Jul 16th - 3:45 pm
The Senate Democrats trumpeted their fundraising numbers with great fanfare yesterday, calling the $3.5 million they have on hand in their two committees (housekeeping and reporting) “historic” and noting it’s more than twice what they had in the bank in July 2008 – four months before they took the majority.
But a closer look at the Senate Dems filing reveals they bulked up their numbers with the help of some last-minute transfers from several members who are known for their fundraising prowess, as well as one lawmaker who is running to join the conference, but isn’t even a member yet.
On July 12 – one day after the July 11 cutoff date – Sen. Dan Squadron, one of the majority’s newer members, transferred $35,000 to the reporting committee.
On the same day Sen. Eric Adams sent in $20,000, Conference Leader John Sampson forwarded a whopping $250,000, and Assemblyman Mike Gianaris, who is running unopposed for the Queens seat Sen. George Onorato is vacting, transferred $100,000 into the coffers of the conference he’ll soon be joining.
On July 13, Onorato forwarded $25,000 and Senate Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein, who chairs the DSCC, wired over $100,000.
Jul 16th - 2:36 pm
At the tail end of WABC-TV’s televised AG debate this afternoon, the five Democratic contenders were asked to tell voters something “surprising” about themselves.
Sean Coffey was up first, and he was so surprised by the question that he couldn’t come up with anything and had to be given time to think about it.
Assemblyman Richard Brodsky: “My daughter is a terrific ukulele player.”
Former state Insurance Superintendent Eric Dinallo: “I was a severe stutterer as a child. I’m still a stutterer as an adult. All the public speaking you see I’ve had to overcome that. It’s been an important part of my public service.”
Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice: “I’ve run two marathons.”
Sen. Eric Schneiderman: “I’m the national co-chair of Legislators Against Illegal Guns and have worked hard fighting the NRA, but I love to shoot.” (Do you own a gun?) “No. But I was a deputy sheriff. I’ve shot over the years.”
Coffey (second try): “Perhaps reflective of my preparation for today, I’ve undergone training to resist enhanced interrogation techniques.”
(For the record, none of the AG contenders own a gun…that was a follow up in light of Schneiderman’s answer).
Jul 16th - 2:15 pm
The campaign manager of GOP gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino, who just yesterday filed enough signatures to force a primary with the party’s designee, Rick Lazio, released a statement slamming the former congressman’s latest fundraising numbers.
“Leave it to Rick Lazio to cut a mountainous convention bump down to a molehill. It’s a real accomplishment: Not many candidates can come roaring out of winning a convention and fall so flat so fast,” Michael Caputo said.
“Forty-five days after the stacked GOP confab, Rick is down five points in the polls with fundraising is so anemic he had to kick in his own TARP bonus to stem panic in his ranks.”
“Rick Lazio’s embarrassing finance report is another boldface reminder that he can’t win.”
Caputo went on to invite Republicans who have been “disappointed yet again” by Lazio to sign up to support Paladino on his campaign Website.
Paladino has reported spending $1.7 million, $1.65 million of which is his own money. He has said he will spend as much as $10 million on his gubernatorial bid.
Jul 16th - 1:51 pm
Senate Majority Leader Pedro Espada Jr. told me during a “Capital Tonight” interview Monday that he had raised more than $100,000 over the past six months.
As it turns out, he’s a little off….about $20,000, to be exact.
Espada should get props for actually filing his July 15 report on time, which is something he struggled with even back in his NYC Council days.
He started with fundraising period with a balance of $252,478, raised $81,775, spent $11,350 and now has $322,903 on hand.
His biggest donor? G. Steve Pigeon, who gave $7,500 ($2,500 in March and $5,000 in June). Lobbyist Brian Meara gave Espada $1,000. The NYC Beer Wholesalers gave him $5,000. Ditto Manhattan Beer.
Jul 16th - 1:42 pm
A reader who is in the Cuomo universe forwarded me the following e-mail that was sent to Capital Region supporters of the Democratic gubernatorial designee, who will be traveling through the area this weekend on his 11-day upstate tour.
Cuomo started in the Hudson Valley yesterday and has no public events today. His campaign has been acting on a need-to-know basis with reporters, releasing information on the AG’s whereabouts on the morning of his scheduled appearances. Thankfully, volunteers are getting more details.
Jul 16th - 1:15 pm
On the heels of Gov. David Paterson’s signing this morning of a bill that bans the NYPD from maintaining information gleaned from stop-and-frisks that turn up no illegal activity, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky is accusing his AG rival, Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice, to cease similar efforts employed by her office.
Brodsky says Rice runs “electronic” stop-and-frisk programs that he described as follows:
“(I)nnocent drivers passing through certain neighborhoods had pictures taken of the cars, which were then processed through a License Plate recognition System (LPRS). LPRS will reveal the name and address of the cars owner.”
“After sorting the photo date DA Rice had a letter sent to all car owners who did not live in the immediate vicinity indicating the ‘the police department’s knowledge of their automobile’s presence in the area.’, according to Rice.”
“The cars were not engaged in any other activity other than lawfully driving on public streets, and were not engaged in or suspected of any criminal or inappropriate activity. It is believed that the police records are still in existence.”
Jul 16th - 12:43 pm
No wonder his numbers are so eye-poppingly huge.
Combing through AG Andrew Cuomo’s July 15 campaign finance filing, it’s impossible not to notice how many fundraisers he has working for him.
I count nine different firms/people listed under the category “fundr” in the Democratic gubernatorial designee’s filing.
Topping the list is Berger Strategies Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based firm that Cuomo paid $111,000 since January and appears to have on retainer for $19,500 a month.
Next up is JB Consulting, which Cuomo paid $87,500. He also has Cathy Blaney & Associates, which has been bumped up from $5,000 to $8,000 a month.
Cindy Darrison’s firm was getting $10,000 a month, but she is no longer working for the Cuomo camapign as of April.
The bulk of Cuomo’s fundraising expenditures went to pay for the locations where events were held. The biggest: The Sheraton ($169,557), which was the site of his big birthday bash at which Jon Bon Jovi was the the big draw.
(The event was held in December 2009, but the bill didn’t get paid until the very beginning of this filing period, apparently).
Jul 16th - 12:11 pm
Gov. David Paterson spent $2.54 million over the past six months, much of which went to cover the cost of his high-priced attorney and hire the same PR firm retained by his predecessor, ex-Gov. Eliot Spitzer, in the wake of the prostitution scandal that forced him to resign.
Paterson sent $700,000 worth of his campaign cash to the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, home to Theodore Wells Jr., who has been representing the governor in the twin ethics probes AG Andrew Cuomo handed over to former Chief Judge Judith Kaye.
The governor also spent $166,720 on Sard Verbinnen & Co., the crisis PR firm Spitzer hired to handle the media maelstrom that followed his admission that he had patronized high-priced call girls and resignation from office in March 2008 – a move that elevated Paterson to his current post.
Paterson raised $100,123 over the past six months, but has taken in nothing since the end February, when he announced that he would not be running this fall.
NYPIRG’s Bill Mahoney reminds us that in the days leading up to his announcement that he would take a pass on the race, Paterson claimed to have raised $1.5 million in a single month.
That decision came in the wake of news reports that he had allegedly interfered in the domestic violence case of his suspended aide, David Johnson, and a Public Integrity Commission report that found he had lied while obtaining Yankees World Series ticket.
Paterson started the six-month period with $3 million on hand, he ended it with $615,967 in the bank. He returned $637,900 worth of campaign contributions.
That’s slightly more than the $620,000 I reported back on Feb. 1 that he had available to spend on a primary battle against Cuomo, who then had $16.1 million on hand – about $12 million of which was primary cash.
Jul 16th - 11:36 am
GOP gubernatorial designee Rick Lazio’s spending outpaced his fundraising over the past six months, and he loaned $200,000 to his campaign to help keep it afloat.
Lazio’s July 15 campaign finance report, which just appeared on-line at the state Board of Elections Website, reveals the former Long Island congressman started the six-month period with a balance of $637,356 and raised $1,464,164.
He spent $1,615,936 since mid-January and has just $688,821 on hand – a mere fraction of the $23.6 million the Democratic gubernatorial designee, AG Andrew Cuomo, has in the bank.
Lazio campaign spokesman Barney Keller said the campaign has raised a total of $3 million since the election cycle started, 90 percent of which came over the past six weeks – in other words, since the convention at which Lazio succesfully blocked Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy from getting on the GOP ballot and clinched the party’s nod.
However, since Carl Paladino filed some 28,000 signatures yesterday, it appears a near certainty that Lazio will have to fight the Buffalo businessman for the GOP line in a September primary.
Paladino has already spent $1.6 million of his own cash on his campaign and insists he’s still willing to drop up to $10 million on the race. He also plans to be on the November general election ballot via an independent “Taxpayers” line he will create through a second petition drive.
UPDATED: Lazio’s burn rate is so enormous largely because of the amount he’s dropping on consultants and staff. He’s paying his campaign manager Kevin Fullington about $20,500 a month, and he dropped more than $228,000 into Arthur Finkelstein’s bank account.
Jul 16th - 10:28 am
Two can play at that game.
State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s campaign has dubbed his GOP/Conservative opponent Harry Wilson “hedge fund Harry” in an effort to denigrate his Wall Street experience, which Wilson is trying to cast as a positive attribute – particularly when it comes to managing the state pension fund.
In response, Wilson’s campaign has come up with a nickname of its own for the comptroller: “Albany Tom.”
This is a continuation of an anti-Albany theme that a number of statewide candidates – including Democratic gubernatorial designee Andrew Cuomo, who is no fan of DiNapoli’s – have adopted at a time when New Yorkers’ disgust with the status quo at the Capitol has reached an all-time high.
In a press release that went out this morning, Wilson called DiNapoli a “23-year creature of Albany (who) believes leadership is about issuing press releases, rather than taking action, and clearly doesn’t want to rock the boat.”