ALBANY – In a signal of its resource priorities in the closing days before the Nov. 8 elections, the chief fund-raising apparatus for Democrats in the state Senate has allocated zero dollars for Democrat Amber Small in her bid against Republican Chris Jacobs in the Senate 60th District contest in the Buffalo area.
The Senate Republican Campaign Committee, meanwhile, transferred $347,000 to Jacobs during the past three weeks, and allocated an estimated $91,000 to various campaign activities on his behalf.
The Jacobs’ campaign spent nearly $500,000 while Small had expenditures of about one-tenth that level.
Overall statewide, Senate Republicans, fighting to retain control of the 63-member chamber, outspent Democrats by nearly three-to-one during the past three weeks.
In the 60th District, which includes part of Buffalo and suburbs to the north and south of the city, Small’s campaign was also badly outspent by Jacobs during the month, according to disclosure reports made public Monday by the state Board of Elections.
Since the latest Election Board reporting period began in the first week of October, Small raised $54,000 with 20 percent, or $11,000, coming from her biggest donor: the political action committee of the New York State United Teachers union.
Small’s campaign spent $54,000 during the period, with her single biggest expense of $15,000 going for polling by the Parkside Group, a consulting firm that does work for Senate Democrats. Her spending total during the period was dwarfed by several Senate campaigns on Long Island where Republicans and Democrats have been expending huge amounts of time and money; one Democratic candidate there, James Gaughran, reported Monday spending 10 times more than Small during the same period.
Small’s campaign reported $29,000 left in the bank.
Jacobs, meanwhile, disclosed his campaign has $248,000 left in the bank after spending $455,000 during the past three weeks. Jacobs raised $459,000, much of it from the Senate GOP central campaign account. He also got large donations from the Washington-based American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, as well as $18,000 from a group representing New York City real estate developers.
The lack of money flow from the central Senate Democratic campaign account to Small comes as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has also, so far, stayed out of the 60th District race. In a rare move for the governor, he tapped his own campaign account over the past two weeks to donate $11,000 apiece to five Democratic Senate candidates, all of them either from Long Island or Westchester County.
Cuomo, who in his first six years in office has had warm relations with Senate Republicans, has said that just being a Democrat does not earn the support that he can lend as controller of the state Democratic Party. To that end, he has sent to Senate Democrats seeking his support a 15-point litmus test asking if they support a number of his policies, including the property tax cap, public campaign financing, limits on lawmakers’ outside earnings and the SAFE Act gun control law.
A Small campaign spokesman did not return a call or email seeking comment about the funding or Cuomo’s letter.
In the overall race for control of the Senate, the latest filings give additional clues where the sides have defined the key battleground races. The Senate Democratic committee has steered 82 percent of its spending to four Long Island races. Senate Republicans are also spending heavily on those Long Island races, as well as on a handful of contests in the Hudson Valley and the Jacobs campaign.
Overall the Democrats raised $396,000 in contributions this month, spent $1.3 million and had $510,000 in the bank. The committee brought in another $301,000 in transfers from other political accounts, mostly from the campaigns of Democrats in key contests around the state.
At $50,000, the Seneca Nation of Indians was the second-highest Senate Democratic donor, exceeded only by the $54,6000 from a carpenters union. Last week, the Senecas donated $10,000 to the Erie County Democratic Party.
The Senate Republican Campaign Committee raised $1.4 million in contributions, $970,000 in transfers from other political accounts, and reported spending $3.4 million. It reported $1.6 million in the bank, though both sides have been furiously raising money since the latest disclosure period ended last week.
The Senate Republicans’ biggest donations during the period came from two political action committees associated with a Manhattan-based hotel workers union, which won a fight this year in the Republican-dominated Senate to further regulate Airbnb and other house-sharing companies; they donated $150,000 to the GOP. Other big donors included New York City real estate developers and landlord groups.