Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center...

Governor Andrew Cuomo at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany. (Jan. 17, 2012) Credit: J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

A birthday fundraiser headlined by singer Mary J. Blige cost Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's campaign chest more than $150,000 and brought in nearly $1 million, new campaign finance records show.

The Dec. 6 event at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan honoring Cuomo cost more than $150,000 for such things as video production, flowers, stage lighting and tchotchkes for guests, according to the campaign's Jan. 15 filing with the state Board of Elections. Fees for Blige were not listed among the expenses.

Over the next two days the campaign recorded contributions just shy of $1 million, records show. For the whole month of December, Cuomo raked in $2.1 million.

The party was billed as not only a celebration of the governor's 54th birthday, but as a look back on his accomplishments during his first year in office, including the legalization of same-sex marriage and the state's first property-tax cap. Tickets ranged from $100 to $2,500.

Expenditures included:

Great Performances/Artists As Waitresses Inc., a Manhattan party planning and catering service, $10,000.

Frost Productions, a company that specializes in projecting "video decor" on walls and whose clients include Tiffany & Co. and the Museum of Modern Art, $30,849.

Restaurant Associates, a Manhattan-based catering and corporate dining company that has served food for events at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, $70,449.

Contributions followed from donors including:

The national law firm Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman Llp, $100,000.

Zuffa Llc, a Las Vegas company that wants to legalize mixed martial arts in New York State, $10,000

Anthony Della Salla, founder of New York Land Services Inc., a commercial title insurance agency, $45,000

Bill Mahoney, legislative operations and research coordinator at the New York Public Interest Research Group, a watchdog organization, noted that "previous governors have had these big-bucks, high-class fundraisers before. But that coupled with all the other fundraising he [Cuomo] did over the course of the year definitely indicates he's ready to raise more money than he needs just to run for re-election in 2014."

In the 12-month period ended Jan. 15 the Cuomo campaign fund raised $12.4 million and spent $2.2 million and at the end had $14.4 million in the bank, campaign finance records show.

The Cuomo campaign did not respond to calls requesting comment.


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