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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 08:38 PM
Original message
Look at this!
As race waned, money flowed
Nassau County DA-elect Rice raised six times more cash than Dillon in campaign's final days


December 29, 2005

Democrat Kathleen Rice raised more than six times as much money as Republican incumbent Denis Dillon in the final days of the race for Nassau County district attorney, including substantial sums from Teresa Heinz, wife of 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, and Nassau executive Thomas Suozzi, recent campaign filings show.

Rice, who narrowly won the Nov. 8 contest, brought in $234,152 from Oct. 25 to Dec. 1, compared with $37,936 for Dillon.

Rice's windfall occurred after a campaign filing in late October showed that Dillon had surpassed her in contributions by nearly $100,000 and had more cash on hand.

But Rice campaign spokesman Eric Phillips said the last-minute fundraising wasn't in response to Dillon. "Her prowess in the closing days was a reflection more of the public's increased confidence in her candidacy than it was any increase in time spent raising money," he said.

Overall, Rice raised $650,521 compared with Dillon's $545,562.

In the campaign's last two weeks, Rice outspent Dillon nearly 4 to 1. More than $180,000 of her spending went for television ads, campaign literature and other advertising.

"The money Ms. Rice raised allowed the campaign to air more ads than our opponent in the closing days, when people are paying most attention," Phillips said.

Dillon, through a spokeswoman, declined to comment. His 30-year tenure ends Saturday.

"The lion's share of what she did she did on her own," Democratic county chairman Jay Jacobs said of Rice. He added that the party did mailings on her behalf, but sent no cash until a $25,000 donation a week before the vote, when opinion polls showed the race tightening.

Suozzi, who donated $40,000 11 days before the election, supported Rice's candidacy "from the beginning and when she needed financial support he gave it to her," said Kim Devlin, his campaign manager.

A spokesman for Teresa Heinz didn't return telephone calls seeking comment.

Heinz married Kerry (D-Mass.) after the death of her first husband, Sen. H. John Heinz III (R-Pa.). She also is a longtime friend of Laurada Byers, the wealthy Philadelphia socialite who donated $6,000 to Rice.

Byers' stepson, Russell Byers Jr. of Locust Valley, married Anne Bennett, whom Rice has described as her best friend from childhood. The couple gave Rice $80,000. Bennett's sister-in-law, Alison Byers of Laurel Hollow, donated $44,500.

"Blood is thicker than water and there is no exception to that for people with money," said Herbert D. Rosenbaum, a retired politics professor from Hofstra University. "These are the kinds of people who always contribute to politics."

Rice's spokesman wouldn't comment on specific donors but said, "Her friends were able to introduce Ms. Rice to an even wider audience of people wanting to help a candidacy that stood for so much."

Still, some of Rice's benefactors never spoke with her before writing checks for thousands of dollars.

A. Alex Porter, an investment adviser in Manhattan, recalled being impressed by newspaper accounts of Rice. "My intuition was she is a good person and she would be good for the job," Porter said about his $10,000 contribution.

Rice also received sizable contributions from long-time Dillon supporters, though most arrived after Election Day.

Frank Castagna, developer of the Americana mall in Manhasset, and his wife, Rita, donated $10,000 to Rice a couple of days before Thanksgiving, even though they initially gave her $500.

Dillon, however, got $9,000. "I've always considered him the essence of good government," Frank Castagna said.

He also recalled receiving a telephone call from Rice's father Laurence, a rival contractor, asking for a contribution early in the campaign.

"When Denis was not elected," Castagna said, "I remembered her father's call and I said, 'OK, I will go along and send out a check."

Hofstra's Rosenbaum said contributions to competing candidates are not unusual. "Big donors have a tendency to play both sides of the street," he said, "and they distribute their funds, in my opinion, largely on the basis of what they believe will be the outcome."

The top donors

Democrat Kathleen Rice defeated incumbent Denis Dillon, a Republican, in part because she raised more money than he did. Here is a breakdown of her largest donors.


Adam Katz Great Neck Attorney, president of air charter company $44,760

Alison M. Byers Laurel Hollow Relative of Rice friend $44,500

Anne Byers East Hampton Friend of Rice $40,000

Russell Byers Locust Valley Husband of Rice Friend $40,000

Frank/Rita Castagna Manhasset American shopping center developer $10,500

Teresa Heinz Pittsburgh Wife of 2004 presidential nominee John Kerry $10,000

A. Alex Porter Manhattan Investment manager $10,000

Audrey Schein Glen Cove Wife of dental supplies magnate $10,000

Harvey.Constance Krueger Manhattan Wall Street executive $10,000

*Some residences may be business locations.

SOURCE: Nassau County Board of Elections
Copyright 2005 Newsday Inc.
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rox63 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
1. Go Teresa!
It's great that she's helping elect more Dems.
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 09:09 PM
Response to Original message
2. My bet is that she does this a lot... you just caught her at it this time.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 10:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. I think so too!
I just love that woman.
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-30-05 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thank you Teresa!!!
That is awesome.
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