Pataki Campaign Money: Chapter 1

IMG_3174The good news for George Pataki – his presidential campaign reports having over 80% of the money it’s raised still on hand, spending less than 20%.  The bad news for George Pataki – the amount on hand totals just over $200,000.

In his initial campaign finance report the former New York governor reported raising $255,000 and spending $48,000. This filing covers the 2nd quarter of 2015, April 1 to June 30th.  Pataki’s campaign committee was created on May 19th, just ahead of his May 28th formal announcement in Exeter, New Hampshire and his June 2nd FEC “Statement of Candidacy”, so it’s a shortened time period of actual fundraising.

The amount raised by Pataki’s campaign is meager, able to fund some low-cost trips to New Hampshire and Iowa, but not nearly enough to truly compete.  There’s a significant known unknown, however.  Pataki created a super PAC in early January and that super PAC, “We The People, Not Washington”, has yet to file its initial report.  Super PACs may raise unlimited amounts, with no contribution limits, so a small number of (or even a single) wealthy and willing contributors can provide substantial funding for a presidential bid.  Pataki’s financial outlook could be dramatically different, depending on his super PAC’s results.  (Stay tuned – we’ll update you on the super PAC filing as soon as its available.)


Pataki’s campaign committee report is heavy on longtime supporters and staff, with little to suggest any expansion of his fundraising base.  Here’s a brief look at some of those contributors.

Catherine Blaney: Blaney was Pataki’s chief fundraiser during his years as governor and has worked for many other candidates, including Andrew Cuomo.

John Cahill:  Cahill was Secretary to Governor Pataki and has been partners with Pataki in both their own consulting firm and at the law firm of Chadbourne & Park.  He was the 2014 Republican nominee for NYS Attorney General.

Bernadette Castro:  Castro was Pataki’s Parks Commissioner throughout his three terms.

Thomas Doherty:  He held several senior positions with Governor Pataki, including Deputy Secretary for Appointments.

Preston Felton:  A career member of the NY State Police, Felton was Acting Superintendent of the State Police during Eliot Spitzer’s term and was ensnared in the “Troopergate” fiasco.

Kieran Mahoney:  Pataki’s chief political strategist, Mahoney worked on all three of Pataki’s gubernatorial campaigns.

Chauncey Parker:  Pataki’s Director of Criminal Justice Services, Parker is now at the Manhattan DA’s office.  (Pataki’s filing lists Parker’s occupation as “Public Service.”)

Among Pataki’s other contributors are George Demos, who’s run in several bitter NY-1 congressional district Republican primaries, and James Pappas of PJ Mechanical Corp.  Pappas and PJ Mechanical were indicted by Manhattan DA Cy Vance in 2011, charged in a multi-defendant scheme to defraud construction clients.  (Initial searches have not produced any news reports on the disposition.)


The campaign does not report paying any employees.  It does report paying campaign manager Vincent Balascio as a consultant.  The campaign’s other reported expenses include office rent, “media engagement services”, “Website Development”, “Rally Equipment Rental”, Printing” and “Merchant Fee”.