The good-government group said the committee “is lobbying as defined in state law and must register and report its activities to the Commission on Public Integrity. The Committee is reportedly raising and spending millions of dollars in an effort to advance the governor’s legislative agenda. The Committee’s website allows the public to send an email to legislators, it’s hired a lobbyist and it’s promoting a specific legislative agenda.”
We reported last week how the committee has started running ads to promote Cuomo’s agenda to curb state costs. But Cuomo’s office admitted to the New York Times this morning that Cuomo has consulted with the committee on “relevant issues” and the paper noted how many of the committee’s leaders have close ties to Cuomo.
Cuomo said last week that he encourages people to support the group.
That, NYPIRG says, is reason why the group needs to register as a lobbyist.
“It’s up to the Commission on Public Integrity to determine if the committee has violated the state lobbying law,” NYPIRG’s statement reads. “The Committee to Save NY has a unique relationship with the governor, according to today’s NY Times it is the governor who spurred its creation and he has reportedly helped it build its membership and funding. As a consequence, the governor must urge the Commission on Public Integrity to review the committee’s failure to register and urge the Committee to Save NY to drop its opposition to complying with state law.”
The committee, however, has argued that it has had no direct dealings with Cuomo and doesn’t need to register because it’s a non-profit group—and also doesn’t need to list its donors. On Friday, it listed its board members on its website.