Paterson Reaches Out to Campaign Supporters

While he is the focus of national attention, Gov. David Paterson plans to reach out directly to his supporters and campaign contributors this week in an effort to boost the almost $3.6 million he collected in the last half of 2008.

His campaign plans its first “supporter conference call''  for Thursday at 6 p.m.

The Democrat, who is running for governor in 2010, is scheduled to answer questions submitted by supporters through his Web site or by calling in.

Paterson's campaign notes he was interviewed in Washington this week about the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama on CNN's “American Morning.'' The campaign e-mail also says Paterson will address many issues, apparently including the pending appointment of a successor to Hillary Rodham Clinton in the U.S. Senate.

His latest campaign filings show that from July to this month, Paterson collected almost $3.6 million in campaign contributions, more than doubling his July balance. After spending $1.8 million over the last six months, Paterson had $4.8 million in his campaign account as of the January filing. He became governor in March.

The contributors range from individuals giving as little $300 to corporate executives and lobbyist donating $25,000 each.

Among the contributors with business before government is the New York Mets, whose parent company donated $50,000 in two checks on Dec. 9, according to state Board of Elections filings. The Mets are seeking government-supported funding through New York City for its new stadium, an effort questioned by a state Assembly committee in public hearings.

The checks were received a day after it was reported that the Mets and New York Yankees were asking the city for $450 million more in public bonds to finance their new ballparks, that on top of nearly $1.5 billion they were already granted, according to the city's Economic Development Corp.

The Yankees donated $15,000 to Paterson on Jan. 16. Maria Cuomo Cole contributed $15,000 on Jan. 5. She is Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's sister, the daughter of former Gov. Mario Cuomo, and wife of fashion designer Kenneth Cole.

Other individual contributions included $1,000 from Ivanka Trump, who is on the board of directors of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which operates three casinos in Atlantic City. She is the daughter of Donald and Ivana Trump.

The former state lobbying commission issued some its biggest fines -- $250,000 each -- against lobbyists for Trump and the Yankees as Trump pursued legalized gambling in New York and the Yankees were involved in a battle over broadcast rights for their games.

In October, Paterson's campaign cut two checks totaling $325,000 to the state Democratic Committee, the state party organization usually controlled by governors.

In August, he paid $2,000 to the Spitzer 2010 campaign for its fundraising database. Paterson became governor when Eliot Spitzer resigned under federal investigation for patronizing prostitutes.

Spitzer's campaign fund still has about $300,000 after spending $114,000 in the last six months. There were no contributions. The Spitzer campaign refunded nearly $50,000 during that period and paid more than $14,000 to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, a Manhattan law firm that once employed Spitzer's wife, Silda, and his former budget director and top aide, Paul Francis.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us