Considering his lead in the polls, why is Cuomo putting his campaign at risk like this?

Campus Reform reports:

Cuomo recruits public scholarship recipients for campaign ad

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is under fire for obtaining the names of students who received the state’s Excelsior Scholarship and asking them to appear in a political ad.

According to The New York Post, Cuomo’s campaign contacted students who received the Excelsior Scholarship—which offers free tuition at CUNY and SUNY institutions to students with household incomes of $110,000 or below—asking them to appear in an ad supporting Cuomo’s bid for re-election.

The names were reportedly obtained from a registration list to the governor’s 2018 State of the State speech, which included several scholarship recipients.

Nikita Losi, one of the students who was contacted by the campaign, told the publication that he was asked to “appear in some sort of advertisement for Governor Cuomo, to talk about the Excelsior Scholarship and what it means to me and how it impacted my life.”

Obtaining the names of scholarship recipients, however, raised questions about whether the campaign violated federal privacy laws designed to protect personal information of college students.

A Cuomo spokesperson dismissed such concerns, telling the Post that “colleges obtained students’ permission to provide their information to the state if they were interested in attending the State of the State, and therefore, the Federal privacy law is not at issue.”

“The information regarding those invited to the state of the state (including Excelsior students) are public records and can be accessed by any member of the press or the public upon request,” the spokesperson added.