New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appears to have broken the law by using his campaign to help sell his book, according to a complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington with the New York State Board of Elections. Election law expressly prohibits the use of campaign funds for personal use.

In October 2020, Cuomo released a book about his experiences as governor during the COVID-19 crisis. Cuomo for New York, his authorized campaign committee, repeatedly promoted sales of the book on social media and in emails sent to supporters.

“The law is clear that you cannot spend campaign funds for your own personal benefit,” said CREW President Noah Bookbinder. “Because the money spent on book promotions appears to have been for the exclusive personal benefit of Governor Cuomo, he needs to be investigated.”

There is no question that the campaign promoted the book. An email blast from the campaign about the book directed supporters to an Amazon page to order it. The bottom of the email clearly states it was “Paid for by Andrew Cuomo for New York, Inc.”

“The law only works when it applies to everyone, regardless of power or party,” said Bookbinder. “Governor Cuomo has operated in several spheres as though rules don’t apply to him. This appears to be another example, and it’s one that must be investigated.”

Photo by Shinya Suzuki under a Creative Commons license.

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