Duffy uses campaign cash on Albany apartment

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Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy has used his campaign account to pay for an upscale apartment in Albany since taking office in January, his newly filed disclosure report shows.

Bob Duffy 2010 has cut monthly checks of $1,902.23 to AG Spanos, the real-estate company of San Diego Chargers owner Alex Spanos. The company owns Alexander at Patroon Creek apartments, a 300-unit complex in uptown Albany opened in 2009.

To be clear: Paying for the apartment with campaign cash is allowed under the state’s campaign finance laws, though good-government advocates have long pushed for greater clarity in those laws.

Josh Vlasto, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said Duffy checked with the state Board of Elections before giving the OK. Vlasto also noted that Duffy has not taken any $165-a-day per diem payments for days he spends in Albany since taking office, saving taxpayers’ money. He issued the following statement:

“The Lieutenant Governor does not take taxpayer funded per diems to
cover the cost of his housing when he is working in Albany, saving New
York taxpayers thousands of dollars. The law clearly states than an
official can use campaign funds for activities related to the holding of
their office. That is clearly the case here. And, upon taking office,
the Lieutenant Governor in fact checked with the Board of Elections and
they confirmed the above.”

H/T to Nick Reisman at Capital Tonight.

Duffy was one of the first to file his six-month campaign finance disclosure form, which is due Friday. His expenditures can be found below:

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