Not in Westchester?
July 12, 2020


A cache of weapons and ammunition seized this week by police in Westchester County. Photo Credit: Tuckahoe Police
Giffords Political Action Committee called Democrat Antonio Delgado's 2018 congressional upset over U.S. Rep. John Faso "the dawn of a new era for gun safety in America." Photo Credit: Jon Craig

Gun Campaign Donations In NY, For Or Against

While most of the state's gun violence is centered near New York City, most of the federal campaign money -- on both sides of the gun rights debate -- is being spent Upstate.

A Daily Voice analysis of congressional campaign finance reports found that nearly all the money being spent by the NRA and other rifle affiliates as well as money spent for congressmen supporting gun control is being spent on candidates from Dutchess County north toward Utica and Syracuse. Other gun control money (detailed below) was spent during the last congressional election cycle in New York City and its suburbs.

While the National Rifle Association spending has fallen by nearly 70 percent nationwide since the 2014 midterm elections, groups supporting gun control spent nearly $12 million on the last congressional campaigns, the most they have spent in an election cycle since at least 2010.

The NRA spent nearly $692,000 on Republican congressional candidates and less than $20,000 on Democrats on 2018 congressional campaigns nationwide.

Meanwhile, crime statistics indicate that nearly 900 New Yorkers are killed with a gun each year.

Here is the breakdown of NRA spending in New York state in 2018:

  • -- $9,900 for former U.S. Rep. John Faso, who lost to Democratic challenger Antonio Delgado of Rhinebeck in the 19th Congressional District.
  • -- $9,900 to former U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney who lost to Democrat Anthony Brindisi. Tenney is considering another run in 2020 for the 22nd Congressional District near Utica.
  • -- $9,900 to Lee Zeldin, a Republican who represents part of Long Island in the 1st Congressional District. 
  • -- $2,000 to U.S. Rep. Chris Collins, a Republican who represents the 27th Congressional District between Buffalo and Rochester.
  • -- $2,000 to U.S. Rep. John Katko, a Republican who represents the 24th Congressional District near Syracuse.
  • -- $2,000 to Tom Reed, a Republican who represents the 23rd Congressional District near Ithaca.
  • -- $2,000 to Elise Stefanik, a Republican who represents the 21st Congressional District known as the North Country.  
  • Leading groups giving money to federal candidates on the gun control side of the campaign finance ledger include Bloomberg LP (Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund), the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Political Action Committee
  • Giffords PAC contributions in New York were as follows in 2018: 
  • -- $3,000 to Antonio Delgado, the Democrat who defeated U.S. Rep. Faso.
  • -- $3,000 to Anthony Brindisi, the Democrat who defeated U.S. Rep. Tenney.
  • -- $2,000 to U.S, Rep. Peter King, a Republican who represents the 2nd Congressional District on Long Island.
  • -- $2,000 to U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, who represents the 3rd Congressional District which includes parts of Queens and Long Island.
  • -- $2,000 to U.S. Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat who represents the 8th Congressional District in Brooklyn and Queens.
  • -- $2,000 to former U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, a Republican who represented the 11th Congressional District including Staten Island.
  • -- $1,000 to U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, a Democrat who represents the 26th Congressional District which includes Buffalo and Niagara Falls. 
  • -- $1,000 to Dana Balder, a Democrat who sought the 24th Congressional District seat, but lost to U.S. Rep. Katko
  • -- And in the U.S. Senate, $2,500 to incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand. 

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundations support a number of progressive causes, including gun control. In 2018, Bloomberg LP gave at least $1,000 to 15 members of Congress or candidates from New York and to one Democratic senator. Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund spent $3.8 million nationwide in 2018. 

Here is a breakdown of contributions to New York campaigns from gun control PACs associated with Bloomberg:

  • -- Former U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, $21,600 
  • -- U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-Cold Spring, who represents part of Westchester County, $18,500
  • -- U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison, who represents part of Westchester County, $18,100
  • -- U.S. Sen. Gillibrand, a Democrat, $17,545
  • -- U.S. Rep. Delgado, a Democrat, $7,008 
  • -- Former U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley, a Democrat, $6,785
  • -- Liuba Grechen Shirley, a Democratic candidate in the 2nd Congressional District, $6,225
  • -- Perry Gershon, a Democratic candidate in the 1st Congressional District, $2,800
  • -- Holly Lynch, a Democratic candidate in the 10th Congressional District in Manhattan, $2,700
  • -- U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice, a Democrat representing the 4th District on Long Island, $2,700
  • -- Pat Ryan, Democratic candidate in the 19th Congressional District, Ulster County, $2,700
  • -- U.S. Rep. Max Rose, a Democrat who defeated former Congressman Dan Donovan, $2,353
  • -- Adem Bunkeddeko, a Democratic candidate in the 9th Congressional District, $1,500
  • -- U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, a Democrat representing New York City's 12th Congressional District, $1,334
  • -- U.S  Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat who represents New York City's 10th Congressional District.
  • -- Dylan Ratigan, a Democratic candidate in the North Country's 21st Congressional District,  $1,000

Lobbying by various gun control groups also is up in recent years. So far in 2019, according to campaign finance reports, more than $1.2 million has been spent on lobbying. Giffords spent $240,000, March for Our Lives spent $120,000, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence spent $60,000 and Sandy Hook Promise spent $40,000. 

Last year, Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund spent $1.35 million on lobbying, Giffords spent $430,000, the Brady Center spent $119,212, Sandy Hook Promise spent $110,000 and March for Our Lives spent $30,000.

After Delgado upset former Rep. Faso last year, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords released the following statement congratulating him:

“Antonio Delgado dared to imagine an America where gun violence wasn’t normal and people didn’t have to live in fear, wondering if today was the day they would have to duck under a desk or hide in a closet. Antonio stood tall and boldly declared that the gun lobby is no longer welcome here, and their influence over our politicians is a thing of the past. Communities in New York responded to this message of courage and hope by electing Antonio to office. Today marks the dawn of a new era for gun safety in America."