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Cuomo to make over $5M from book deal

Published: (Updated: ) in USA news by .

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was paid $3.12 million by Penguin Random House for his pandemic memoir, "American Crisis," according to tax returns he released on Monday. And he’s due to be paid an additional $2 million by the pub…


ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was paid $3.12 million by Penguin Random House for his pandemic memoir, "American Crisis," according to tax returns he released on Monday. And he’s due to be paid an additional $2 million by the publisher in the coming years.

Cuomo's financial records indicate that after taxes and expenses, his net gain from that initial payment of $3.12 million was $1.54 million. He has since donated $500,000 to the United Way of New York State to help with pandemic “recovery and vaccination efforts.”

The remaining $1 million and change has been placed in a trust for his three daughters. They gave him “the strength and love to make it through the crisis every day,” Cuomo adviser Rich Azzopardi said in a statement.

The book, published last fall, sold about 50,000 copies before the governor found himself mired in controversy earlier this year. The publisher stopped promoting the book and opted to not publish a paperback version.

It’s the biggest payday reported by Cuomo since he became governor in 2011. On top of the money earned for his day job and investment income, he previously made $783,000 spaced over four years for his 2014 book "All Things Possible," which flopped.

It’s also quite likely the largest sum of money from a side gig ever earned by a governor in a state where past chief executives have had names like Rockefeller and Lehman. And it’s also in the ballpark of the total of outside income reported by all 213 state legislators combined in calendar year 2019 — they don’t have to report exact amounts on their disclosure forms, but made somewhere between $3.5 million and $5.8 million.

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Cuomo has previously railed against these side jobs held by legislators.

“No outside income — period. Period,” he said when asked during a 2018 debate about what he would push for in his third term to solve Albany’s corruption problem. “That is the only way you solve the problem.”

But it’s now Cuomo’s outside income that has come under widespread scrutiny. State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli has given Attorney General Tish James the authority to investigate allegations about the book deal, including the possibility that he used taxpayer resources to write it. The book deal is also one of the many subjects being examined by the Assembly’s Judiciary Committee as it decides whether an attempt to impeach Cuomo is warranted, and it seems the Joint Commission on Public Ethics may have taken an interest in investigating it.

In addition to the book money, Cuomo reported about $218,000 in earnings from his day job in 2020. He also reported $428,429 in capital gains, largely from his blind trust with AMG National Trust Bank.

He paid a total of $1.24 million in federal taxes and $303,300 in state taxes.

The figures were quickly condemned by Cuomo’s critics on the right — “At a minimum, he should not be profiting from what was an inappropriate, and possibly criminal, undertaking,” Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt said in a statement — and the left.

"He's been known as 'Governor One Percent' since his first year in office,” Strong Economy for All Coalition’s Michael Kink said in a statement, referring to the nickname Occupy protesters gave him a decade ago. “But now it's official: the Governor who fought against taxing millionaires is himself a millionaire. Wealthy politicians like FDR, JFK and RFK spent lots of time with poor and working people, which drove their dedication to economic fairness — perhaps Cuomo should spend less time with New York's 120 billionaires and more time with the 100,000 New Yorkers who are homeless."

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Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2021/05/17/cuomo-to-make-over-5m-from-book-deal-1382633

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