Thursday, June 14, 2012
Running unopposed, yet rolling in dough
From the NY World:
A long way from humble Woodside, where he officially lives and serves as chair of the Queens County Democrats, Rep. Joseph Crowley conducts the part of his job the public never gets to see: bringing in big money as a leading fundraiser for the national Democratic Party.
Among the donors feting Crowley with fundraisers this election cycle so far has been the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation, the company that processes Wall Street’s stock trades. The scene last November was an Italian restaurant near Capitol Hill, where amid décor of china plates signed by D.C. power-brokers such as Nancy Pelosi and Rahm Emmanuel, two lobbyists from the company’s political action committee welcomed guests at $500 to $1000 per seat. The committee then chipped in $2,500 to Crowley’s campaign for re-election.
Depository Trust has plenty of company in donating to the Queens congressman. As of March 31, Crowley had raised more than $1.6 million in the 2012 primary season, with more than $500,000 of it coming from the finance, insurance and real estate industries. He has outraised and substantially outspent all other members of New York City’s Congressional delegation, even though he faces no challenger in the June 26 Democratic primary and is expected to coast to victory in November. Even his 50th birthday this March was an occasion for a fundraiser, with a live performance by Southside Johnny and the Asbury Dukes at the Grand Hyatt – preceded by a robocall musical performance by Crowley urging his supporters to show up.
Crowley’s massive war chest highlights a stark reality of New York City’s congressional delegation: Members who are unopposed in their party have raised and spent an average of nearly twice as much in the primary season as those facing a challenger. The three who have spent the most on their 2012 campaigns — Reps. Crowley, Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler — do not face primaries and expect only token opposition in November.