Farkas and Luxenberg Chip In for Schneiderman

Among the 24-hour notices going up on the Board of Elections website is a flurry of donations to attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman, including some interesting names and large sums.

Andrew Farkas–the developer who once employed Andrew Cuomo and now serves as his finance chair–gave $25,000 to Schneiderman’s campaign. Cuomo’s opponent, Carl Paladino, has sought to make Farkas a campaign issue in the governor’s race, alleging in his television advertisements that the former HUD secretary went easy on Farkas and was later rewarded with a lucrative job. Cuomo has brushed off that allegation, and Farkas told The New York Times there is “nothing about all of this noise remotely inappropriate or improper.” 

Arthur Luxenberg and his wife, Randi, each gave $50,000 to the campaign. Luxenberg co-founded Weitz & Luxenberg, the personal injury law firm where Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is of counsel. The state’s disclosure laws do not require Silver to disclose his Weitz salary nor his clients. Schneiderman has said he supports forcing legislators to disclose all outside income in exact amounts.

Previoulsy, Weitz & Luxenberg contributed heavily to one of Schneiderman’s primary opponents, Kathleen Rice, who was widely believed to be Cuomo’s favored successor.

There is also a $2,500 contribution from longtime Cuomo confidant Michael del Giudice. Cuomo endorsed Schneiderman last month, after making known his preference for other candidates in the contentious five-way primary. 

The money pads a significant cash advantage for Schneiderman, who last week reported $1.2 million dollars in cash on hand for the final days of the campaign, compared to just over $300,000 on hand for his opponent, Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.

UPDATE: The Donovan campaign points out that the $50,000 contributions exceed the legal limit of $37,800 for the general election. The Schneiderman campaign says it can still accept money for the primary as well, in order to retire its primary debt.