Unlimited outside spending explodes in New York's governor election
Rebekah F. Ward reports in the Times Union that the super rich are attempting to sway the outcome of the governor's election this fall with political action committee spending doubling in final two weeks of the election. Billionaire cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder is running ads about surging crime in New York to scare voters to Republican Lee Zeldin, while James Dolan, the rich man who owns Madison Square Garden, had his super PAC spend $560,000 on television, radio, and digital ads backing Democrat Kathy Hochul just under two weeks before voting ends. Dolan is betting on Hochul's support of a $7 billion redevelopment of Penn Station to boost his own business. And two state teachers unions also added $500,000 each last month into a pro-Hochul group called Progress NYS. Meanwhile, Save Our State NY and Safe Together New York, two groups supported by Lauder, have spent over $15 million for Zeldin. "This is the first of what I would call a modern election, an independent expenditures-driven election. I think this is the way it’s going to be going forward," said John Kaehny, executive director of good-government group Reinvent Albany. The Times Union says that Lauder alone accounts for nearly a third of the money raised to help Zeldin get elected. In 2018, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo recieved over $4 million in unlimited outside spending, and this year's election has already been injected with more than five times that amount. Read the full story in the Times Union.