2012-10-05 / Top Stories

Teacher Union Money To Dem Candidates

Teacher unions, both from the city and state, are getting heavily involved in the State Senate races this year, sending hundreds of thousands to Democrats involved in close races in an attempt to give the Senate back to the Democrats, records show.

And, insiders say, at least $500,000 of that money will go to Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. in his race against City Councilman Eric Ulrich for the 15th District seat, which includes Rockaway and Broad Channel.

Columnist Kenneth Lovett, who bills his column as the “Albany Insider,” said in a recent issue that the unions are angry at the Republicans for working with Governor Andrew Cuomo on the pension cap bill.

“The unions want to send a message to the governor by owning the Senate,” Lovett wrote.

And, even though Senator Shirley Huntley was arrested and arraigned for her connection to a phony nonprofit to which she sent public money, the UFT endorsed her for reelection and sent her nearly $12,000 in campaign donations.

Huntley eventually lost the primary election to City Councilman James Sanders Jr., but the discredited Senator had the union’s support in that election as well.

This week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg blasted the unions for supporting Democratic Senate candidates.

“I don’t know what rational person would want to go back to those days,” he said on his radio show, referring to the chaos that occurred when the Democrats last controlled the Senate.

While he decried that the unions were funding the Democrats, campaign records show that Bloomberg gave $1 million of his own money to the Senate Republicans’ campaign committee to support its candidates in the upcoming election, including City Councilman Eric Ulrich, who is running against Addabbo.

The Republicans maintain a small 33-29 margin in the Senate and four of the Democrats have broken away to form a group that caucuses with the Republicans, giving them an even larger majority.

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