Paul A. Tokasz, a former Assembly majority leader, has put his campaign war chest to work since leaving the Legislature to become a lobbyist.
Former Assemblyman Spreads the Largess as a Lobbyist
Mr. Tokasz, a Democrat from Buffalo who left the Assembly’s No. 2 post in 2006, has donated more than $57,000 from his campaign account, Friends of Paul Tokasz, to government officials — most of whom his firm has been lobbying.
While the practice is not illegal or unique, it has raised questions about weaknesses in state and federal campaign finance laws. Last year, The New York Times reported on a similar strategy employed by Robert G. Torricelli, a former United States senator from New Jersey who became a lobbyist.
Referring to campaign finance laws, Barbara Bartoletti, the legislative director of the League of Women Voters of New York State, said, “There are so few things in New York State that are illegal, and that’s exactly the problem.”
“Can’t you just see the interoffice memo? ‘Welcome Paul Tokasz,’ ” she said, adding, “ ‘By the way, he has “X” number of dollars to contribute.’ ”
1) Raise money, but don't run
2) Become lobbyist
3) Use money to bribe people who do run