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With help from friends, Grisanti on spending spree

ALBANY -– Is it a sign of worry or sign of might?

The Senate Republican Campaign Committee in the past week pumped $100,000 into Sen. Mark Grisanti’s re-election efforts, helping him to fund a new television ad campaign filling the airwaves.

On Thursday, Grisanti’s Democratic opponent, Michael Amodeo, said his latest campaign filing -– all reports from campaigns across the state are due today at the state Board of Elections -– would show him with about $10,000 on hand. (His actual report, as of 3 p.m. anyway, is not yet available on the election board’s web site).

Grisanti’s report, however, did land this afternoon with the agency, and it shows him with $50,000 on hand. He raised only $3,600 in contributions the past several weeks, though his overall balance was pumped up by the $100,000 donation on Sept. 28 by the chief Senate Republican fundraising committee in Albany. That’s on top of a $78,000 donation from the Senate GOP committee just two weeks earlier in the days leading up to his primary election.

The $100,000 –- the largest donation by the Senate Republicans to one of their own in the past three weeks -- was needed by Grisanti. His campaign shows him spending $160,000 during the brief election window after the primary -- all but $10,000 of that on a television ad campaign. Presumably, that is the campaign running on the airwaves now that shows a smiling Gov. Andrew Cuomo hugging Grisanti at an event last year in Buffalo. Grisanti is desperate to portray a coziness factor with Cuomo in the Democratic-dominated Senate district that covers parts of north Buffalo, and the northern and southern suburbs in Erie County.

Also not yet posted on the election board’s web site is the latest filing by Charles Swanick, the Democrat who lost to Amodeo in last month’s primary but is still on the ballot on the Conservative Party’s line. His filing will show how active -– or not -– Swanick has been in raising and spending money, which will show how much -– or how little -- he intends to campaign.

UPDATE: Swanick's new filing shows hardly any activity. He raised only $2,500 from one source -- an individual living in Virginia. He got $600 from in-kind contributions, mostly for office space in Buffalo. And he still lists the $35,000 in liabilities -- to himself -- from loans he provided the campaign before the primary. His campaign listed $600 in expenses the past three weeks, though the details were not listed on the election board's web site. The bottom line: Swanick has $12,807 on hand.

UPDATE: While the Senate Republicans are starting to spend on Grisanti, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee today reported spending $180,000 on behalf of nine Democratic candidates. Amodeo, as The Buffalo News reported today, did not make the cut list for the Democratic committee's money flow. Before they give him money, Senate Democrats say they want to see Amodeo's campaign is serious, has a chance to beat Grisanti and can raise money on its own. Senate Democrats spent $125,000 the past month on polling to help figure out which Democrats around the state might actually have a chance in November against Republicans.

--Tom Precious

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About Politics Now

Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

rmccarthy@buffnews.com


Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

tprecious@buffnews.com


Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

@jillterreri | jterreri@buffnews.com


Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | jzremski@buffnews.com

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