Last week, it was reported that Gov. Cuomo appointed former State Senator James Alesi (R-Monroe County) to serve on the state’s Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.  Alesi, who did not run for re-election in 2010, was one of four Republican senators to support same-sex marriage in 2011, which is one of Cuomo’s major accomplishments during his first term in office.


Alesi will make $90,800 annually on top of his pension, which totals $35,231, for a term running through November 2017. The five-member appeal board decides disputes on unemployment payments.


Same-sex marriage opponents called the appointment “payback” for the Senator’s 2011 vote.


In a statement, a Cuomo Administration spokesman rejected this contention, saying:


“As a longtime small business owner and the former chairman of the Senate Economic Development and Commerce Committee, former Senator Alesi is eminently qualified for this position.  He brings a real-world perspective and serious policy experience to the job.”