Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Silver Rakes In Nearly $20K From Congestion-Pricing Opponents

Congestion pricing was a controversial measure, depending on how close you were located to the center of Manhattan as well as how you got to work, people either loved it or hated it. Big personalities dominated on either side, Bloomberg was for it, Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver destroyed it. Oh wait, but he said he supported it (being that his district makes up most of Lower Manhattan) though reportedly not enough Democrats supported it in the Assembly and Silver didn't even let it come to a vote.

The no-vote pissed Bloomie and others off in Manhattan, while Shelly managed to thwart another proposal to fix one aspect of New York like he has so many times in the last decade or two. So now as the primary season heats up and Sheldon is being challenged by Paul Newell and Luke Henry, he needs his friends to come to bat for him and write big checks to put distance between him and them. Want to see who some of those contributors are?

From Streetsblog:

Here's a rundown of major donations to his campaign from groups who sided against pricing or influenced the proposed legislation.

Note that most of the contributions were given before the Assembly's Democratic conference scuttled the pricing bill in a closed-door session. (Groups are located within the state of New York unless otherwise noted.)

  • BLACK CAR PAC: $2500, March 19
  • UNITED BUS CORPORATION: $2500, March 14
  • HUNTINGTON COACH, LLC: $2500, March 14
  • KENSINGTON ENTERPRISES LLC (parking garage): $2000, March 19
  • VANGUARD CAR RENTAL USA INC. (Tulsa, OK): $1500, May 16
  • SYLVAN FORESTER GARAGE, LLC: $1000, March 19
  • CHAMPION PARKING 36 LLC: $1000, March 19
  • ENTERPRISE RENT A CAR NY PAC: $1000, March 19
Source: New York State Board of Elections

So not only did the anti-congestion pricing forces come to Shelly's aid, they came right before that important bill wanted to come to the floor. Instead, Silver got his campaign account bulked up and the bill never saw the light of day. In Albany (and many other legislatures) that is how things work when those with power and a lust for large contributions get their way. That is why we must fight bad Democrats like Shelly, and put in better, more progressive ones like Paul Newell or Luke Henry.