ALBANY—Candidates for political office in New York raised a record $94 million during the last election cycle, according to an analysis released today by a coalition of good-government groups.
The largest chunk of that money came from business interests and unions, but the following list—compiled by NYPIRG's campaign data guru Bill Mahoney—shows the 115 donors who each gave more than the average per capita income in the state ($23,389). Together, they gave over $6.3 million.
"It's a small number of people giving big checks. So you're starting to see a picture of who funds Albany: it's powerful interest groups, corporations, trade associations, unions and the last part of the picture are big donations, presumably from wealthy individuals," said Blair Horner, NYPIRG's legislative director.
Not entirely surprisingly, the top donor is Michael Bloomberg.
Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director of the League of Women Voters, repeated her call to reform campaign finance, but noted that the governor and legislative leaders are "all of one mind" and that with the Democrats controlling all three points of power, "the political excuses no longer exist."
Enforcement of the current laws are very lax, Bartoletti said, noting State Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. is still not in compliance for the last election cycle.
Here's the full list.