Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Follow the Money

Power finds money, and money finds power.

According to the website www.followthemoney.org, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) has received $669,116 in campaign contributions. That’s $196,351 more than the assembly member (Mike Gianaris (D) – including both committees) with the next highest amount of contributions. It is also $428,318 more than the Republican assembly member with the highest amount of contributions, who, by the way, happens to be the Minority Leader James Tedisco (R). It also dwarfs the humble sum of $1,850 received by incumbent Michael Benjamin (D).

In the Senate, Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R) receives the most money, with contributions totaling $991,704. There, the disparities at the top are not as severe. But while Bruno receives almost a million dollars, incumbent Senator John Sampson (D) has received a paltry $34,025.

These numbers are not surprising. Contributors give money to candidates that will be able to get something done if elected to office. Because so much power is concentrated with leadership, i.e. Silver, Bruno, and other top Democratic Assembly Members and Republican Senators (the majority parties in each chamber), that is where the political contributions flow.

The numbers not only illustrate the obvious – campaign finance problems – they also illustrate how power is concentrated with leadership in the New York State Legislature.

Categories: General, Campaign Finance

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