After snubs, Cuomo team rakes in big donations from gambling, developers and two unions

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Local public school teacher unions, anti-frackers and other Local public school teacher unions, anti-frackers and other activists protested outside a Democratic spring dinner at Villa Lombardi's in Holbrook on Tuesday, April 28, 2014, where Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo was scheduled to speak. Photo Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

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After not receiving endorsements from some important unions, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and his running mate have received big donations from private-sector unions, gambling interests and developers in the last few days, records show.

The Communications Workers of America gave Cuomo $35,000 on Friday, according to records filed with the state Board of Elections. Two days earlier, CWA contributed $19,500 to Kathy Hochul, the former Buffalo congresswoman Cuomo has picked to run for lieutenant governor. Also, the union of operating engineers gave another $19,700 to Hochul.

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Business interests gave Cuomo and Hochul about $150,000. With less than two weeks to go until the Sept. 9 Democratic primary, candidates must report any contributions their campaigns receive within 24 hours of receiving them.

The contributions came just after some unions declined to support Cuomo’s re-election bid while one endorsed Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law professor who is challenging the governor in the primary. Republicans are backing Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino.

The AFL-CIO, with 2.5 million members, decided not to endorse anyone for governor, even though it backed Cuomo in 2010. New York State United Teachers and the Civil Service Employees Association also declined to make an endorsement in the race — neither endorsed in 2010. And the Public Employees Federation, which represents white-collar state workers, endorsed Teachout.

At the time, Cuomo said the endorsements were about specific clashes with teachers and state workers and that he would have support from the bulk of the labor movement.

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Unions weren’t the only ones to dump money to the Cuomo-Hochul campaigns this week. Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Delaware North companies, and other members of the Jacobs family, contributed more than $43,000 to Cuomo. Delaware North operates harness racing tracks and video-slots parlors in western New York. Jacobs also owns the Boston Bruins hockey franchise.

Other gambling interests also contributed to Hochul. GTech Corp., a Rhode Island company that makes electronic gaming and lottery systems and that currently holds $875 million in contracts with the state Gaming Commission, gave Hochul $5,000 on Thursday.

The Seneca Nation of Indians, which operates casinos in western New York, also gave her $5,000 that day.

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New Hyde Park developer Leonard Litwin contributed $20,000 to each candidate this week. Litwin, through his Glenwood Management, and an array of limited liability corporations, already has contributed more than $1 million to Cuomo’s campaign, according to the New York Public Interest Research Group.

Hochul is facing Teachout’s running mate, Columbia University professor Tim Wu, who has said Hochul’s voting record in Congress was more in line with Republicans than Democrats.

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