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Seven Reasons Senate Republicans Oppose Fair Elections

May 7, 2013 · by

1. They’re getting campaign cash to do Walmart’s bidding.

A tax credit that is “expected to provide millions of dollars to big-box stores like Wal-Mart” was part of the minimum wage deal passed in March. Walmart has donated $105,000 to Assembly and Senate Republicans and $400,000 to the Senate Republican fundraising committee.

(Source: “Walmart campaign contributions influenced New York minimum wage deal, unions claim” Associated Press, April 15, 2013)

2. Wall Street is filling up the campaign account of Senate Republicans.

Wall Street interests have donated nearly $1.1 million to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee since 2010, including big donations from New York Bankers Association, Bank of America, JPMorgan, and other wealthy interests.

(Source: Campaign finance filings, New York State Board of Elections.)

3. Sen. Greg Ball’s friends in New York City real estate.

Sen. Greg Ball, whose district is not in New York City, has a donor list that looks like a roll call of the New York City Real Estate Power 100. His donations since 2010 include $35,000 from Benjamin Companies, $28,000 from Real Estate Board of NY, $24,800 from Leonard Litwin and his related companies. Seven of his top ten donors are real estate interests. Just one of the top ten donors is in his district.

(Source: Campaign finance filings, New York State Board of Elections.)

4. Sen. Tom O’Mara’s cash comes from outside his district.

Senate Elections Committee Chair Tom O’Mara ran unopposed in the 2012 election, but he still raised 61% of his campaign cash from donors outside his Southern Tier district. Nearly $20,000 of that came from companies controlled by Leonard Litwin, a wealthy landlord pushing for weak rent laws.

(Source: “Senate Elections Chairman knocked for outside campaign contributions,” Journal-News, May 5, 2013.)

5. Sen. Hugh Farley’s donations from loan sharks.

Sen. Hugh Farley introduced legislation to make it easier for predatory lenders to exploit low-income people while taking $15,000 in campaign contributions from the industry.

(Source: “Mailer Will Target Hugh Farley,” Times-Union, May 6, 2013.)

6. Sen. Kathy Marchione raises most of her money from a handful of big donors.

Sixty-one percent of the $402,000 Sen. Kathy Marchione raised for her 2012 campaign came from just 15 $5,000 donations. Nearly a quarter of her funds came from just one donor, a wealthy developer.

(Source: Campaign finance filings, New York State Board of Elections)

7. Sen. Jack Martins’ favors for a local developer keep his bank account flush.

In his 2012 election, Sen. Jack Martins received $50,000 through a series of limited liability companies (LLCs) tied to prominent Long Island developer Vincent Polimeni. As mayor of Mineola, Martins was a “key backer of Polimeni International’s Winston project.”

(Source: “Martins coffers aided by campaign law,” The Island Now, October 4, 2012.)

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