Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics

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1st C.D.: Bishop gets a little help from his friends

Rep. Bishop's campaign is due to benefit from

Rep. Bishop's campaign is due to benefit from this fundraiser in Maryland Sunday. (Credit: Tom Brune)

For the third time in a row, Rep. Tim Bishop faces a tough re-election race this year, but he's  lucky – he’s got friends in high places.

Other Democrats in Congress have contributed $121,800 to him either from their own campaign funds or from their leadership PACs, records show.

That puts him in the top 10 recipients of these funds among House Democrats running for re-election, according to an analysis of records on the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics website.

Bishop enjoys a healthy lead in cash on hand over his Republican challenger, State Sen. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) – a $1.1 million to $136,000 advantage - in no small part due to his friends.

And the money keeps flowing.

Bishop, the six-term congressman from Southampton, will be among five House members reaping new money from a fundraising brunch on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, courtesy of Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who has presidential ambitions.

The draw will be House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who may be demonized by Republicans but has proven to be a formidable and prolific fundraiser for her party.

Pelosi’s leadership PAC, called PAC to the Future, already has given the maximum $10,000 to Bishop’s campaign, and her own campaign committee has donated another $4,000 to him – just $1,200 shy of the maximum it can give him.

Bishop also has a good, and very helpful, friend in his Long Island neighbor to the west – Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington), whose leadership PAC, called New York Jobs PAC, has donated $6,000 so far to Bishop’s campaign.

But Israel has the power to do more than that for Bishop. As chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Israel has already reserved $1.4 million in broadcast airtime to run ads this fall to help Bishop.

And the DCCC is sponsoring and underwriting the fundraiser Sunday at the Tidewater Inn in Easton, Md.

Democrats aren’t the only party protecting their own. Republican lawmakers are helping out two of their upstate New York congressmen facing tough re-election fights, contributing $167,045 to Rep. Chris Gibson and $130,499 to Rep. Tom Reed.

And with the backing of the Republican establishment, from the local, state and national parties, Zeldin likely is in line for some help from his new friends in Congress as well.

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