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Billy Joel helps celebrate Governor Cuomo's birthday

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Albany/HV: Billy Joel helps celebrate Governor Cuomo's birthday
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Governor Cuomo celebrated his 56th birthday Tuesday night. As Zack Fink tells us, he's getting a little help from one of New York's signature musical acts.

NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. -- New York's own Billy Joel is the headliner for Governor Cuomo's 56th birthday bash fundraiser.

Actually, the concert was at the Roseland Ballroom. When asked about it Tuesday, the piano man kept it simple.

"Well, he's a friend. I wanted to help him out. It's his birthday," Joel said.

Governor Cuomo was more emotive.

"He's always been there for New York and he is a friend and he is a buddy and I enjoy being with him so it will be good," Cuomo said.

The fundraiser comes just a day after the Cuomo-appointed Moreland Commission issued a 100 page report lambasting the influence of money in New York politics. Advocates seized on the findings as evidence the state should adopt a system of publicly financed campaigns. It's something the governor supported, but failed to get through the legislature.

"I think in the end, the Governor has got to follow through in running for election and coming to office and I'm confident he will," said Lawrence Norden, Brennan Center for Justice.

Cuomo did not sound eager to revive the debate over public financing in Albany again next year. There was even a dissent within the Moreland Commission.

"There was a dissent and there is political division on the question of public finance, that's true. But there are a lot of other elements of the report where there was no dissent and there was no division," Cuomo said.

The Moreland Commission report also concluded that a new, independent enforcement entity be created outside the board of elections to enforce existing campaign finance laws. It also recommended tighter controls on campaign contributions. Governor Cuomo says he doesn't think it's breaking news that the report found money is a corrupting influence in politics, but now it's up to the legislature to craft a bill to address it.

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