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Cuomo spending more than $400,000 a day on campaign

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo spent at a blistering average pace of $412,000 a day over the past three weeks on a re-election contest he insists he is not at all worried about losing.

The governor’s campaign, which has raised $45 million over the past four years, is down to $15.8 million after spending $8.6 million so far this month, records filed Friday with the state elections board show.

Cuomo is still far ahead of Republican Rob Astorino in the overall money race; Astorino’s report showed he has just over $1 million on hand heading into the final 10 days of the campaign.

The governor’s filing shows some interesting notations. There is a $2,000 payment received from HarperCollins for access by the publisher to email addresses of supporters maintained by the Cuomo campaign.

HarperCollins has published Cuomo’s new memoir and last week said it paid “market” price for the email addresses to try to get Cuomo political supporters to buy the book. The payment was dated Oct. 24.

The governor also received $95,000 in what are called “in-kind’’ donations. In this case, they all carried the notation of “travel” as the official description. Such in-kind donations is where Cuomo often lists companies or individuals who supply him with access to their private jets that take him on political trips.

Of that amount, $76,000 came from two South Carolina-based companies with the same Greenville address. According to South Carolina and company records, they are connected to Manhattan-based Island Capital Group. That firm is run by Andrew Farkas, Cuomo’s old friend who once employed Cuomo in his real estate business and paid him more than $2 million over a period of a few years before he became state attorney general in 2006.

The $76,000 in-kind donations from the two South Carolina firms came the day before and the day of Cuomo’s recent Caribbean trip designed to help him make in-roads with Dominican and Puerto Rican voters back home in New York.

A campaign spokesman for Cuomo did not return an email seeking comment.

The new filings showed Cuomo raised $718,000 over the past three weeks. Astorino reported raising $682,000 during the same period, with expenses of $954,000 and $1 million left in the bank.

Both campaigns are spending most of their money on television ads. A poll released this week showed Cuomo’s lead over Astorino going from 29 points in Sept. to 21 points this month.

email: tprecious@buffnews.com