How’s this for pay-to-play politics?
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a political scion and erstwhile contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination, is fighting for his political future as simmering public outrage over the NYC subway has bolstered a celebrity primary challenger who is attacking Cuomo from the left. And in the latest revelation about corruption – or at least the appearance of corruption – in Albany, the New York Post has published a story about how Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss donated a total of $130,000 to Cuomo’s reelection campaign weeks before New York State issued their firm, the Gemini Trust Company, a license to trade bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
And no, the money wasn’t donated via bitcoin.
Gemini, the Winklevii’s firm, was the “first qualified custodian and exchange” to offer trading of the “emerging digital currency Zcash in New York,” officials said in a May 14 press release.
They gave Cuomo’s campaign $50,000 each on April 24, 2018, three weeks before the state Department of Financial Services licensed the Winklevosses’ firm, Gemini Trust Company, to trade bitcoin and other emerging currencies in the state.
Then, five weeks later, the twins each cut Cuomo’s campaign another check for $15,000 on June 20 – for $30,000 total.
And those donations weren’t the sum total of the twins’ support for the governor. The twins were named to the hosting committee for a July 14 fundraiser for Cuomo at the Surf Lodge in Montauk, a popular Hamptons hangout for celebrities where both Tiffany Trump and Malia Obama have been spotted this summer. The minimum donation to be named to the committee was $1,000.
The NYP published its story shortly before a Manhattan federal jury found former New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos and his son Adam Skelos guilty on eight counts of corruption in a long-anticipated retrial.