Wow: Former GOP Donors Giving Millions More to Cuomo Than Republicans

Posted: Aug 05, 2014 5:30 PM

Is this a sign that there’s no hope for Republicans in the Empire State? No - but it’s still alarming. A new analysis by Bill Mahoney at the New York Public Interest Research Group reveals that more than half of the New York Republican Party’s top 50 GOP donors from 2003 to 2006 chose to donate to liberal Governor Andrew Cuomo over his GOP challenger Rob Astorino this campaign cycle.

NYPIRG’s July 2014 Government Fundraising Report shows the disparity. It’s a lot of numbers, but here’s the succinct breakdown from Capital New York:

Of the 50 donors who gave the most to the G.O.P. in the runup to the 2006 gubernatorial election—when Democrat Eliot Spitzer became governor after three terms of Republican George Pataki—28 have given $5.5 million to Cuomo and the Democrats for the 2014 campaigns, contributing just $435,000 to Astorino and the Republicans during the same time period. Another 19 stopped giving to any candidates, and three gave more money to Astorino and the Republicans, according to the analysis.

One specific company that switched its loyalty includes Brookfield Financial Properties L.P.:

Brookfield gave a combined $210,000 to the G.O.P. between 2003 and 2006. But in recent years, the company has been far more generous to Cuomo and the Democrats, giving $813,500 between 2011 and 2014 the analysis show.

Two questions: Why are these businesses not giving as much support to the GOP and what attracts them to Governor Cuomo?

In addition to Cuomo’s seemingly safe incumbency, the governor’s fiscal conservatism may explain these new gifts. Liberals have criticized Cuomo for his catering to the wealthy and waging a “war on labor” - while mega donors seem indifferent to Cuomo's progressive social agenda.

As for other former GOP donors, records show they’ve just stopped giving donations, period - suggesting they are just not passionate about the state of the party in New York. Certainly, the polls don’t provide much hope, as Republican Rob Astorino has yet to make this campaign a contest. But, with Cuomo’s Morelandgate scandal quickly gaining headlines, that may soon change.