Liberal Interests at Work in Upstate N.Y.

The new campaign finance reports for the third quarter of 2006 reveal just how much New York Democrat Mike Arcuri is relying on labor unions and liberal interests to bankroll his campaign for the 24th District seat being vacated by moderate Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R.-N.Y.).

According to Political Money Line, organized labor is the No. 1 PAC contributor to Arcuri’s campaign, totaling $108,500. Among the big donors are the United Food & Commercial Workers Union ($11,700), United Transportation Union ($10,000) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ($6,500).

Arcuri’s fundraising totals, which for the third quarter surpassed those of Republican Ray Meier, include contributions from several liberal Democrat members of Congress, pro-abortion groups and an organization that promotes same-sex marriage.

For the first time in more than two decades, the abortion issue figures to play a higher profile role in the 24th District race. Arcuri’s pro-abortion stance has benefited him financially. The pro-abortion New York Choice PAC has sent Arcuri $5,000 and NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC donated $4,000. Meier opposes abortion.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Campaign PAC has donated nearly $10,000 to Arcuri. The Washington, D.C.-based group supports “equal rights” for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. Its agenda also includes support for same-sex marriage. It gave a total of $9,257 to Arcuri. He’s also the only New York candidate endorsed by the group.

Arcuri has also pulled in more than $15,000 from the San Francisco metro area and another $11,150 from the Los Angeles-Long Beach area, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Meier, on the other hand, has raised most of his money locally—$231,802 in the Utica-Rome area compared to Arcuri’s $158,387. New York City ranks in the top five metro areas for both candidates. Arcuri has collected $52,100 compared to Meier’s $23,600.

The biggest difference between the candidates is the money they’ve brought in from current members of Congress. Meier has received donations from half as many Republican congressmen (15) as Arcuri has from Democrat congressmen (30).

But perhaps more startling is the collective lifetime American Conservative Union rating of Democrats supporting Arcuri: an extraordinarily low 11.8%. The donations reveal that despite his middle-of-the-road rhetoric, Arcuri is taking money from some of the most liberal members of Congress, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.), the would-be House speaker, and Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D.-Md.), the aspiring majority leader.

Democrat members of Congress backing Arcuri include the following (ranked by lifetime American Conservative Union rating).

Member State ACU Rating
Janice Schakowsky Illinois 2%
William Delahunt Massachusetts 3%
Sander Levin Michigan 3%
Jerrold Nadler New York 3%
Nancy Pelosi California 3%
Jose Serrano New York 3%
Nadia Velazquez New York 4%
Gary Ackerman New York 5%
Maurice Hinchey New York 5%
Mike Honda California 5%
Zoe Lofgren California 5%
Alcee Hastings Florida 6%
Louise Slaughter New York 6%
Anthony Weiner New York 7%
Susan Davis California 8%
Steny Hoyer Maryland 8%
Kendrick Meek Florida 8%
Gregory Meeks New York 9%
Jay Inslee Washington 10%
Adam Schiff California 11%
Brian Baird Washington 12%
Joseph Crowley New York 14%
Brian Higgins New York 16%
Adam Smith Washington 19%
Steve Israel New York 20%
C.A. Ruppersberger Maryland 20%
Michael McNulty New York 21%
Artur Davis Alabama 28%
Michael Ross Arkansas 41%
Bud Cramer Alabama 49%