Gov. Cuomo has lost the support of many wealthy contributors as a result of his accelerating embrace of leftist “progressive” politics and US Attorney Preet Bharara’s ongoing Albany corruption probe, The Post has learned.
Cuomo — dropping in the polls, at odds with many of his fellow Democrats and no longer able to bend the state Legislature to his will — is finding it “increasingly hard, much more difficult, to raise money,” one of Cuomo’s biggest fund-raisers told The Post.
“A lot of people who were big contributors are worried by his policies,” the well-known fund-raiser continued. “He’s not been doing anything for them, he doesn’t seem to care about their interests anymore, and, as a result, it’s hard to raise money for him.”
Bharara’s corruption probe, which led to the indictment of two legislative leaders this year, has also “seriously impacted” the governor’s fund-raising ability by making potential contributors with issues before Cuomo’s office wary that they could be accused of seeking a quid pro quo, the fund-raiser said.
Solicitors working for Cuomo’s campaign committee, responding to the Bharara probe, have also apparently put the brakes on what had once been “a frantic, high-pressure” effort to raise funds for the governor.
“It used to be horrible, the Cuomo people were always pushing, pushing, pushing for money, more money, like crazy men,” said the fund-raiser. “But now they’ve backed off and I think that has a lot to do with Bharara’s investigation.”
Cuomo, under intense pressure from Democratic “progressives” like Mayor de Blasio, has moved sharply to the left on a number of issues including a minimum-wage hike, expanded union and women’s rights, gun control, and the environment.
Cuomo hasn’t in the past had any difficulty raising huge amounts of campaign cash: He took in over $45 million for his reelection last year and entered 2015 with nearly $9 million still in the bank.
Last week Cuomo skipped his own $2,500-a-person fund-raiser at the Plaza Hotel because of the stalled legislative session, but it went ahead without him.
How much money Cuomo has raised this year won’t be known until July 15 when he must file an updated report with the state Board of Elections.
Cuomo, who has dabbled with several foreign-policy issues during recent trips to Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Israel, may be about to get much more deeply involved.
A source with strong ties to Israeli leaders told The Post that Cuomo is preparing to split with President Obama if Obama reaches a nuclear-weapons deal with Iran at the end of the month.
“Cuomo has informed some top Jewish leaders that he’s going to oppose Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, if there is one,” the source said.
A break by Cuomo with Obama over Iran could boost the governor’s standing with traditionally Democratic Jewish voters who, recent Siena College polls show, are increasingly opposed to Obama’s policies.