GOP calls on Cuomo to release book contract

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A day after Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended a book deal that’s paying him at least $700,000, the state Republican Party is calling on him to release the contract.

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In a statement Thursday, the state GOP needled Cuomo over his deal with HarperCollins, a News Corp.-owned company that published Cuomo’s memoir last year. Cuomo is currently pushing for greater disclosure of outside income earned by state lawmakers, but some in the Legislature say there should be more disclosure in the executive branch, too.

Cuomo’s financial disclosure form for 2013 showed his agreement with his publisher is worth at least $700,000, and the International Business Times raised questions Thursday about his approval of a tax break News Corp. had lobbied for in 2011.

“If Andrew Cuomo is serious about ending corruption in Albany, let him start with transparency in his own office by releasing the full text of his contract with HarperCollins,” state GOP spokesman David Laska said in a statement Thursday. “What does the Governor have to hide?”

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Cuomo questioned how a book deal could lead to a conflict of interest. He said he was unfamiliar with the tax break and that News Corp. had lobbied for it.

“Be real. It’s a book company that is News Corp. You know that company,” Cuomo said. “You know who owns it, and it is a book deal. You come up with some theory that there was a conflict writing a book then we’ll talk about it about that time.”

(AP photo/Mike Groll)

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