From the NY Times:
Jennifer Cunningham is one of this city’s most prominent lobbyists, best known for her advocacy on behalf of 1199/S.E.I.U. United Healthcare Workers East, arguably Albany’s most powerful special interest.
At the same time, she is among the closest political advisers to the man Democrats hope will be their next governor: Andrew M. Cuomo.
Mr. Cuomo’s promise to clean up Albany’s ethical swamp has helped him rejuvenate his political career, and will undoubtedly be a theme in his campaign for governor.
But the role of Ms. Cunningham, who has advised Mr. Cuomo on everything from when to enter the race to whom to hire for his campaign staff, is likely to draw new scrutiny as he nears an official announcement of his candidacy for governor next month and reflects the often symbiotic relationships between politicians and lobbyists in Albany.
Mr. Cuomo’s aides and Ms. Cunningham say she keeps her lobbying strictly separate from her advising of Mr. Cuomo, for which she receives no pay. She never lobbied the attorney general’s office after Mr. Cuomo was elected, they said, and never discusses the business of the office with him. Mr. Cuomo has pledged not to hire lobbyists once his formal campaign begins.