The total receipts reported by all legislative candidates
and their conferences’ party committees
declined relative to the previous election cycle:2011-12 2009-10
ShiftTotal Contributions $85,247,517.95 $87,181,389.52-2.22%Total Receipts
$105,288,158.32 $116,678,071.57-9.76%Several factors may have contributed to this drop. While exact numbers are unavailable, several groups,most notably NYSUT, appear to have diverted resources toward independent expenditures, for whichdata is not available and this report cannot properly analyze. Additionally, some special interests mayhave given money to non-campaign organizations, such as the Committee to Save New York, that wouldhave traditionally been budgeted for direct donations to candidates.It should also be noted that the nature of the recently-completed election cycle differed from that of two years ago. The presidential election drew record-shattering donations, and may have divertedresources to the federal level. This theory is given credence by the fact that the biggest drops appear tohave come in the closing weeks of the election. The disclosure reports filed 11 days before the generalelection in 2012 included a total of about $11 million in receipts. Two years prior, the total for the samefiling was over $17 million.The biggest reason for this shift, however, seems to be in the difference between the Senate in eachelection cycle. As the following chart reveals, the total raised by Assemblymembers, candidates, andtheir party committees increased, while the total raised by the Senate counterparts fell precipitously:2011-12 TotalReceipts2009-10 TotalReceiptsSenate $64,543,122.93 $81,614,806.08Assembly $40,745,035.39 $37,372,969.54
In 2010, pundits were unsure which party would obtain a majority after that year’s elections. The
Democrats had controlled the chamber for most of the preceding two years, yet had revealed severalweaknesses that seemed to leave the door open for Republicans to regain control. As a result, donorsmay have hedged their bets. Two years later, after recapturing the Senate, however, Republicans heldtighter control over the chamber and had the benefit of running in newly-gerrymandered districts.Additionally, the creation of an Independent Democratic Conference presented challenges that mighthave prevented regular Democrats from serving in the majority. Donors seeking to influence legislative
As mentioned above, housekeeping totals for dates after July 11, 2012 are not yet available. To keep thecomparisons constant, housekeeping donations for the comparable period in 2010 are not included.
“Total receipts” is a more encompassing category than “contributions” as it includes donations as well as interest,
candidate loans, and transfers from parties and other candidate committees.