A Paterson Fund-Raising Committee Inches Away, Toward Cuomo

Of the 98 donors listed on David Paterson’s birthday fund-raising committee, 65* did not contribute toward the governor’s reelection this reporting cycle, nine* contributed to both Paterson and his rival-in-waiting Andrew Cuomo, and eight* gave only to Cuomo, a review of recent campaign filings shows.

“There’s no bias. Everybody gets equal attention; I support all my top officials in the state,” said Tom Poelker, chairman of the Greene County Democratic Party. (He gave $1,000 to both Paterson and Cuomo.)

The incumbent attorney general—who insists that his only political plan, for now, is to seek reelection—raised nearly twice as much as Paterson during the last six month period.

James Featherstonhaugh, a prominent Albany lawyer and lobbyist, donated $6,000 to Cuomo. Featherstonhaugh explained he was scheduled to run a fund-raiser for Paterson in Saratoga; however, “because of the Senate infusion, he was otherwise engaged and had to cancel.” Not donating was a question of logistics, Featherstonhaugh reiterated, “it was not Machiavellian.”

“I like the governor, but Andrew has been a close personal friend for twenty years,” Featherstonhaugh said when asked about a possible primary between the men. Regardless, he “would be stunned if there was any formal confrontation.”

Alan Van Capelle, the executive director of the Empire State Pride Agenda, said he was “otherwise occupied with Senate business” and didn’t donate. (One of his signature issues, legislation legalizing same-sex marriage, has not come up for a vote.)

Liz Benjamin detailed how unions are also donating more heavily to Cuomo than Paterson.

Paterson ended the period with $5.4 million in the bank. Cuomo has $10.1 million.

UPDATE: From Paterson campaign spokesperson Tracy Sefl: "This committee, like all fundraising committees, includes supporters who both gave and raised from others, as well as those who gave through their business entities. When this more proper definition is applied, every member of the Governor’s birthday fundraising committee contributed and the Governor values all of their efforts."

Also, re labor support:

1199 is maxed

SEIU International $25,000

IBT Joint Council 16 PAC $10,000

NYSUT $5,000

Mason Tenders $25,000

RWDSU $5,000

SEIU PEA State Fund $18,100

Painters $2,500

Sanitation Workers $5,000

Local IUOE PAC $2,500

NYS Transit and Tour Operators $1,000

NYSCOPBA $25,000

Plumbers $5,000


Local 147 PAC $2,000

—Additional reporting by Jimmy Vielkind

*These numbers are corrected from an earlier version, which categorized one contributor to both officials as a Cuomo-only donor. A donor-list attached to the original post is being updated, too. A Paterson Fund-Raising Committee Inches Away, Toward Cuomo