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Democrats question Astorino work for radio firm

July 11, 2014
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Democrats criticized Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino on Friday over work he does for a national radio conglomerate, saying that it may violate ethics rules in Westchester County, where Astorino is county executive.

Astorino makes about $30,000 a year advising Townsquare Media on station programming. Astorino is a former radio producer who was elected county executive in 2009.

Mike Morey, spokesman for an anti-Astorino group organized by Westchester Democrats, said the county charter requires the executive to be a full-time staffer.

Astorino said he cleared the contract with the county attorney three years ago and has always reported the job on his annual financial disclosure forms. He said he does the work in his spare time and that it doesn't interfere with his county job.

Townsquare Media owns more than 300 radio stations, including more than 35 in New York.

"I basically look at the AM or talk-radio stations — the formats, the programming — which is what I've done my whole life," he said of the work he does for Townsquare. "And so I'll give them advice when they're looking at buying a station in a market."

A spokeswoman for Astorino says the candidate is not involved in the news departments or editorial decisions at any of Townsquare's stations.

The original copy of Astorino's disclosure obtained by Democrats listed Townsquare Media but not the amount Astorino made from the side job. Copies released subsequently listed the range of the amount. Astorino said he's not sure why the original version was redacted.

Astorino faces Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the fall election.


Fitzgerald reported from White Plains.



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