New York’s millionaire PACs

Sheldon silver. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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Of the nearly 2,000 political action committees in New York that reported activity in the 2013 general election, eight ended the year with a balance of more than $1 million.

This doesn’t include committees that didn’t actively participate in the 2013 campaigns, whose fund-raising activities won't be disclosed till January.

Here are the eight committees that ended the year with more than a million dollars:

1) VOTE-COPE unauthorized committee: $3.2 million on hand

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This is the New York State Union of Teachers' political arm. Starting 2013 with $2.8 million on hand, it collected individual donations through the year, with the only major expenditure being a $1 million donation to Educators United in July.

NYSUT traditionally is a heavy hitter in state elections, spending almost $4.5 million in 2012.

2) Friends of Silver: $3 million on hand

The committee associated with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver kept a steady balance through 2013. Expenses included paying the firm BerlinRosen, and he continued to pay the law firm of Stroock, Stroock and Laven, LLP, which he employed following the Vito Lopez scandal. His campaign account also supported several candidates, including Democrat John McManmon who lost his special election bid.

3) Friends of Kathleen Rice: $2 million on hand

Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, also known for her role on the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, easily won reelection this year. She started the year with $2.4 million on hand.

4) The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 15: $1.6 million on hand

This labor union also ended the year where it started, supporting a few candidates but overall no notable donations or receipts.

5) Cyrus Vance for Manhattan District Attorney: $1.5 million on hand

With no notable expenses or receipts, Vance ended the year where he started.

6) 1199 SEIU New York State Political Action Fund: $1.1 million on hand

SEIU started 2013 with $460,172, but briefly saw its coffers dip below zero earlier in the year after a number of expenses for advertising and donations to political committees. The PAC rebounded though, in part due to a $533,333 from the SEIU federal PAC on Oct. 30, and supporting a number of candidates and committees along the way, finishing the year with seven digits

7) Council of School Supervisors and Administrators Local Political Action Committee: $1 million on hand

This PAC ended the year about where it started, with no notable contributions or expenses.

8) JPMorgan Chase & Co. PAC: $1 million on hand

After starting the year with $882,891, the biggest checks this PAC wrote were to out-of-state committees—$25,000 to Reimagine Columbus Education in Ohio, $10,000 to Water Texas PAC and $5,000 to South Dakota First. Also, a $25,000 check to the Democratic Attorneys General Association in September couldn’t save the company from being taken to task by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

This data was compiled with help from Bill Mahoney at the New York Public Interest Research Group.