Candidates running for elections this fall were required to file their disclosure forms with the State Board of Elections by last Tuesday, Sept. 3, and the BOE website posted the figures this week. They shed light on how much each candidate is spending, and on what, and how much they've racked in in campaign contributions so far. You can go here to search by candidate name, contributor name or by office.
According to the reports, Sen. Pedro Espada has raised a whopping $484,855.51 in contributions since January 2009. Espada, who serves as the chair of the Senate's Housing Committee, gets a large portion of his contributions from landlords. By the Bronx News Network's calculation, he received nearly $200,000 from groups or individuals associated with building management and real estate (he's also been criticized by pro-tenant groups who say progressive housing legislation has stalled since Espada took over as committee head).
Espada also got a recent donation from Hank Sheinkopf, a political consultant whose expertise on the race has been quoted in media outlets like the Daily News, the New York Times, and this one.
“So what?” Sheinkopf said when asked about his $500 contribution. “My analysis has nothing to do with who I give money to.”
As for what Espada's spent, it's not even half of what he's raised: he listed $191,068.76 in campaign expenditures this year. A lot of that was on printing and mailing campaign literature, and a little over $36,000 went to Gil Rentas, a video production company (maybe for this TV spot?). Other expenses include a few thousand on school supplies, which he handed out in his district a few weeks ago, $14,000 in contributions to other political campaigns, and $3,243 to the State Board of Elections for violation fees (Espada has a history of failing to file his campaign disclosure reports.)
Rival candidate Gustavo Rivera-now the only remaining challenger, since lawyer Dan Padernacht dropped out this weekend-pulled in $187,883.80 in contributions since he launched his campaign in May. Much of that came in the form of smaller donations from individuals, as well as bigger funds from the many unions and organizations that have endorsed Rivera over the last month or so (like 1199 SEIU, the Committee of Interns and Residents, and a number of other labor groups.)
Rivera has in turn spent $114,667.84, much of it going to consulting costs, campaign literature, paying staff, and to “technical services” at ActBlue, a fundraising website for Democratic candidates.
Both Rivera and Espada will have to file a final disclosure report for the primary by Sept. 24.