New York: Self-Funder Triggers Millionaire’s Provision

Posted January 4, 2008 at 5:03pm

Former state GOP Chairman Sandy Treadwell, one of several Republicans seeking to unseat freshman Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand (D), dumped $300,000 of his own money into his campaign on Dec. 31, triggering the “Millionaire’s Amendment” for his primary opponents.

The expenditure brought Treadwell’s overall level of self-funding to $620,000 through the end of the year. As a result, his Republican primary foes — retired Army officer Michael Rocque; Richard Wager, a former aide to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I); and retired police officer John Wallace — can take individual contributions of up to $6,900 for the primary, three times the normal amount permitted under federal campaign finance law.

Treadwell, a former New York secretary of state, is the favorite of national Republican leaders. But his moderate views — he is, for example, an abortion rights supporter — make him suspect to some conservative activists in the district, and it is not yet clear if the small but influential Conservative Party will endorse him.

Gillibrand has been an aggressive fundraiser herself, and if Treadwell winds up the GOP nominee, she also may be permitted to exceed the campaign contribution limits.

— Josh Kurtz

Davis Won’t Rule Out Third Try Vs. Reynolds

Jack Davis, the wealthy factory owner who was the Democratic nominee against Rep. Tom Reynolds (R) in both 2004 and 2006, told The Buffalo News last week that he has not ruled out the possibility of seeking the 26th district seat one more time. Davis said that on a scale of one to 10, the chances of his running again are at five.

Davis, 74, who made his opposition to free-trade agreements the cornerstone of his campaign, told the paper, “This whole situation is getting worse, and nobody in Washington recognizes what is going on with our economy.”

Two candidates already are vying for the Democratic nomination: Jon Powers, an Iraq War veteran, and attorney Alice Kryzan. Powers has been endorsed by retired Gen. Wesley Clark, and former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-Neb.) recently hosted a fundraiser for him.

But Davis, who spent more than $2.2 million of his own money last year only to lose to Reynolds by 4 points, expressed confidence that his wealth would enable him to win the Democratic nomination a third time.

— J.K.