Even though they were just elected to office last November, state lawmakers and Governor Andrew Cuomo have been very busy fundraising for their next potential campaigns. Governor Cuomo is continuing a fast pace of raking in large sums of money, even though if he chooses to run again, he won't stand for re-election until 2018. Zack Fink filed this report.
Even though he was just re-elected last fall, Governor Andrew Cuomo is continuing to aggressively fundraise, taking in nearly $5.2 million over the last six months. The governor's campaign committee had an opening balance of $8.8 million and is currently sitting on $12.6 million in its accounts.
Looking at spending, the governor's campaign shelled out $100,000 for a lawyer representing him in the U.S. Attorney's investigation into the premature shut down of the anti-corruption Moreland Commission.
Cuomo's opponent in 2014, Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino has also continued to haul in cash. Astorino raised $590,000 since January, and is sitting on $557,000 for another possible run for governor in 2018.
State Senate Republicans, who control the majority, reported raising nearly $2 million since January. It's been a tumultuous period for the Republicans who saw its leader Dean Skelos indicted on corruption charges.
By comparison, Senate Democrats raised roughly $800,000 in the first six months of 2015. It's less than half of what Republicans took in, but it may be an indication the caucus has turned a financial corner after previously being stuck in debt.
Critics say there is far too much money in the system, and it needs to be cleaned up.
"There is no question that it is getting worse. The Moreland Commission that was set up by Governor Cuomo to investigate public corruption identified the problem of what it called New York's pay-to-play culture," says Lawrence Norden of the Brennan Center for Justice.
The next statewide elections are not until 2016. One area that will be closely watched is the State Senate where Republicans hold a razor-thin one seat majority. Whether or not they can hold that majority depends in part on how much money they can raise.