Contributors to NY Gov Win $82.8M in State Contracts after Having None

Capital New York 12/9: “For Cuomo, it was one of the dozens of events that helped him raise a record $46.9 million for his re-election. But for members of the Capital Region Economic Development Council like Albany Medical Center C.E.O. James Barba and realtor Bob Blackman, then a member of nfrastructure’s board, the soiree marked the occasion of their first political contributions to the governor.

“The event came several months before Cuomo announced the council had won $82.8 million, in part for projects around the eight-county region—a reversal after two years of being snubbed in the state’s competitive funding process.”

MO Kingmaker Gives $1M to Candidate in Single Donation

St. Louis Post-Dispatch 12/9: “In what is apparently a first in Missouri politics, conservative kingmaker Rex Sinquefield has given $1 million in a single donation to a single candidate.”

“Sinquefield is the Missouri-based retired investor and chess enthusiast whose high-dollar donations to mostly conservative candidates and causes have been a key driver of Missouri political debates for years.

“Randles, a lawyer from Kansas City, is chairwoman of Missouri Club For Growth, a Sinquefield-financed organization that has promoted his pro-business, anti-tax agenda. Her husband, fellow lawyer Bill Randles, sought the Republican nomination for governor in 2012.”

State Reporters Rank Corruption in Each Branch of Government, Great Graphics

Washington Post: “A new survey of state political reporters, conducted by two professors, shows that Arizona is the only state where local reporters find that kind of corruption to be “very common” in both the legislative and executive branches.

“But that’s just illegal corruption, defined as government officials trading favors for cash or gifts. When it comes to legal corruption — the kind where officials trade favors for campaign contributions or endorsements — Kentucky and New Jersey top the list, with local reporters ranking that kind of corruption in the legislative and executive branches as ‘extremely common.'”

SuperPACs Spending Heavily in State & Local Elections

New York Times: “But a look at the activity of super PACs in the 2014 election cycle shows that they have expanded their activities far beyond the original model. In what is a perfectly legal maneuver in many states, they are at work in state elections, provide a foundation for future elections and serve as a source of money for other political committees. Sixteen super PACs that spent at least $1 million during the cycle spent nothing on trying to elect or defeat federal candidates, and 24 others spent less than half of their money that way.

“Combined, those 40 committees spent $287 million during the election, with $49 million of that on direct independent expenditures in federal races. This is the latest demonstration of what has become a predictable pattern in federal election regulation: Methods or vehicles created at the federal level typically find their way into state elections. While federal and state elections have different rules and regulators, money passes between them, and super PACs are no exception to that rule.”