In the News: How Andrew Cuomo Raises Money from Political Appointments

••• Now up at the National Museum of the American Indian: “Transformer: Native Art in Light and Sound features […] 10 artists employing a variety of electrified media, including light, digital projection, and innovative sound technology to provide thought-provoking, unforgettable experiences for the digital age. This show runs through the end of 2018.” Pictured: a detail from Kevin McKenzie’s “Father, Son, Holy Ghost.” —Broadsheet

••• There’s an important article in the New York Times about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s sleazy practice of taking donations from people he has appointed to positions. Naturally, it includes a section on the Battery Park City Authority. If you’ve ever wondered why Cuomo has resisted ceding authority over determining who gets on the BPCA board, now you know:

None of the seven board members live [in Battery Park City]; some have a history of large political donations.

Take chairman Dennis Mehiel, for example. He built a fortune in the shipping container industry and was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2002. He donated $92,000 to Mr. Cuomo’s campaigns before being appointed to the authority in June 2012, government records show.

Less than a month after he was confirmed to the job, his wife, Karen, gave $20,000 to the governor’s campaign account. She has given another $105,000 in the years since, while Mr. Mehiel himself has contributed $10,000, and companies associated with him have kicked in another $35,000.

Another board member, Lester Petracca, the president of a construction firm, has given $85,000 to Mr. Cuomo’s campaigns since being confirmed in June 2013, records show. His wife, Tracy, contributed another $105,000.

In all, four men have been on the Battery Park City board at least a year; three have donated personally or through their companies during their tenures.

••• Frenchette’s recipe for lamb-and-ricotta meatballs. —Wall Street Journal

••• Video of a Refinery29 personality being a colorist for a day at Fourteenjay salon.



  1. Andrew Cuomo would demand his due from the devil.

  2. The Cuomo donations story gets worse:

    “After seven years as governor of New York, Andrew M. Cuomo has rewritten the disclaimer language on his campaign website that describes which of his appointees are banned from donating to his campaign, potentially opening the door for more appointees to contribute. […]

    “But government watchdogs said putting the new language on the website was even worse than the reinterpretation itself, because it may make some appointees more likely to donate.


    “The new disclaimer language leaves out appointees to public authorities, which represent some of the most influential bodies in state government, including the New York Thruway Authority, the New York Power Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs the subway, bus and commuter rail system in and around New York City.”

    [And presumably the Battery Park City Authority…]