Cardinal Dolan calls on Cuomo to pass tax credit

(Capital) New York’s top Catholic leader targets Governor Andrew Cuomo in an advertising campaign starting this week in Buffalo as part of a lobbying effort for a tax credit that would incentivize donations to private and public schools.

Echoing the rhetoric of Buffalo clergy at a rally last week in the ad, Cardinal Timothy Dolan blames Cuomo for not including the Education Investment Tax Credit in the state budget in a 30-second TV spot that was obtained by Capital.

“Governor Cuomo had assured us that he would fight for an innovative plan to help these students,” Dolan says in the commercial, flanked by children in private-school uniforms.

“But when the state budget was done, we were left out. Governor Cuomo, we’re glad to hear you say the education tax credit should be passed, that you get it. But now’s the time to get it done.

“Please don’t forget us, governor. Pass that education tax credit, so every child can have a great school,” he continued. “We’re all counting on you.”

Then the children say: “Governor Cuomo, don’t let us down!”

The proposal would allow participants to lower their tax bills by giving money to private or public schools, with private school donations being used for student scholarships.

The ad campaign is being paid for by the Coalition for Opportunity in Education, an coalition that is funded in part by investment bankers who also advocate for charter schools.

A spokesman would not share how much money the group spent on the campaign, which includes television, radio and print ads, other than to describe it as “substantial.” [More]