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State of the Race Memo July 18

State of the Race Memo July 18

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Published by Nick Reisman

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Published by: Nick Reisman on Jul 18, 2014
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TO: Interested Parties

FROM: Peter Ajemian, Schneiderman 2014
RE: State of the Race
DATE: July 18, 2014

With Tuesday’s campaign finance filing deadline behind us, the race for New York State
attorney general is coming into focus: John Cahill’s campaign continues to founder and, with
109 days until the election, he faces some daunting hurdles.

Cahill needs to overcome an 8 to 1 money hole, a 25-point deficit in the polls, and a 20-point
name ID deficit in a state that hasn’t elected a Republican in more than a decade and in a race
against an incumbent who won by 10 points in 2010.

Schneiderman’s Fundraising Strength

Attorney General Schneiderman’s re-election campaign smashed its fundraising goal once again
this filing period. Between January and July, Schneiderman 2014 raised $2.6 million –
exceeding the $2.1 million we raised in the previous filing period.

We have nearly $8 million to spend going into the election season. By comparison, Cahill has
less than $1 million, meaning we have an 8 to 1 spending advantage.

Last month we flexed some of our financial muscle by reserving $1 million worth of TV
advertising time for the fall in five major NYS media markets. This early ad buy will yield
significant savings and guarantee that the AG’s ads will be aired during the most effective
programing. Cahill doesn’t have the money to be that strategic, and by the time he raises enough
– IF he raises enough – to purchase any TV time, it will be more expensive and less
advantageous time slots.

Cahill’s Weak Fundraising

Anything short of beating our fundraising numbers for the July filing period should be viewed as
a failure for Cahill, especially given his supposed strength raising money from affluent New
York City suburbs.

But Cahill came in at $1 million – not even close to our $2.6 million – and now he has less than
$1 million in cash on hand. For context, state Senators Dean Skelos, Jeff Klein, John
DeFrancisco and George Maziarz have more cash on hand than Cahill – who’s running for a

And while the Cahill campaign is crowing about raising $100,000 per week since he launched
his campaign, a back-of-the-envelop calculation shows that pace would only yield him $1.6
million for the rest of the campaign – nowhere near enough to compete.

More Women Problems

Ever since Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Christine
Quinn and New York women’s groups lambasted Cahill for his anti-choice record, Cahill has
been going around the state trying to whitewash his positions on the issue.

But this week, Cahill’s anti-choice demons came back to haunt him. The New York Observer
reported that Cahill took $20,000 from Sean Fieler, a notorious anti-choice and anti-gay

According to the Observer, Fieler “sits on the board of the American Principles Project and the
Chiaroscuro Foundation, which have run various pro-life advertising campaigns, and he founded
a new PAC in February to push conservative social values.”

The same article noted that Fieler has also made despicable comments about same-sex marriage.
“It promotes a very harmful myth about the gay lifestyle,” Fieler said. “It suggests that gay
relationships lend themselves to monogamy, stability, health and parenting in the same way
heterosexual relationships do. That’s not true.”

Cahill this week also praised former GOP gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, who is
notorious for making misogynistic, racist and homophobic statements. Cahill said Paladino is a
“good man” and “a great New Yorker” whose support Cahill is proud to have.

Cahill’s Name ID and Poll Deficit

As if all of this wasn’t bad enough for Cahill, the GOP candidate also faces a near-
insurmountable name recognition problem and a huge deficit in the polls.

According to a June 16 Siena College poll, a whopping 78 percent of voters said they couldn’t
form an opinion of John Cahill. The same poll showed Cahill trailing Attorney General
Schneiderman by 25 points.

A May 21 Quinnipiac University poll again showed 78 percent of voters couldn’t form an
opinion of Cahill. The same poll showed Attorney General Schneiderman had a 20-point lead.

Eric beat GOP candidate Dan Donovan – who, unlike Cahill, actually had prosecutorial
experience – by 10 points on Election Day in 2010.

Schneiderman’s Broad Coalition of Support

Finally, it’s only July and Attorney General Schneiderman has already received the support of a
broad coalition of labor unions, elected officials, Democratic clubs and other leaders.

He’s earned endorsements from the BCTC of NYC, the RWDSU, NYSUT, and UFCW Local
1500; Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats, Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, and
Lambda Independent Democrats of Brooklyn; and elected officials in the NYC Council
including Majority Leader Jimmy van Bramer, Council Member Rosie Méndez, Council
Members Daniel Dromm, Corey Johnson, Carlos Menchaca, Ritchie Torres; and Buffalo Mayor
Byron Brown, Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy, Utica Mayor
Robert Palmieri, Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein, Albany
County Executive Daniel P. McCoy, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz; Assemblymembers
Charles Lavine, Felix Ortiz, N. Nick Perry, Angelo Santabarbara, Michelle Schimel, and
Michaelle Solages; and Representatives Bill Owens and Carolyn McCarthy.


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