State senators on hook for $2 million in loans to Democratic Senate Campaign Committee
Several New York state senators used their own holdings to back more than $2 million in loans by the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee three years ago.
Eighteen senators put up their own money to guarantee the loans in 2010, when the committee almost went broke trying to retain control of the state senate, according to a report by the New York Daily News, which obtained the senators’ most recent financial statements.
The effort was fruitless and the party lost a majority in the state senate for the first time in 45 years.
The 18 Democratic senators backed loans to the campaign committee from the Queens-based National Bank of New York City and many are still personally responsible for the debt.
Most of the statements show senators listing personal liabilities between $100,000 and $150,000.
Josh Cherwin, executive director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee told the Daily News the loan guarantees were “routine requirements for a loan such as this.”
Two senators from the city, campaign committee chairman Michael Gianaris of Queens and Liz Krueger of Manhattan, signed guarantees.
“We appreciate the widespread support that has put us on track to eliminate the debt from the previous DSCC administration, while at the same time gaining four seats in the last election,” Cherwin told the Daily News.
After a futile 2010 campaign to keep a Democratic majority, the party left with almost $3 million in debt, $1.26 million of which is still owed. Democratic officials said the debt would decrease to $700,000 by the time a new financial statement is filed this month.
Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein, who abandoned the party in 2011, chaired the campaign committee at the time the loans were guaranteed. Through a spokesman to the Daily News, he blamed then-Democratic Conference Leader John Sampson of Brooklyn and his political consultants for the loans.
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