From the NY Times:
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo defended his decision to participate in a closed-door discussion of infrastructure policy on Friday before an audience of deep-pocketed donors, some of whom paid $50,000 or more to attend, at the same time that his administration is preparing to accelerate billions of dollars of public works projects across New York State.
Neither Mr. Cuomo’s office nor the Democratic Governors Association would allow reporters to attend the panel, which was held in a meeting room at a hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Nor would the association immediately disclose who donated money to gain admittance to the event, which was part of a two-day conference it sponsored.
Over all, the gathering raised about $1 million to help support the election campaigns of Mr. Cuomo’s fellow Democratic governors. The session constituted a relatively standard fund-raiser for the association and groups like it, which can accept unlimited donations.
“I and other governors or elected officials are in rooms with people who do business with government all day long,” Mr. Cuomo said after the discussion.
“It’s this room, it’s every room you walk into,” he added. “There are people who do business with the state, and you have to be aware of that, and that’s why we have ethics laws and codes of conduct, et cetera.”
Mr. Cuomo spoke to reporters who had been restricted to the far end of a hallway where they could not see people entering and leaving. A representative of the association stood sentry.