Hochul Gives Mega-Donor $2/3 Billion Sweetheart Covid Contract
By Nolan Cleary
Governor Kathy Hochul is under fire over a bombshell report that documents an apparent $655 million "pay-to-play" scheme, involving Hochul's "emergency" purchase of 2/3 of a Billion Dollars in Covid test kits - from a mega-donor - while competitors were charging 50% less per kit.
The Report - from the Times Union newspapers - claims that Hochul was involved in helping her donor receive $637 million in state business for over-priced rapid COVID test kits.
Hochul repeatedly extended New York's "state of emergency" long after the end of the pandemic. But extending the State of Emergency gave Hochul the power to award state contracts without competitive bidding - giving her the power to reward - or kick-back - state money to her favorites.
"Hochul has been caught in an abuse of power," stated GOP state Chair Nick Langworthy. "She’s used it to sell the government out the back door.”
The Times-Union report comes as Hochul just ended her "state of emergency" - and with it her COVID-19 emergency powers - only last week.
The decision by Hochul to extend her Emergency powers far longer than other states - combined with reports of favoritism and kick-backs - comes just before the election in November.
Hochul is head-locked in a tight battle against Congressman Lee Zeldin, a Long Island native. While Hochul initially held a substantial polling lead over Zeldin, the race has since narrowed to single digits.
Political observers credit Zeldin's hard work campaigning across New York, together with public disgust at Hochul's pay-to-play corruption, and her extreme public statements telling millions of Republican voters to "get out" of New York - and "catch the next bus to Florida."