This month already saw back to back to back fundraisers with another slated for April 30 and according to the Times Union, there is another slated for next month.
The first was held Tuesday by Troy Council President Rodney Wiltshire at Bomber’s Burrito Bar at $150 a pop – but attendees could contribute up to $1,000 or as little as $25 or nothing at all. It’s pretty steep for a fundraiser for a Council president considering on Wednesday the Rensselaer County Republican Party was charging just $40 and they had gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino as the guest of honor.
I guess you could look at it two ways. Either Wiltshire was asking an exorbitant amount of money for a Council president with an eyeball towards higher office or the county GOP don’t think too much of Astorino’s chances of beating Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Doesn’t matter, really, fundraising is one of those things where you get what you can when you can.
The Wiltshire camp says they had 115 people sign in for the event that raised in excess of $8,000. Before the event even kicked off, though, I was getting text messages and emails about how Wiltshire was reaching out to people and offering them comp tickets just to fill the room. The Wiltshire camp, however, said it was also a victory party for the volunteers who helped him win the presidency last year. Also, people at the event claim they figured between 30 and 40 people actually paid the full ticket price.
Not in attendance, I’m told, were any mainstream Democrats like county Chair Tom Wade, City Chair Jack McCann or those close with the party hierarchy. Those Democrats who were, I’m told, are members of what Wade calls “The Delusional Bunch.”
I wasn’t there so I don’t know firsthand and we may not have any idea how much he raised until the formal financials are filed in June. The last filing showed Wiltshire with $6,780 in the bank but during his campaign last year he loaned himself $6,000, a loan he will eventually have to repay.
Wednesday, I’m told more than 200 people showed up and paid the $40 to hear Astorinio speak at Franklin Terrace. Again, it was for the entire committee rather than one person and they charged less than a third of what Wiltshire charged.
On April 30, the County Democrats will hold one of their two major fundraising events at Franklin Terrace and the asking donation is $85 a ticket or $150 per couple to see another statewide candidate – incumbent Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Obviously, the Dems think more of their guest of honor than the GOP does.
Next month, according to the Times Union, Mayor Lou Rosamilia will hold his own fundraiser to boost his paltry war chest that now stands at about $16. While I’m still not convinced Rosamilia will run again, it is clear Wiltshire has an eye towards higher office and many think it is mayor. He has said he won’t primary Rosamilia, and the only sure fire way to stave off any attempt by Wiltshire to force a Democratic primary against another candidate – since there is about no chance the Democrats will support him – is to make it look like Rosamilia runs again, even if it comes down to collecting petitions for him and have him decline the nomination.
Then again, I’ve been wrong before and the mayor may run again. It would certainly make things easier for his appointments in City Hall and the party as a whole.