Campaign Funding In NY Drops, But Senate GOP Gets The Most


Fundraising for state legislative races dropped nearly 10 percent during the past two election cycles as money shifted to independent expenditures and spending on Senate races fell, a report today found.

Total receipts for state legislative campaigns dropped from $117 million during the 2011-12 election cycle to $105 million during the 2009-10 election cycle, the report from the New York Public Interest Research Group said.

In 2010, nearly $82 million was spent on state Senate contests after Democrats won the majority in 2008. Republicans regained control in 2011, and nearly $66 million was spent between 2011 and 2012 on Senate races, the report said.

“This is the first time that they have declined,” said Bill Mahoney, NYPIRG’s research director. “A lot of this is probably due to the nature of the Senate this year compared to what we saw in previous election cycles.”

On Election Day, Democrats won enough seats to retake the majority in the 63-seat Senate. But Republicans forged a bi-partisan coalition with Democrats to retain power.

Money, though, didn’t guarantee success at the polls. Senate Republicans and the committee they control took in $42 million during the election cycle, compared to $19 million for Senate Democrats.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, received the most, nearly $1.8 million. Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-Buffalo, who won a primary and general election this year and was one of four Senate Republicans to support same-sex marriage in 2011, received the second most at $1.6 million.

Senate Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, was fourth at $1.4 million, and the campaign for Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, Putnam County, was sixth at slightly less than $1.4 million.

In the Assembly, Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, received the most at nearly $783,000. Second was Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County, who raised $683,000.

Morelle is considered a top contender to be named this week by Silver as majority leader, the second-highest post in the Assembly.


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