Thu May 3, 2012
Governor Cuomo attends high-priced Buffalo fundraiser for campaign warchest
Governor Andrew Cuomo swept into town Wednesday for a few hours and left with hundreds of thousands of dollars for his campaign till, to add to the $14-million he already has in campaign contributions.
Cuomo gathered with supporters at the Hotel Lafayette in downtown Buffalo, but refused to meet with reporters. The Governor arrived quietly through a construction door and left equally quietly through another isolated door.
Those who were inside said there were somewhere between 80 and 100-people in the sweltering room housing the event to hear the Cuomo's pitch for support of his programs.
Tickets for the event garnered $5,000 each.
Dennis Penman, a prominent local developer and executive vice president and principal of Ciminelli Real Estate, was among those in attendance.
"It's always important to know the Governor. Our big push here is for economic development He has put a great focus on Buffalo, and whatever comes through from his billion dollar pledge to this community is going to have a positive effect on business, and we want to let him know we appreciate his support," said Penman.
Many of the visitors mentioned that billion dollars and how much it will mean in local development.
ECC President Jack Quinn and his son, former Assemblyman Jack Quinn III were there.
Quinn senior said the governor has raised support for community colleges and as a former elected official and Washington lobbyist he understands how this all works.
"One of the things the Governor said tonight, unless you can get your message out, you can't run a successful campaign," said Quinn.
The crowd also included lobbyists like former Buffalo Mayor Anthony Masiello.
Earlier in the day, the governor attacked the power of money in Albany and favors lowering contribution limits and setting up a public finance system.
But Masiello said that's fine but it's not the way things are now.
"You have to keep up with your competitors. This is a very expensive business to campaign in," said Masiello.
"Raise the kind of money to get your message across and that is what he is doing."
Others who attended the Cuomo fund raiser included fomrer Erie County Executive Joel Giambra to newly nominated State Power Authority Chairman and First Niagara bank boss John Koelmel.