Corporate donations made up 45 percent of campaign contributions to state senators, a report from a labor-backed group said.
The report today by the Center for Working Families has a glaring omission: The money spent mainly by unions on candidates’ behalf, specifically the powerful state teacher’s union.
The report said that donations of $1,000 or more from individuals made up 24 percent of campaign contributions to specific senators during this election cycle, while union money was about 15 percent.
“With so much corporate cash, I wouldn’t be surprised if we soon see corporate banners hanging from the Senate chamber rafters,” said Dave Palmer, the executive director of the New York City-based group.
Unions, however, spent millions to try to help Democrats win back the majority this year. And right now, Republicans and Democrats each won 31 seats, thought four Democrats are part of an independent conference and two seats are still undecided.
The report said that Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, R-Nassau County, received the most in corporate donations: $979,443. Deputy Majority Leader Thomas Libous, R-Binghamton, received the second most: $686,350, and Independent Democratic Caucus leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx was third at $648,563.
Skelos also received the most from unions: nearly $249,000. But the report doesn’t highlight that.
The report said that Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, Otsego County, got about 75 percent of his campaign cash from corporations, the report said — the most of any senator.