On Morning Joe today, embattled financier Steve Rattner said he isn’t sure why Andrew Cuomo is bullying him, and that he was never particularly impressed with the governor-elect.
“I have spent many nights wondering what this is about,” Rattner said of the two civil suits Cuomo has filed against him. “Contrary to what Carl Paladino would have us think, I’m not really close to Andrew Cuomo. I’ve never really been part of his fan club–he’s tried to cultivate my wife and me. You know, we are big–were big–Democratic fundraisers. I never really took to his charms, never thought he was a particularly substantive guy.”
Indeed, according to the state Board of Elections, Rattner never gave to Cuomo’s campaigns; he was more of a Spitzer guy. In 2006, he maxed out to Spitzer’s gubernatorial campaign with two contributions that totaled more than $50,000. In 2002, he gave Spitzer $4,500.
In neither cycle did he contribute to Cuomo’s candidacy, but he didn’t oppose him either. In 2006, he didn’t give to any of the Attorney General contenders. In 2002, he gave $25,000 to George Pataki the day before the election–several weeks after Cuomo had conceded the gubernatorial primary to Carl McCall.
His only anti-Cuomo contribution, if you can call it that, was $10,000 to Governor Paterson’s re-election bid. But that was back in August of 2008, when there were only rumblings of Cuomo for Governor.
But Rattner’s wife, Maureen White, was at least a little charmed by Cuomo.
In 2006–despite being the friend of Cuomo’s ex-wife, Kerry Kennedy–White gave two donations to Cuomo, totaling $7,000.
That donation doesn’t appear to have helped much with her husband’s travails, as Cuomo filed papers last week seeking to bar Rattner from the securities industry.
But husband and wife both appear to have been impressed with the incoming attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, who will take over Rattner’s case in January. Rattner gave him $250 in 1999 and $2,500 in 2007 when he was running for state Senate. And, as several news stories noted last week, White gave $5,000 to Schneiderman back in January, before he had officially announced his candidacy for attorney general.
(Thanks to Jimmy Vielkind for pointing out the video.)