Republican lawmakers push bill restricting public officials from profiting off books while in office

NY Capitol News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — After it was revealed that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is making more than $5 million off his memoir, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic,” New York State Republicans want to restrict some public officials from writing and profiting off book deals while in office. 

“Did this book deal influence the withholding and the manipulation of data when it came to our nursing home deaths?” said State Senator and bill sponsor George Borrello.

An Assembly Judiciary Committee Impeachment Investigation is looking into whether the Governor used state resources to produce the book, among other issues. The Governor has maintained that any staff who contributed to the book “volunteered.”

Matching legislation in the Assembly and Senate would block statewide elected officials, or officials appointed by the Governor, to sell or receive compensation for writing a book or other published work while in office. 

Republicans say it’s not just about the Governor’s book, but also about reforming ethics and good public policy.

“If they want to write and sell a book, God bless, they can do it, and they can profit from it after their term of public service but not during,” said Assemblyman Kevin Byrne.

While there are not yet any Democrats co-sponsoring the legislation, Assemblyman Byrne says he has had conversations about it with members of the Majority. 

New York GOP Chair Nick Langworthy is also calling for the full “American Crisis” book contract to be released, “so the public can see the full details, including all timelines, benchmarks, and stipulations.”

The Governor received about $3 million last year for the book. Out of his net income of $1,537,508 on it, he donated half-a-million dollars to the United Way. The rest went into a trust for his daughters. He’s supposed to receive another $2 million from it over the next two years. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Coronavirus Videos

Audience sits close at Trump's Mt Rushmore event

Expert: US leaving WHO would be 'gift' to China

Trump: FDA hydroxy warning based on 'phony study'

Kroger to give $130M in ‘Thank You’ pay

Fauci Testifies

Empire State Weekly

Download our news app

App Store Link
Google Play Link

Latest PODCAST episode

More PODCAST: On the Story with Trishna Begam