Republican comptroller candidate Harry Wilson is criticizing a fundraiser by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, for Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
Silver pushed for DiNapoli to succeed disgraced Comptroller Alan Hevesi in January 2007 after Hevesi resigned after he was charged with using aides to chauffeur his wife. And over then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s objections, the Assembly appointed DiNapoli to the post.
Now Silver is hosting a $500 to $5,000 a head fundraiser in Albany on Monday for DiNapoli, which Wilson said is a conflict of interest because DiNapoli has audit power over the Legislature.
“If Mr. DiNapoli does not see this as wrong, the state is in worse shape than so many of us fear,” Wilson said in a statement. “It is unethical for a sitting state comptroller to use a legislative leader, whom he’s supposed to be overseeing, to raise campaign cash. Mr. DiNapoli is supposed to be a watchdog, not a lapdog. He must do the ethical thing and cancel this fundraiser, not rely on Mr. Silver or the other legislative leaders to raise campaign funds.”
There was no immediate comment from DiNapoli’s campaign.
Updated: Here’s the response from DiNapoli’s campaign spokesman Mark Benoit, who knocked Wilson for not making his tax returns public.
“Comptroller DiNapoli has instituted a series of tough reforms, he’s protected taxpayers by identifying hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings and waste through improved and expanded audits, all while increasing transparency in government,” he said.
“DiNapoli meets or exceeds all campaign finance regulations – his integrity is beyond reproach. Harry Wilson’s primary experience in working for an unregulated hedge fund, however, should serve as a warning sign to New York State voters, as should his refusal to release his tax returns. Tom DiNapoli has released his every year he’s been comptroller. We’re still waiting on yours, Mr. Wilson.”
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