Report: Hochul raised 2014 funds from Buffalo Billion players

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2014 raised funds from people and companies named in subpoenas issued in a federal probe into the awarding of state money tied to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative and other programs, according to a report from a government watchdog group.

As Cuomo’s running mate, Hochul pulled in more than $35,000 in August 2014 from Todd Howe, members of the Ciminelli family linked with Riverbend contractor LPCiminelli, Norstar Development, Clough Harbor and Associates, and Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, all tied to the state and federal investigation into Cuomo’s economic development programs.

According to filings with the state Board of Elections, the donations came in over the two days following a fundraiser in downtown Buffalo at the offices of the law firm Phillips Lytle LLP, a period in which the campaign took in more than $330,000. Much of the money came from the politically-connected ranks of big law firms and those that have benefitted from the Buffalo Billion and other state economic development efforts, according to the Public Accountability Initiative report.