New York Governor Andrew Cuomo would like to tout the fact that the median campaign contribution in his primary race against progressive candidate Cynthia Nixon has been just $150 dollars—the sort of low(ish?) number that implies a groundswell of grassroots support for his candidacy.
However, according to Cuomo’s just-filed campaign finance report, that impressive-seeming number was conspicuously low thanks in part to one Christopher Kim of Long Island City. Less than a week ago, Kim went on a bit of a donation spree. He ultimately gave a total of $77 to team Cuomo, spread out over 69 separate donations (which, incidentally, covered all of page 69 of the filing itself). Nice!
Here are all 69 donations, as disclosed by Cuomo.
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Boy, someone loves this governor!
But it gets weirder. As the New York Times’ Shane Goldmacher first noted on Twitter, Kim’s address is a perfect match for someone named Julia Yang. And who is Julia Yang, you ask? According to her LinkedIn profile, she’s spent the past four months as the “creative director” for, you guessed it, Andrew Cuomo’s gubernatorial campaign. Huh.
I have reached out to the Cuomo campaign and I will update this story if they respond. In an emailed statement to Splinter, Cuomo’s primary challenger, Cynthia Nixon, took aim at what she described as Cuomo’s “astroturfing” attempt:
The pathetic, transparent efforts by the Governor’s staff (and their roommates) to increase his number of small dollar contributions shows just how little public enthusiasm there is for Andrew Cuomo.
In the meantime, despite the questionable small-money median, the Cuomo campaign has raised a whopping $6 million dollars over the past six months, and has a reported $31 million on hand for the race. Way to pitch in, Christopher Kim!
Update, 7/18, 8:48 a.m.: Cuomo campaign spokesperson Abbey Collins responded to my request for comment with the following statement: “We appreciate his enthusiasm. Going forward, we’ll put measures in place to count contributions like this differently.”