New York Post
State lawmakers are scrambling to rake in as much cash as possible before Gov. Cuomo’s overhaul of campaign laws is enacted.
Cuomo’s proposal would target Albany’s “pay-to-play” culture by limiting contributions fat cats and lobbyists can make to lawmakers.
And now politicians are acting like pigs running to the trough.
At least 17 lawmakers, including party leaders, have held or scheduled fund-raisers in the first weeks of the legislative session.
“Legislators are getting ahead of campaign-finance reform. They’re raising as much as they can as early as they can,” said political consultant Hank Sheinkopf
“I’m getting more solicitations. I get five a day.”
Backers of Cuomo’s reform plan say pols realize change is coming.
“It’s clear that this cycle of fund-raising is happening very early and very fast. It’s an orgy of fund-raising,” said Karen Scharff, executive director of Citizens Action, a watchdog group.
“People realize there is momentum for campaign reform.”
Democratic Queens Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi and Senate Republican leader Dean Skelos are hosting events Wednesday at Albany’s posh Fort Orange Club blocks from the Capitol.
Donors giving $500 at Hevesi’s breakfast are called “friends,” and those who give or collect $1,000 are “sponsors.”
Skelos is asking $1,000 a person for his evening soiree at the club.
Also that evening, Harlem Assemblyman Keith Wright, the Manhattan Democratic leader and co-chair of the state Democratic Committee, hosts a party fund-raiser at the W hotel in Union Square.
And there are three more fund-raisers on Thursday.
Bronx Democratic leader and Assemblyman Carl Heastie plans a dinner at Michaelangelo’s restaurant in The Bronx for the party’s housekeeping account.
Newly elected Sen. George Latimer (D-Westchester) scheduled a breakfast bash in Albany.
And Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Brooklyn) will shmooze donors at Macorix restaurant in his district.
Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), who is hosting a fund-raiser at the Fort Orange Club Feb. 4, denied there was a fund-raising stampede
“We spread them out throughout the year,” he said.