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Scozzafava campaign starting from zero

TIMES STAFF WRITER
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Dierdre K. Scozzafava has $25,555 in her Assembly campaign account, according to a recently-released report, and although the Gouverneur Republican intends to soon run for Congress, her money will stay right where it is.


Federal election laws prohibit Ms. Scozzafava from transferring the money raised for a non-federal election into her new congressional account. The laws do allow her, however, to refund that money to her contributors and re-solicit them — as long as the expenses associated with making that request are paid by her congressional account.


The Republican nominee said that would be too arduous.


"I think it's easier to start new to make sure every contribution is clean and reportable," she said Monday.


Keeping the money in place also puts her in the best financial position if she loses the congressional race and then runs for re-election to the Assembly in 2010.


Ms. Scozzafava raised $6,550 for her Assembly coffers during the most recent reporting period, which ran from Jan. 15 to July 15. All but $1,000 came from donors outside her district. She did not report a single contribution after April 27, the day she was elected Assembly minority leader pro tempore.


The Republican had $14,656.31 in expenses this period, with $7,121.75, or 52 percent, spent on office items. Of her total amount, $2,500 was paid to the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee to pay the balance of this year's dues.


State Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, took in $35,485 during the same period, of which $17,605, or 49.6 percent, was received from district donors during three fundraisers. The events were held March 4 in Albany, March 5 in Utica and June 29 in New Hartford.


Mr. Griffo missed the third fundraiser, held at Piggy Pat's BBQ, because of the Senate stalemate. His absence may have impacted his fundraising. The report lists $350 in contributions, and $3,379 in expenses, although some contributions may appear on the new report.


Mr. Griffo was the only senator to receive $5,000 this period from the campaign of Sen. Dean G. Skelos, the Senate's minority leader.


Mr. Griffo had $16,560.11 in expenses during this period. The fundraisers cost $9,192.99 to host; an additional $2,161.64 was spent on invitations.


The Republican senator reported a closing balance of $141,927.60 on July 15.


State Sen. Darrel J. Aubertine, D-Cape Vincent, reported $61,948.88 in contributions this period, with all but $1,500 coming from donors outside the district. Political actions committees made up the majority of donors.


Mr. Aubertine spent $11,234.02, with $5,089.30, or 53 percent, going toward going toward office expenses. The Democrat reported a closing balance of $55,147.12 on July 15.


David A. Renzi, Mr. Aubertine's Republican opponent in last year's Senate election, paid his $14,056 debt to Scott Howell & Co., Alexandria, Va., after the state Senate Republican Campaign Committee intervened. The Albany-based committee sent $9,000 on April 14, upping their total contribution to Mr. Renzi's campaign to $1,064,450. The group spent an additional $479,983 on his behalf.


Mr. Renzi made 16 payments totaling $1,043,686.44 to the Mr. Howell's company, which handled his television spots.


The Republican candidate reported a closing balance of $1,872.74 on July 15.


In the 118th Assembly District, Democrat Addie J. Russell collected $1,527 from local donors during a May 7 fundraiser in Canton. She raised $4,316 during the entire reporting period.


The assemblywoman had $4,568.63 in expenses this period, however, including $1,337.62 paid to Best Western University Inn, Canton, to hold the fundraiser.


Mrs. Russell had a closing balance of $5,232.92 on July 15.

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