For immediate release: For more information:
June 11, 2012 Bill Mahoney (518) 817-3738
NYPIRG ANALYZES ALBANY’S “PAY
LOBBY FIRMS PUMP IN $1.8 MILLION IN CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS OVER PAST YEAR
Lobbyists and their clients have always played an outsized role in the funding of political racesin New York State. The first section of this report will look at the contributions made byretained lobby firms. The second section, beginning on page 5, will show that the influence of these firms is likely much greater than their direct contributions alone as a result of the practice
of “bundling” donations from their clients.
DONATIONS FROM LOBBY FIRMS
Lobby firms, their PACs, and their employees directly donated $1,838,009.84 to state-levelcandidates and party committees over the past year.
This figure represents about 4% of thetotal money raised during this time, and indicates that lobbyists working for retained firmsdonated nearly 70,000 times as much money
as other state residents. Unlike other jurisdictions, New York does not require disclosure of the identities of the political fundraisingintermediaries who aggregate, direct or deliver contributions. However, as the second sectionof this report will reveal, the
probable existence of bundling donations from these firms’ clientsmeans their role in funding New York’s elections is likely to be significantly greater than these
staggering numbers indicate.Eighteen (18) states place complete bans on donations from lobbyists or place stronger limitson their donations than on those made by other residents.
New York City also limitscontributions from lobbyists or other individuals doing business with the City. NYPIRG stronglybelieves that similar limits should be included in a broad campaign finance reform package,which should also lower limits on all donors to candidates and parties, take enforcement andadministration of campaign finance law out of the hands of the Board of Elections, require
“The past year” refers to the most recent twelve
-month span for which records are available, covering January12, 2011 through January 11, 2012.
“Prohibited Donors,” National Conference on State Leg