Cuomo Not Attending Bronx Democratic Committee Fundraiser (Updated)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo this evening is scheduled to appear at a dinner fundraiser for the Bronx Democratic Committee, according to an invitation sent out by the party.

Updated: I’m told Cuomo will not be attending the event this evening.

The event is also expected to include AFL-CIO Presdent Mario Cilento and NYC Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association President Norman Seabrook.

The event begins at 7 p.m.

Tickets to the fundraiser range from $300 to platinum sponsors who can contribute or bundle up to $25,000.

The fundraiser is the only public event of the day for Cuomo, who is under fire for his office’s involvement in the now-defunct Moreland Commission on Public Corruption.

Schneiderman Doubles Down On TV Air Time

From today’s Morning Memo:

Democratic AG Eric Schneiderman has reserved a second $1 million block of TV air time for the end of the campaign, locking up the airways early as his GOP opponent, John Cahill, struggles to catch up in the fundraising race and build name recognition.

A source familiar with Schneiderman’s plan says this block – like the first $1 million chunk purchased by his campaign in June – is with broadcast stations in the state’s five major media markets: NYC, Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, and covers the final month of the AG’s race.

Consider this: Schneiderman has now spent more on future TV ads than Cahill has raised to date.

According to the July 15 reports filed with the state Board of Elections, Cahill has raised just over $1 million and has $968,689 on hand. Schneiderman took in $2.6 million over the past six months, and has $6.9 million on hand.

These early ad buys don’t merely give the AG bragging rights and allow him to flout his eight-to-one spending advantage. They also secure him as much as a 20 percent discount.

Cahill, meanwhile, will be forced to buy time at a more expensive rate (unless he acts ASAP), and since Schneiderman has already snapped up the good time slots, the former Pataki administration aide will have to make do with what’s left over.

Though Schneiderman has a major cash advantage – thanks largely to the power of incumbency and his longstanding support among labor unions – the AG is clearly leaving nothing to chance in his first re-election race.

The AG enjoys a wide lead over Cahill, though the race has tightened just a hair, according to this week’s Siena poll. (Cahill, it should be noted, is garnering more support among GOP voters than any other of the party’s statewide contenders).

Also, though a majority – 56 percent – of New Yorkers say they don’t know who Schneiderman is, despite the fact that he has held statewide office for the past four years, more people – 74 percent – don’t know Cahill.

And Schneiderman is determined, clearly, to do everything he can to keep things this way – spendingbig to raise his own name recognition, and perhaps to define Cahill (most likely as too conservative for Democrat-dominated New York) before Cahill can afford to do it himself.

There is still the possibility that Chill will be assisted by big spending by an anti-Schneiderman Super PAC, but that has yet to materialize.

Skelos And Klein Lead In Senate Fundraising

The co-leaders of the state Senate have the lion’s share of the campaign cash, according to an analysis released Thursday by the New York Public Interest Research Group.

The analysis found Senate Republican Leader Dean Skelos has the most cash on hand of any sitting state senator or challenger, with $2.9 million in the bank. He was followed by Independent Democratic Conference Leader Jeff Klein, who has $2 million in cash on hand.

That the two leaders of the Senate over the last two years have the most cash on hand is not a wholly surprising development, given money in Albany often flows to the top of the Legislature.

Combined, Senate Republicans and their various campaign committees have $19.7 million in the bank.

Mainline Democrats have $6.1 million, while the IDC has $4.4 million.

Republicans raised a total of $8.7 million, with Democrats raising $5.9 million. The IDC lawmakers raised a combined $1.8 million

Former Sen. Carl Kruger, jailed for a corruption conviction, has one of the largest campaign filings among Democrats: $412,755.

The Republican and IDC conferences formed a governing coalition in 2012 that allowed the GOP conference to retain some control in the chamber.

But after a coalition of liberal groups, unions and the labor-backed Working Families Party threatened to withhold support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s re-election, the governor pledged to help Democrats retake full control of the Senate.

Cuomo, along with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, would later broker an agreement that will result in a new coalition between the IDC and mainline Democrats.

NYPIRG Senate July 2014 by Nick Reisman

NYPIRG: Cuomo’s Big Dollars Versus Astorino’s Small Dollars

An analysis from the New York Public Interest Research Group on Wednesday shows the bulk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s fundraising this election cycle has come from large-dollar donations.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino has received some big checks himself, but contributions to his campaign are spread out more evenly.

Cuomo on Tuesday reported having $35 million in cash on hand for his re-election campaign.

Astorino, the Westchester County executive, has $2.4 million in the bank.

NYPIRG’s analysis found 317 donors have contributed $40,000 or more to Cuomo’s campaign, approximately 49 percent of his overall fundraising.

Contributions of less than $1,000 — totaling some $369,879 — account for just 14 percent of Cuomo’s overall fundraising.

Cuomo continues to enjoy support from the state’s real-estate industry, including developer Leonard Litwin, whose holdings have given $1 million through limited liability corporations.

Cuomo’s has also received contributions from Republicans, including John Catsimatidis, a GOP candidate for mayor of New York City in 2013, who has given him a combined $89,165.

Astorino, meanwhile, received donations of $40,000 or more from just nine individual donors — accounting for 16 percent of his fundraising.

His major donor includes the RSA PAC/Neighborhood Preservation PAC, which has given him $82,000.

According to NYPIRG’s analysis, when transfers from committees and parties are taken out of the equation, the governor has raised $42.7 million from 5,035 donors. Astorino has $2.6 million from 2,174 donors.

NYPIRG July 2014 Gov Fundraising by Nick Reisman

Gallivan Reacts To Maziarz Retirement; Downplays Questions Over Campaign Funds

Although he was surprised by it, State Senator Pat Gallivan said the public shouldn’t read into the timing of the retirement of fellow Western New York Republican George Maziarz.

“Senator Maziarz has expressed publically his reasons for retiring that he had been thinking of it for a while, that it was in the best interest of his family and his future and I think unless we see otherwise we have to take that at face value,” Gallivan said.

A report by an anti-corruption panel released in May that showed Maziarz had $140,000 in unspecified campaign expenditures, followed by the revelation his former chief of staff was issued a Federal subpoena has sparked a new conversation over how this money can and should be spent.

“It wasn’t talking about taxpayer dollars. It was talking about voluntary campaign contributions and of course the expenditures of campaign contributions are guided by the Executive Law,” said Gallivan.

Gallivan’s name also appeared on the now defunct Moreland Commission Report.  It showed he had $80,000 in unspecified campaign expenditures dating back more than five years.

“When that happened I directed my campaign staff to look at our filings. We’ve always tried to endeavor to comply with the law but I asked them to look at our filings to ensure that we are in full compliance with the law,” Gallivan said.

Democratic Erie County Board of Elections Commissioner Dennis Ward said there’s a lot of gray area when it comes to campaign finance law in New York State.  He said expenditures from private campaign donations, under $100 don’t have to be itemized.

“That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to keep the records so that if you are audited, at a point down the road, that you have to still have the records for such expenditures,” Ward said.

Ward said the Moreland Commission; even if it was still active, had no power to prosecute.  There are also questions as to whether or not a commission appointed by the executive branch even had the authority to investigate the legislative branch of state government.

“Is it sufficiently clear? No. Our law should be strengthened and it should be tightened up to define a lot more of these expenses that would appear to people to be personal expenditures,” Ward added.

Gallivan hopes the public will keep a few things in mind before passing judgment solely on the findings of the Moreland Commission.

“My understanding is that they looked at the campaign filings of every member of the the legislature so in some way shape or form everybody was looked at, some questions were raised and that’s ok that some questions were raised because that gives you a chance to make sure you’re doing things the right way and again I’m confident that our filing, after review, are fully up to snuff and are in full compliance with the law,” Gallivan added.

Wagner To Report Raising $255K

Justin Wagner, the Democrat hoping to replace outgoing GOP Sen. Greg Ball in the Hudson Valley district, will reporting raising more than $255,000 for the bid and have $218,700 in cash on hand.

This is Wagner’s second campaign for the Senate seat that covers Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties after narrowly losing to Ball in 2012.

Republicans Terrence Murphy, a Yorktown councilman, and former Assemblyman Bob Castelli, are vying for the GOP nomination in a primary.

The seat is expected to be one of about a half-dozen battleground districts around the state this year as Democrats seek to claim an outright governing majority in the chamber.

“These numbers make it clear: Justin Wagner is on track to win,” said campaign manager Steve Napier. “With every day, our campaign gains more allies and supporters, while at the same time the Republicans are engaged in an ugly and divisive primary with extreme conservative overtones. Most importantly, this filing demonstrates that Justin Wagner will have the resources to share his mainstream and common sense vision for New York with the voters of the Hudson Valley.”

The Daily News reported this morning that the once in-debt Senate Democratic Campaign Committee will report more than $1 million in their campaign war chest.

Hayworth Raises $250K, Has $1M In Cash (Updated)

Former Rep. Nan Hayworth, a Republican who is trying to win her Hudson Valley congressional seat back, will reporting raising $250,000 in the most recent fundraising period and has more than $1 million in cash on hand thanks also to a half-million personal loan.

Hayworth lost in 2012 to Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, but her comeback campaign points to recent successes, such as winning the Independence Party primary in her first head-to-head match up against Maloney last month.

After winning the primary on June 24, Hayworth has raised $95,164.

“The momentum is on our side. The decisive win over Sean Maloney in the Independence Party primary, giving me three lines on the ballot in November; the donations we received since the primary win; and the National Republican Congressional Committee’s naming me a Young Gun designating our campaign as one of the most promising in the country – prove that our campaign is moving in the right direction,” Hayworth said in a statement.

But she also loaned her campaign $500,000, records show — her largest loan to a campaign yet.

Her campaign says 88 percent of her total raised came from individual contributors, with more than half — 54 percent — coming from contributions of $100 or less.

A third of her contributions were under $100 and Hayworth has raised from more individual donors in the first six months of 2014 than in first half of any other year she has run for office.

Update: Maloney’s campaign released a fundraising email pointing to the half-million loan.

BIG NEWS: Nan Hayworth just gave her own campaign – get ready – FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS!!!
Voters here already fired her once, so her solution: buy the election. That and rely on shadowy outside money and support from Speaker Boehner, who just added us to his priority target list.
They are coming for us, Stephanie – if we can’t beat her now, we’ll be dead in the water come Election Day. We’re extending our Rapid Response deadline through MIDNIGHT TOMORROW so we can raise enough to fight back. If I’ve ever needed you, I need you now. Click here to chip in $5 or more RIGHT NOW to ensure we win.
I depend on grassroots donors like you, not on someone running in with six-figure checks. That’s never been – and never will be – what we’re about.
Thanks for always rising to the challenge. I’m endlessly grateful for your support.
- Sean

Pataki And Former Aides Unite for Cahill

A veritable bevy of former Pataki administration members – from the former governor himself on down – will gather in Albany tomorrow night to host a fund-raiser for their onetime colleague, John Cahill, who is running for state attorney general against the Democratic incumbent, Eric Schneiderman.

The invite really does read like a “who’s who” of ex-Pataki aides, of which Cahill, of course, is one. He first served as DEC commissioner and chaired the Environmental Facilities Corp., and later moved to the second floor, where he eventually rose to the position of Pataki’s chief of staff.

Cahill and Pataki are still working together at the law firm of Chadbourne and Parke. They also co-founded the Pataki-Cahill Group, a strategic consulting firm that focuses on the economic and policy implications of domestic energy needs.

This event is taking place at The Barge down on the Corning Preserve. Tickets start at $200, with co-hosts paying $1,000. The fund-raiser is taking place just before the latest round of financial reports are due to the state Board of Elections (on July 15).

This will be the first time Cahill has filed a fundraising report, since he officially announced his candidacy in May, and whatever he has managed to raise – or failed to raise, as the case may be – will be viewed as a testament to the strength – or lack thereof – of his campaign.

As of mid-January, Schneiderman had $5.98 million on hand. Though public opinion polls have shown the majority of New Yorkers have no idea who Schneiderman is, despite the fact that he has held statewide office since 2010, he enjoys a strong double-digit lead over Cahill.

John Cahill Event at the Albany Barge by liz_benjamin6490

Lazio Endorses, Fundraises For Astorino

Former Rep. Rick Lazio on Monday endorsed Republican candidate for governor Rob Astorino in a fundraising email.

In the email, Lazio writes that Astorino is the “clear choice” for governor and notes he has won twice in Democratic-heavy Westchester and includes a link to the candidate’s first TV ad.

Lazio ran for governor in 2010, losing the Republican nomination to Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino.

Astorino, of course, has the luxury of not facing a party primary this time around, but still faces a steep fundraising hill to climb. Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January reported $33 million in cash on hand.

From the email:

Rob is the clear choice to lead us back on the right path. He has already successfully done so for his home county of Westchester, where he is currently serving his second term as County Executive. In a county where Democrats out-register Republicans by 2:1, Rob Astorino has twice been elected as a Republican, each time by more than 13 points. What is the secret to his success? Courage to make the tough decisions necessary to be an effective leader.

I am proud to support Rob in his effort to be our next governor and I hope you will join me. Rob’s first financial filing deadline is July 11th and he could use our help. Every $3, $10, $25 and $100 the campaign receives will enable Rob to effectively communicate his message across our great state.

WFP Raises Off IDC-Dem Deal

Part II of today’s Morning Memo:

The WFP is wasting no time is trying to capitalize on the news that Klein and breakaway conference have agreed to strike a power-sharing deal with the regular Democrats.

In an email with the subject line “Guess Who’s Back?” WFP State Director Bill Lipton crowed over the news that Klein et al would be forming a “new progressive majority coalition” that (theoretically) will enable passage of a host of blocked bills – from the Women’s Equality Act to public campaign financing.

But Lipton also recognized that even with the IDC on their side, the Democrats would be holding an extremely slim, one-seat margin in the chamber – and that’s assuming they hold every seat they’ve got in the upcoming elections.

“There are three progressive Democrats in swing districts elected with the help of Obama’s 2012 wave,” Lipton wrote.

“Holding those seats will take real work. There are also three formerly Republican held open-seats that could be ripe pick-up opportunities to expand the majority.”

“We need to start raising the money to run competitive races in all six of those seats starting now. Can you contribute $3 to elect a progressive majority in the State Senate?”

“…it’ll take a lot more work to get to that progressive vision we’re dreaming about.”

“And there’s no doubt that the billionaires and bankers and the right wing forces will spend big to stop this from happening. They’ll pour untold millions into New York State Republicans to stop us from putting New York on a progressive path.”

I believe the three swing district Democrats Lipton is referring to are Sens. Terry Gipson, Cecilia Tkaczyk and Ted O’Brien.

The open seats include two on Long Island – one vacated by ex-Sen. Chuck Fuschillo, the other to be given up by Sen. Lee Zeldin as he challenges Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop in NY-1 – and one in the Hudson Valley that currently belongs to retiring Sen. Greg Ball.

Part of Cuomo’s WFP endorsement deal also reportedly included creation of a $10 million fund to help the Democrats take back the Senate, but it remains unclear exactly where all that cash will come from – and how much, if any, Cuomo himself will be contributing.