ALBANY, N.Y. – Democratic candidate for governor Andrew Cuomo is paying a sixth of the advertised rent for his Manhattan headquarters to his political backers in a deal that may violate campaign contribution limits, according to a published report.
The New York Daily News reported in Friday's editions that Cuomo's campaign is paying $5,000 a month for office space that had been advertised at $30,000 a month. The landlords are two of the campaign's biggest contributors, providing just under the legal limit of $45,000 for personal donations.
However, if the break the campaign received on rent was included, the campaign limit would be exceeded.
Cuomo was in western New York Friday to call for greater ethics and responsibility by corporate executives.
"We pay an appropriate amount of rent for the space considering the length of the lease, the proximity to noisy construction, and the fact that we took the space as is and with the understanding that if an other renter wants the space we must vacate," said Cuomo campaign manager Josh Isay.
Isay said that the firm that leased the space to the campaign lowered the rent due to several factors, including a soft real estate market, the campaign's willingness to accept a month-to-month lease and to forego any renovation justified lower rent for the second and third floors of 18 E. 41st St.
The building is owned by RFR Holdings, which is owned by Cuomo backers Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs.