Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Tom Golisano on Control of NYS Senate

Golisano, a Republican, Pledges 5 Million To Help Dems Take Back State Senate


Anonymous said...

“This is just more politics as usual. Joe Mesi can’t talk about changing Albany if he is going to allow special interests to buy his election. This blatant violation of campaign finance law is just another example of why we need someone in Albany who has fought for real reform. It also highlights the need to reform New York State’s weak campaign finance laws, and I intend to announce a package of reforms to stop attempts like this to violate the law.”
Facts on Tom Golisano’s Political Action Committee (“PAC”):
I. Tom Golisano Cannot Contribute More Than $150,000 to his “PAC”:
The Election Law 14-116
8. Except as may otherwise be provided for a candidate and his family, no person may contribute, loan or guarantee in excess of one hundred fifty thousand dollars within the state in connection with the nomination or election of persons to state and local public offices and party positions within the state of New York in any one calendar year. For the purposes of this subdivision “loan” or “guarantee” shall mean a loan or guarantee which is not repaid or discharged in the calendar year in which it is made.
II. Tom Golisano may not spend more than $6,000 in the primary on behalf of Joe Mesi either individually or in coordination between Golisano’s “PAC” and Mesi’s Campaign:
The Election Law 14-100
9. “contribution” means:
(3) any payment, by any person other than a candidate or a political committee authorized by the candidate, made in connection with the nomination for election or election of any candidate, or any payment made to promote the success or defeat of a political party or principle, or of any ballot proposal including but not limited to compensation for the personal services of any individual which are rendered in connection with a candidate’s election or nomination without charge; provided however, that none of the foregoing shall be deemed a contribution if it is made, taken or performed by a candidate or his spouse or by a person or a political committee independent of the candidate or his agents or authorized political committees. For purposes of this article, the term “independent of the candidate or his agents or authorized political committees” shall mean that the candidate or his agents or authorized political committees did not authorize, request, suggest, foster or cooperate in any such activity; and provided further, that the term contribution shall not include:

III. Steve Pigeon, a Golisano confidant, is an Agent of candidate Joe Mesi:

“Mesi, who is famous for his boxing career, is close to Pigeon, who is playing a major behind the scenes role in the Mesi campaign.” –The Capitol 7/1/2008

“Given that Mesi is championed by former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon…” – Buffalo News 4/6/2008

“Mesi is connected to former Erie County Democratic Chair Steve Pigeon…” – The Capitol 3/10/2008

“[F]ormer Chairman Steve Pigeon burst onto the crucial State Senate scene with a famous candidate like boxer Baby Joe Mesi…” –Buffalo News 3/9/2008

“If Mesi makes the move, he brings instant name recognition and the network of former Erie County Democratic Chairman Steve Pigeon, his political godfather.” –Buffalo News 2/17/2008

“Mesi said he has been encouraged by former county Democratic Chairman G. Steven Pigeon, a close family friend who has often mentioned the boxer as a future candidate for office. ‘Through Steve, I've talked to all the big players in Albany,’ said Mesi, adding that he has also discussed his candidacy with local minor party leaders.” – Buffalo News 2/14/2008

IV. Steve Pigeon has authorized, requested, suggested, fostered and cooperated in the activities of the “PAC”:

“Steve Pigeon, who will be running the operation funded by Golisano…” –Capitol Confidential 7/7/2008

V. Did candidate Joe Mesi authorize, request, suggest, foster or cooperate in any way with Tom Golisano?

“[Golisano]’s spoken with Kathy Konst, “Baby Joe” Mesi, and Rick Dollinger…” – Capitol Confidential 7/8/2008

VI. Because Golisano’s “PAC” will not be independent of candidate Joe Mesi, it must comply with the contribution limits for a State Senate race:

The Election Law Section 14-114 and section 6214.0 Rules and Regulations, for 2008 limit such contributions as follows:

State Senate Primary $6,000
State Senate General $9,500

Richard T. Cahill Jr. said...

He specifically denied any intention to help Democrats. He said he wants change in the Senate AND the Assembly.

You have mischaracterized his comments rather brutally.

Anonymous said...

Blaber, you have completely lost it. Living in opposite world ,and rejecting posts.

Jeremy Blaber said...

A change in the State Senate would be Democratic control, Alderman. There was a story on the NY Observer that was very clear on Golisano's intentions to help Malcolm Smith's Dems take over the State Senate. Golisano has already met with three Democratic State Senate candidates.

Will he spend 5 mil just on Dems? No, so I guess in part what I said was inaccurate.

Imre Beke, Jr. said...

Mr. Blaber, one change in the Senate could, indeed, be Democratic control, but there are many other possibilities. For instance, Mr. Golisano could target various DEMOCRATIC Senators in order to increase Republican numbers and give that side more stability, allowing them to act in a more determined manner. He could assist those Democrats who are challenging incumbents from their own Party, thereby moving the Democratic contingent either slightly Right or slightly Left, depending on his intentions. He could convince incumbent Republicans to not seek re-election and support fresh blood. He could push for more upstate Republicans, not to strengthen the Republicans, but to bolster the upstate contingent as upstate Democrats tend to bow down to the NYC Democrats instead of fighting for their own region (with some exceptions, of course).

The fact that many reports have Mr. Golisano aiming to unseat Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, as well, shows that his "support" for Democrats may not be nearly as clear cut as some would like to think.