ALBANY, July 19, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The four New York Republicans who changed their votes to swing the New York Senate in favor of gay “marriage” all received hefty donations from New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg, according to campaign finance records filed last week.
State Senator Mark Grisanti was the first of the four to file his report last Wednesday, reporting a $10,300 contribution from Bloomberg. The donation was dated July 8th – two weeks after the Senate voted to redefine marriage in New York state.
The Democratic mayor has long been an active supporter of gay “marriage,” and plans to officiate at the “wedding” of chief policy advisor John Feinblatt and his male partner on July 24th, the day the new law goes into effect.
According to a City Hall News report, Bloomberg had promised before the Senate vote to financially support any Republican who voted in favor of gay “marriage.”
The other three Republicans, Senators Roy McDonald, Stephen Saland, and James Alesi, all reported recent contributions from Bloomberg of the same amount as Grisanti’s, which is the maximum amount allowed by law.
Sen. Ruben Diaz, Sr., a Bronx minister and the only Democrat to vote against the legislation, accused Bloomberg of buying the Republican votes in a statement released last week.
“In the ten years that I have served in the New York State Senate, there have been a handful of Senators who I have come to admire and respect. Stephen Saland used to be one of them,” Diaz wrote. “Now, after hearing rumors and reading that consciences have been bought and sold, it is very sad to think that Mr. Saland has gone that route.”
Diaz concluded his statement by calling for an investigation by the Attorney General.
Micah Lasher, a top Bloomberg aide, confirmed the donations to the New York Daily News last week. “The mayor said he would support Senate Republicans who stood up – and he did,” Lasher said.
Another Bloomberg aide confirmed that the mayor met personally with Grisanti and McDonald during a recent trip to Albany and spoke by phone with Alesi and Saland.
The news service is also reporting an exchange with a Daily News reporter in which Bloomberg defended the donation. According to the report, the mayor cut reporter Erin Einhorn short when she began her question by stating, “I know you made some contributions to Republican senators who voted the way you wanted on gay marriage.”
“They didn’t vote the way I wanted. They voted the right way,” Bloomberg interjected. “They voted the way for freedom, for democracy, for equality, and I think we should all support that.”
Bloomberg is not the only politician under scrutiny for financial dealings related to New York’s new “marriage” law after last week’s campaign finance records were filed. The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday that the gay rights organization Empire State Pride Agenda donated $60,000 to the governor of New York, making them one of Cuomo’s biggest supporters.
Governor Cuomo was at the forefront of the effort to pass the legislation, fulfilling a campaign pledge to make gay “marriage” a priority for his Administration.