Show me the money; Hollywood for Mark Levine


All candidates and incumbents running for re-election had to file financial disclosure reports with the New York State Board of Elections last week. The numbers filed show 31st District state senate race is a close one. Mark Levine has raised $156,126 since the beginning of the year, 96 percent of those contributions coming from individual donors. Some notable individuals include his friend, actor Edward Norton, who donated $12,500, and his “friend-of-a-friend” Matt Damon, star of the Bourne Trilogy, who donated $15,000.

“[Edward Norton’s] been incredibly generous. He’s been very supportive of my efforts to reform Albany,” Mr. Levine said.

“We don’t have access to the corporations, so we have to work with individuals. It’s a dollar at a time. It’s a lot of work,” he added.

His richest competitor, Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, raised $168,051, 32 percent of those contributions coming from individual donors. Mr. Espaillat was recently endorsed by Rep. Eliot Engel, Councilman Oliver Koppell and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

There is a similar trend of individual donors versus corporate, or business, donors in the 33rd District state Senate race. Gustavo Rivera, who was recently endorsed by Mr. Koppell and the powerful Working Families Party, raised $65,535 so far this year, with 81 percent of his contributions from individuals. State Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. raised $81,775, with 21 percent coming from individuals, to add to the $252,478 in his pocket from last year.

After expenses, Mr. Espada’s cash-in-hand is a whopping $322,903, while Mr. Rivera has $38,443. As we reported last week, the New Roosevelt Initiative has vowed to spend at least $250,000 to remove Mr. Espada from the state Senate and has endorsed Mr. Rivera.