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You Paid For It: Campaign Fundraisers

When the sun sets over Albany, the politicking continues. Lawmakers who are in Albany and collecting per diems for meals, are wining and dining lobbyists and each other at fundraiser after fundraiser.
On one night in downtown Albany during the legislative session, we found four major fundraisers going on at the Hilton Albany. The Fort Orange Club is also a popular spot for the nighttime gatherings. Prices at the events range from $200 per person to as much as the $1,000 a head that Senator Malcom Smith charged for his fundraiser at the swank 74 State Hotel.
Barbara Bartoletti of the League of Women Voters says lawmakers have fundraisers in Albany because that’s where the lobbyists are and that’s where the money is. She says lobbyists and special interest groups are more than happy to turn over big checks in an effort to curry favor with powerful lawmakers.
A push for campaign finance reform died in the State Senate this year, although campaign fundraising practices may be investigated by Governor Cuomo’s new Moreland Commission.
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