NY GOP governor hopefuls slam Harry Wilson’s donation to ‘pro-criminal’ Manhattan DA
He hasn’t even officially entered the gubernatorial race, but Republican millionaire Harry Wilson’s past gift to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has come back to haunt him.
Wilson confirmed to the Post on Sunday that he gave Bragg $1,000 on June 21, 2020 — about a year before the Democratic primary election for Manhattan’s top prosecutor — saying they were friends from their time together at the ‘Harvard University.
“I thought he would be a strong prosecutor as a Manhattan prosecutor based on his years as a prosecutor,” Wilson said, referring to Bragg’s career as a Manhattan federal prosecutor and as a Deputy State Attorney General.
State Board of Elections records show contributors named “Harry Wilson” provided three donations of $1,000 each to Democrat Bragg’s campaign. One donation came from the potential GOP gubernatorial candidate’s Scarsdale address, while two others were listed at different Manhattan addresses.
Wilson, chairman and CEO of investment management firm MAEVA Group, said the two Manhattan donations came from another person with the same name.
Bragg’s controversial “Day One” memo issued Jan. 3 ordered his assistant district attorneys to drop prison sentences for many felons and downgrade some felonies to misdemeanors. His leadership has already created a firestorm that has led to an online petition calling for his removal and prompted staff resignations.
Other Republican gubernatorial primary candidates flocked to Wilson’s donation.
“It doesn’t matter if he gave a penny or a million dollars. The donation certainly raises questions about whether the Republican Party wants someone at the top of the gubernatorial ticket who backed a district attorney candidate who was pro-criminal amid a crime wave.” , said former Westchester County manager Rob Astorino.
“Anyone who donated to Bragg should have known he was running on a soft-on-crime platform.”
Long Island Rep. Lee Zeldin, the presumptive GOP leadership nominee for governor, said, “I will never turn my back on our law enforcement officers and the New Yorkers they have sworn to protect.
“My support in the Manhattan District Attorney’s race was entirely behind [Republican] Tom Kenniff and it’s unfortunate that Bragg is now in power, refusing to prosecute many crimes across the board and demoting many others.
“As governor, I would remove the Manhattan District Attorney for his failure to enforce the law. I fully support the repeal of cashless bail, the enactment of a law enforcement bill of rights, keeping criminals in jail in their place, and much more.
Andrew Giuliani, the third GOP candidate for governor, has urged New Yorkers to support his Change.org petition in an attempt to oust Bragg. Over 9,000 people have signed the petition.
Wilson ripped off his support for Bragg after reading about the new DA’s progressive policies.
“I was incredibly disappointed with his memo. I’m one hundred percent opposed to any district attorney who won’t prosecute crimes,” Wilson said.
“Governor. Hochul must take action to stop his policy or remove Bragg.
Hochul, meanwhile, has been criticized for trying to sidestep the Bragg controversy.
News of Wilson’s contribution to Bragg circulated after The Post reported last week that the businessman was strongly considering entering the gubernatorial race.
Wilson, sources said, interviewed campaign consultants and political operatives to help run his campaign. Among those contacted was Battleground Strategies, which helped lead successful campaigns to elect Republicans Larry Hogan Governor of Maryland and Jim Douglas to the State House of Vermont.
Wilson is known as an expert on corporate restructurings and turnarounds and served on former Democratic President Barack Obama’s auto restructuring task force after the 2008 recession. The task force was responsible for reviving General Motors and Chrysler.
The son of Greek immigrants, Wilson narrowly lost the 2010 race for state comptroller to Democrat Tom DiNapoli.