‘Cocktails and Conversation’ With John Sampson, For $5,000

ALBANY—The day after David Paterson gives his State of the State address, Senate Democratic Leader John Sampson will be in Manhattan for “cocktails and conversation” at a $5,000-a-head event.

That’s a pretty high dollar figure; for context, David Paterson and Andrew Cuomo each asked for $1,000 a head at their December events and Eric Schneiderman, a prominent member of the Democratic conference, is asking $250 for an event in Washington Heights.. It’s also interesting that Sampson’s name is the only one listed on the invitation–everyone else is a “special guest.” Malcolm Smith, who holds (and likely will continue to hold) the title of “president” in the chamber, even as Sampson has seized the majority of the power. One of Smith’s major responsibilities has been fund-raising, something which people familiar with the conference say comes more naturally to him than Sampson.

“It’s the first opportunity for Senator Sampson to meet the folks who are supporting us as we move aggressively into the election season to grow our majority,” said Shams Tarek, as spokesman for the DSCC.

That organization is now under the leadership of Josh Cherwin, a Sampson appointee who replaced Rob Caliente, someone loyal to Smith.

Tarek said another event is being planned upstate; according to this preliminary invitation, the January 7 event does not have a firm location.

DSCC Invite