Last week two hotly contested seats in the New York Senate were won by Republicans, giving the GOP a slight edge in the chamber and effectively dousing any hope of marriage equality for years to come. Yesterday the NY Daily News revealed that NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated almost $1M to help make that happen. Which is strange because he actually campaigned for one of the Democrats who lost.
Bloomberg secretly gave $900,000 to a barely regulated “housekeeping” account for the Senate Republican campaign, two sources confirm. The account doesn’t have to report its finances for another month, but the sources confirm Bloomberg pumped that cash in – an initial donation of $650,000, then $250,000 more to help push the GOP over the edge. “That’s what’s so weird,” said one of Bloomberg’s Albany allies. “He’s campaigning for Johnson, but then provided some late help for us.”
He sure did. The Republicans took back the Senate by a razor’s edge – Johnson lost by 451 votes out of more than 85,400 cast – and the next time Bloomberg needs something from Albany, you can be sure he’ll remind Dean Skelos how he got to be Senate GOP Leader. Bloomberg and Skelos are still taking each other’s measure; they don’t yet have the same warm friendship Bloomberg shared with the former Senate GOP boss, Joe Bruno. He pumped $1.1 million into the Senate GOP housekeeping account when Bruno ran it. But the $650,000 check Skelos received was among the biggest Bloomberg has ever written to any politician besides his own campaign.
Bloomberg gives a lot of lip service to marriage equality and frequently speaks on the issue before LGBT rights groups and at rallies. But clearly he has other priorities which outweigh the civil rights of gay New Yorkers.