Pataki Campaign Money: Chapter 2

IMG_3174The super PAC is super low on dough.

We The People, Not Washington, the super PAC supporting George Pataki’s presidential bid, reports having $67,000 on hand as of June 30th.  In comparison, Jeb Bush’s super PAC reported raising $103 million and having $97 million on hand.

We The People managed to raise about $859,000, but spent most of it.  As we’ve reported in detail, Pataki’s presidential campaign committee reported cash on hand of $207,000 as of June 30th.  Absent a marked increase in contributions to either or both of the super PAC and campaign committee Pataki’s longshot bid may not survive the summer.

Although Pataki was initially involved with the super PAC, like all presidential candidates he’s prohibited from “coordinating” with the super PAC(s) supporting him after his legal declaration of candidacy in early June.


We The People‘s contributor list is laden with longtime Pataki supporters.  That’s a natural base to start with and important to have, but it doesn’t appear deep enough to support Pataki’s candidacy into winter and spring 2016.  Topping the contributor list at $75,000 each are Earle Mack and John Catsimatidis’ company United Refining Company.  Mack is a real estate developer with a long Pataki relationship.  Catsimatidis has also long supported Pataki and received Pataki’s support during his 2013 mayoral campaign.

Other large contributors include Jerome Ansel and Stephen M. Ross (each at $50,000), Jack Basch ($36,000), Aron Blustein ($35,000), Walter J. Ganzi Jr., ($30,000), Pataki’s former secretary of state Alexander Treadwell ($27,000) and Jon Buccola, affordable housing developer Donald Cappoccia, former co-owner and CEO of the Daily News Fred Drasner, Los Angeles accountant Brian Dror and former U. of Denver chancellor Daniel Ritchie at $25,000 each. Ansel was a generous supporter of Pataki’s gubernatorial campaigns and an investor in healthcare businesses with a variety of Pataki friends and associates.  Ross is the Chairman of Related Companies, a major real estate developer and investor.

Politically notable contributors include former MTA chairman E. Virgil Conway ($1,000), former Pataki staffer Thomas Doherty ($3,000), former NYS Parks Commissioner Bernadette Castro ($1,000), former Pataki Secretary/post-government business partner and 2014 candidate for attorney general John Cahill ($10,000 via Friends of Cahill), former NYS Insurance Superintendent Gregory Serio ($1,000) and 2013 Republican mayoral candidate Joe Lhota ($1,000).  Pataki supported Catsimatidis over Lhota during the 2013 mayoral primary.  In a 2013 interview Lhota rejected the notion that the dueling Pataki/Giuliani endorsements were a reprise of old Pataki/Giuliani rivalries, however, and he’s now put some money behind that assertion.


We The People‘s spending is heavily weighted to consultants, with a significant but lesser amount for TV ad buys.  We The People operates with just two direct employees.  The financial records describe an operation run almost entirely through consultants and consulting firms, with at least nine separate firms.  Those firms include “In The Field LLC”, home of key Pataki aides Rob Cole and Jake Menges.  Payments to In The Field of over $300,000 include “management and policy consulting” fees, “public relations” and “media purchase”.  Fundraising was conducted by longtime Pataki fundraiser Cathy Blaney’s CBlaney Group LLC and Full House Events LLC.  New Hampshire operations appear to be run by Alicia Preston’s The Preston Group.  Other consultants include Mercury Public Affairs, home of some longtime Pataki aides (for polling and “legal”), Verus LLC and 5W “public relations”, each for public relations consulting, Seitchik HQ LLC for “management and strategy” consulting and Lacy Lynch as a “brand consultant.”