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Cuomo, Dems spend $2.7 million on TV ads since Moreland controversy broke

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the state Democratic

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the state Democratic Party have spent $2.7 million on television ads and $100,000 on polls since controversy bloomed over a now-shuttered anti-corruption commission. Above, Cuomo speaks during a news conference in Manhattan on June 2, 2014. Credit: Charles Eckert

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the state Democratic Party have spent $2.7 million on television ads and $100,000 on polls since a controversy over a now-shuttered anti-corruption commission erupted.

Cuomo, a Democrat who is up for re-election this fall, has spent a total of $3.2 million in the last 24 days, according to campaign-finance statements filed Friday with the state Board of Elections. The New York State Democratic Committee spent another $1.8 million.

Cuomo's campaign spent more than $1.1 million on TV ads and another $100,000 on polls. Cuomo shifted about $1.6 million from his campaign account to the state Democratic Party, which spent the money on ads, the filings show.

Cuomo's campaign also earmarked $10,000 for the law firm of Elkan Abramowitz, a criminal defense lawyer whom Cuomo hired to represent his office in a federal probe of the Moreland Commission. Records show $1,000 of that is still outstanding.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is has taken over the cases launched by the Cuomo-appointed panel widely referred to as the Moreland Commission. Bharara also is looking into possible interference by the Cuomo administration, and has warned that "attempts to influence" commission members' recollection of the panel's proceedings could constitute witness tampering.

The Cuomo administration has denied that it interfered with the panel's work.

Over the same 24 days, Cuomo raised $601,000. Among the largest contributions was $58,600 from the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters Non-Partisan Political Action Committee.

He has $32.5 million remaining in his campaign account.

Candidates in the Sept. 9 primary had to file 32-day pre-primary reports by Friday. The report for Zephyr Teachout, who is challenging Cuomo in the Democratic Primary, wasn't immediately available.

Cuomo is trying to knock Teachout off the ballot. Cuomo allies say she should be disqualified because she hasn't lived in New York for at least five years before running for governor, as required. The two sides battled in a Brooklyn courtroom Friday; a decision is expected Monday.

The Cuomo campaign has paid $8,074 to Democrat election lawyer Martin Connor, a former state senator, who is handling the governor's legal battle against Teachout.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino, who doesn't face a primary, reported having $2.4 million as of July 15.


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