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NYPIRG Pay to Play Analysis

NYPIRG Pay to Play Analysis

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Published by: jspector on Jun 11, 2012
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06/11/2012

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For immediate release: For more information:
June 11, 2012 Bill Mahoney (518) 817-3738
NYPIRG ANALYZES ALBANY’S “PAY
-TO-
PLAY CULTURE”
 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.
1
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
 per capita
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.
2
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
1
 
“The past year” refers to the most recent twelve
-month span for which records are available, covering January12, 2011 through January 11, 2012.
2
 
“Prohibited Donors,” National Conference on State Leg
islatures, www.ncsl.org/legislatures-elections/elections/prohibited-donors.aspx.
 
-2-
greater disclosure, and promote reliance on small donors through a public financing system.Pending legislation would appropriately limit the role of lobbyists in political fundraising.A.5869/ S.37 (Kavanagh/ Squadron), which limits lobbyists to $250 per candidate per electionand prohibits them from making donations during the months of the legislative session, is anexemplary proposal.
25 Highest-Giving Lobbying Firms
Rank FirmTotalDonations1 WILSON ELSER MOSKOWITZ EDELMAN & DICKER, LLP $177,7032 BURGOS, TONIO & ASSOCIATES, INC. $94,5503 HINMAN STRAUB ADVISORS LLC $92,1694 GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP $89,7595 CORDO & COMPANY, LLC $75,9516 GOTHAM GOVERNMENT RELATIONS $70,8507 PARKSIDE GROUP, LLC (THE) $65,1978 BOND, SCHOENECK & KING, PLLC $64,3299 HARTER SECREST & EMERY, LLP $56,87010 FEATHERSTONHAUGH, WILEY & CLYNE, LLP $51,67511 COZEN O
CONNOR $50,75012 BROWN & WEINRAUB, PLLC $49,69313 GILBERTI STINZIANO HEINTZ & SMITH, P.C $48,30014 MANATT, PHELPS & PHILLIPS, LLP $46,11215 WHITEMAN OSTERMAN & HANNA LLP $45,27516 RUBENSTEIN ASSOCIATES, INC. $37,97317 ROFFE GROUP P.C. (THE) $34,15018 BOLTON ST. JOHNS, LLC $32,75019 DAVIDOFF MALITO & HUTCHER LLP $30,44820 PARK STRATEGIES, LLC $29,34021 PITTA BISHOP DEL GIORNO & GIBLIN LLC $27,90522 MEARA AVELLA DICKINSON $27,40023 DELBELLO DONNELLAN WEINGARTEN WISE & WIEDERKEHR, LLP $26,65024 LJM RAD LLC $25,20025 STROOCK & STROOCK & LAVAN LLP $21,723
 
-3-
25 Candidates and Party Committees that Received the Most from Lobbyists
Governor Cuomo received the largest share of these donations.
Rank Committee(s) Total1 ANDREW CUOMO 2014, INC. $423,2782 SCHNEIDERMAN FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL, INC./ SCHNEIDERMAN 2014 $143,5393NYS SENATE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE/ NYS SENATE REPUBLICANCAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
 –
HOUSEKEEPING $91,1924NYS DEMOCRATIC ASSEMBLY CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE (DACC)/ NYS DEMOCRATICASSEMBLY CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE-HOUSEKEEPING (DACC) $51,0975 DINAPOLI 2014 $49,7236 FRIENDS FOR THE ELECTION OF DEAN SKELOS $40,5177 COMMITTEE TO RE-ELECT JOHN SAMPSON $39,5008 FRIENDS OF SENATOR LIBOUS COMMITTEE (2010) $39,3449 FRIENDS OF MARTIN GOLDEN $38,28010 COMMITTEE TO ELECT MAZIARZ STATE SENATE $29,45011 COMMITTEE TO RE-ELECT ASSEMBLYMAN JOE MORELLE $29,35012 FRIENDS OF SILVER $28,00013NYS DEMOCRATIC SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE (NYS DSCC)/ DEMOCRATICSENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE
 –
HOUSEKEEPING (DSCC HOUSEKEEPING) $27,63714 NEW YORKERS FOR KLEIN $25,05515 CITIZENS FOR HANNON $23,82316 FARRELL 2012 $21,10017 FRIENDS OF SENATOR SEWARD $20,35018 ZELDIN FOR SENATE $18,70019 SALAND FOR SENATE $17,77520 FRIENDS OF SENATOR BRESLIN $16,65021CONSERVATIVE PARTY NYS (HEADQUARTERS ACCOUNT)/ STATE CONSERVATIVECAMPAIGN COMMITTEE $16,60021 FRIENDS OF MIKE GIANARIS $16,50023 COMMITTEE TO ELECT MCDONALD TO THE SENATE $16,35024 DEFRANCISCO RE-ELECTION COMMITTEE $16,02525 FRIENDS FOR FUSCHILLO $15,890

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