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Gannett’s Politics on the Hudson
In a round of media interviews over the past day, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, has reiterated his support for a Democrat-controlled Senate, saying it would help some of his major policy initiatives become law.
Silver, whose conference enjoys a 2-to-1 edge in the Assembly, told WGDJ-AM and YNN’s Capital Tonight that he supports the Senate Democrats’ effort to retake the majority, particularly because of their support for a minimum-wage increase and a public campaign financing system.
His comments follow a speech he gave in May at a state Democratic Party meeting in Albany, where he pledged support for the current Senate minority party’s efforts.
“I would like to see things that the Republican majority has stopped, like a minimum-wage increase,” Silver told Fred Dicker on WGDJ this morning. “I think with a Democratic majority in the Senate, that would become the law in this state.”
“I think campaign-finance reform, public campaign finance would become a part of the laws in this state if there was a Democratic majority in the Senate. That’s enticing for me in terms of why there ought to be a Democratic majority.”
That moral support, however, won’t translate to financial support from the Assembly, said Silver, who said the Assembly Democrats have their own races to worry about.
Senate Republicans currently hold a 33-29 edge in the Legislature’s upper chamber, with a 63rd seat to be added in 2013. All seats in the Legislature are up for grabs in November.
But they have a significant financial edge, as well. New York Public Interest Research Group research director Bill Mahoney pulled together a chart showing that GOP committees has more than five times the amount of campaign cash on hand than Democratic ones in the race for the Senate, based on filings that were due with the state this week.
In all, Republicans currently have about $20.3 million on hand, compared to the Democrats’ $3.7 million, when taking into account both party and individual committees and PACs. A handful of Senate filings, however, are still outstanding.
Here’s Mahoney’s chart, which features a helpful breakdown as well as bottom-line numbers:
Senate Dem v GOP