. They donated $130,000 to Cuomo’s re-election campaign while benefitting from a decision by state regulators in May that allows their firm to deal in cryptocurrencies.
There are, indeed, “small” donations worth flagging – including the 67 times that someone named Christopher Kim decided to donate $1 to Cuomo. Kim happens to live with one of Cuomo’s campaign aides. There are several more ham-handed attempts at inflating the number of governor's small donations -- including the lobbyist father of Cuomo's top aide who ponied up a whopping $10.
In a year of insurgency, it’s understandable that the governor wants to look like he’s the darling of the Bernie-bros. But Cuomo’s actual bro-mance is with Billy Joel, who he’s celebrating this afternoon at Madison Square Garden which is hosting Joel’s 100th monthly concert. But it's not easy mocking your celebrity opponent Cynthia Nixon when you're hanging out with a celebrity.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a middle-aged pol with rich friends. It only looks bad when you're trying to sing a different tune.