N.Y. Gov. Hochul Dodges Paying for Israel Trip

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul refuses to reveal who paid her to go to Israel during wartime last week on a so-called solidarity mission. Her office says that the state ethics board has not yet cleared her trip.

Between Oct. 18-20, the Democrat Governor and a few staff members and state police visited Israel. They met with government officials as well as families displaced from the conflict.

Hochul has avoided multiple questions about who paid for the trip. Her office has only said that a nonprofit organization had committed to pay the costs. She said that taxpayers funded her state police detail.

“I said that I had to go there.” Hochul responded this week, “Follow all the ethics rules to get me there.” He directed further questions to a spokeswoman.


Hochul’s spokesperson Avi Small stated in an email that “A New York-based non-profit organization working with the Jewish Community has committed to covering the costs of Governor’s visit.” This arrangement is currently being reviewed by the independent Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government to make sure it complies fully with State ethics laws.

He didn’t reply to further messages asking for more information about nonprofit. A spokesperson for the State Commission on Ethics and Lobbying in Government stated that state law prevented them from making any comments.

Hochul justified her trip by stating that she was showing support to the Israelis during the war. New York is home to the largest Jewish population outside of Israel. California Gov. Gavin Newsom visited Israel for one day last week, meeting with those affected by Israel’s war against Hamas. He was on his way to China to take part in a week-long climate change policy tour.

Blair Horner is the executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group. He said that the governor should’ve gotten approval from state ethics officials for the trip to make sure the nonprofit didn’t have any ties with business before the State or other connections which could raise ethical questions.

Horner stated that “the governor should have sought pre-clearance before doing anything, even before the wheels were lifted off the tarmac.”