New York Special Awash in Cash
Money is raining down in New York’s hard-fought special Congressional election — and much of it is coming from the people whom the candidates would like to join on Capitol Hill.
New campaign finance reports filed Thursday night — the first in the March 31 special election between state Assembly Minority Leader Jim Tedisco (R) and venture capitalist Scott Murphy (D) — show the two candidates on fairly equal footing financially. Both candidates have loaned their campaigns a significant amount of money, and Members of Congress from both parties are fully engaged in the too-close-to-call contest.
The financial advantage for Murphy that Republicans openly worried about given his personal wealth does not appear to have materialized.
Through March 11, Murphy, who is making his first run for political office, raised more than $1.1 million, including $250,000 from his own pocket. He had spent $705,000 and had $444,000 in the bank for the final push of the campaign.
Tedisco, who has served in the state Legislature since 1983, raised more than $1 million, a figure that includes $200,000 that he loaned to his own campaign. He had spent $569,000 through March 11 and had $468,000 on hand.
The 20th Congressional district seat in upstate New York has been vacant since late January, when its Representative, Kirsten Gillibrand (D), was appointed to the Senate.
With 70,000 more enrolled Republicans than Democrats, the district represents a major pickup opportunity for the GOP. But Gillibrand’s two victories, and President Barack Obama’s narrow margin in the 2008 White House election, suggests the district is trending Democratic, and both national parties are now going all-out to win the special election.
Through Thursday, the National Republican Congressional Committee had spent $553,000 on independent expenditures in the district, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had spent $336,000. The Republican National Committee has transferred $200,000 to the New York State GOP, and unions and conservative political action committees are investing in the race as well.
Members of Congress are being especially generous.
Republican Members who have given $2,000 to Tedisco include Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) and Reps. Joe Barton (Texas), Rob Bishop (Utah), Michael Burgess (Texas), Eric Cantor (Va.), John Carter (Texas), Mike Castle (Del.), Mike Coffman (Colo.), Geoff Davis (Ky.), David Dreier (Calif.), Phil Gingrey (Ga.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Kay Granger (Texas), Doc Hastings (Wash.), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Wally Herger (Calif.), Peter King (N.Y.), Leonard Lance (N.J.), Jerry Lewis (Calif.), Frank Lucas (Okla.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), John McHugh (N.Y.), Jeff Miller (Fla.), Randy Neugebauer (Texas), Devin Nunes (Calif.), Denny Rehberg (Mont.), Ed Royce (Calif.), Pete Sessions (Texas), John Shimkus (Ill.), Lee Terry (Neb.), Pat Tiberi (Ohio) and Greg Walden (Ore.).
Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) gave $1,980.
Republican Members who gave $1,000 include Reps. Jo Bonner (Ala.), Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Howard Coble (N.C.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Rodney Frelinghuysen (N.J.), Brett Guthrie (Ky.), Chris Lee (N.Y.), Frank Lobiondo (N.J.), John Mica (Fla.), Candice Miller (Mich.), Erik Paulsen (Minn.), Tom Petri (Wis.), Joe Pitts (Pa.), Tom Price (Ga.), George Radanovich (Calif.), Adrian Smith (Neb.), Glenn Thompson (Pa.) and Lynn Westmoreland (Ga.).
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) contributed $500.
The PACs of several Republican Members also gave directly to Tedisco, including those of Reps. Spencer Bachus (Ala.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), Barton, Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), John Boozman (Ark.), Ginny Brown-Waite (Fla.), Ken Calvert (Calif.), Dave Camp (Mich.), Cantor, Tom Cole (Okla.), Bob Goodlatte (Va.), Darrell Issa (Calif.), John Kline (Minn.), Lewis, McCarthy, Nunes, Mike Pence (Ind.), Rehberg, Hal Rogers (Ky.), Sessions, Bill Shuster (Pa.), Lamar Smith (Texas) and Mac Thornberry (Texas).
The Freedom Project PAC, controlled by House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), gave $15,000 to a joint campaign committee operated by Tedisco and the NRCC, and Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) gave the committee $10,000.
On the Democratic side, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (Md.) is listed as giving Murphy $6,000, and Rep. Louise Slaughter (N.Y.) is listed as donating $5,000.
Gillibrand, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), and Reps. Xavier Beccera (Calif.), James Clyburn (S.C.), Brian Higgins (N.Y.), Steve Israel (N.Y.) and Nita Lowey (N.Y.) contributed $4,000 apiece.
Among the Democratic Members giving $2,000 from their campaign funds: Howard Berman (Calif.), Lois Capps (Calif.), Joe Crowley (N.Y.), Anna Eshoo (Calif.), Maurice Hinchey (N.Y.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Doris Matsui (Calif.), Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.), David Obey (Wis.), Ed Pastor (Ariz.), Jared Polis (Colo.), Heath Shuler (N.C.), Zack Space (Ohio), Paul Tonko (N.Y.), Nydia Velázquez (N.Y.), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Fla.), Henry Waxman (Calif.) and Anthony Weiner (N.Y.).
Tonko, who represents the district next to the 20th, also gave Murphy $2,400 of his own money, and freshman Rep. Harry Teague (D-N.M.) donated $1,000 from his own pocket.
Democratic Members who contributed $1,000 from their campaign funds included Reps. Gary Ackerman (N.Y.), Michael Arcuri (N.Y.), Marion Berry (Ark.), Tim Bishop (N.Y.), Susan Davis (Calif.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Diana DeGette (Colo.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Eliot Engel (N.Y.), Barney Frank (Mass.), Jane Harman (Calif.), Rush Holt (N.J.), Mike Honda (Calif.), Jay Inslee (Wash.), Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Jim McGovern (Mass.), Christopher Murphy (Conn.), Ed Perlmutter (Colo.), Tim Ryan (Ohio), Linda Sanchez (Calif.), John Sarbanes (Md.), Albio Sires (N.J.), John Spratt (S.C.), Betty Sutton (Ohio), Niki Tsongas (Mass.) and Tim Walz (Minn.).
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) gave Murphy $500.
Several Members also donated to Murphy through their PACs, including Reps. Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Bruce Braley (Iowa), Russ Carnahan (Mo.), John Conyers (Mich.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Ron Klein (Fla.), Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.), Charlie Melancon (La.), Patrick Murphy (Pa.), Bill Pascrell (N.J.), Pelosi, Earl Pomeroy (N.D.), Ike Skelton (Mo.), John Tanner (Tenn.), Mike Thompson (Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Wasserman Schultz.