Airbnb, REBNY spending big on opposing candidates in NY State Senate races

PACs are arming opposing Hudson Valley-area candidates

Oct.October 20, 2016 12:12 PM

Of the $5.42 million spent on the New York State Senate races by independent groups thus far, close to $800,000 has come from real estate-connected political action committees.

The Real Estate Board of New York’s Jobs for New York PAC has shelled out $571,705 aiding Republicans. The PAC Stronger Neighborhoods, which has received $11 million from short-term rental company Airbnb, spent a total of $215,645, all of which went to Democrat Terry Gipson of the Hudson Valley-area Senate District 41, Politico reported.

REBNY has spent $139,476 million apiece on Republican campaigns in three districts. The recipients were Sen. Sue Serino, Gipson’s opponent in District 41, Terrence Murphy in the Westchester-area District 40, and Elaine Phillips in Northern Nassau, where the seat was vacated by Republican Jack Martins (he’s pursing a congressional seat).

In District 41, where REBNY’s PAC and Stronger Neighborhoods are supporting opposing candidates, the Airbnb-affiliated group released an ad Tuesday against incumbent Serino for voting in favor of the bill that would fine Aibnb hosts $7,500 for illegal listings.

In August, The Real Deal reported that REBNY has been increasingly willing to fund Democratic candidates. In the previous cycle, more than a quarter of REBNY members’ donations to state senate candidates and parties went to Todd Kaminsky, the Long Island Democrat who replaced disgraced Dean Skelos as Majority Leader in April.  [Politico]Chava Gourarie

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