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Democratic challenger Ryan Cronin criticized Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-Garden City) on Thursday for taking campaign contributions from the health care industry and Albany lobbyists. Hannon, who heads the Senate health committee, has taken tens of thousands of dollar campaign cash from health care companies and political action committees this year, according to his July campaign finance filing.
“The Senator's filing indicates that he's working for special interests and not for the people of Nassau County," Cronin said in a news release.
Senate GOP spokesman Scott Reif shot back in a statement that, “Senator Hannon is one of the most respected lawmakers in the entire Legislature, and that's why a diverse group of New Yorkers supports the work that he is doing.”
Reif said Cronin should explain why he accepted thousands of dollars from Senate Democrats, noting that when the Democrats held the majority in the Senate the unpopular MTA payroll tax was enacted and the of STAR property tax rebates eliminated.
Cronin’s news release said that Hannon had taken nearly $140,000 from the health care industry and Albany lobbyists in 2012. This was more than the $130,634.75 Hannon raised in the first half of the year. Senate Democratic Minority spokesman Michael Murphy clarified that the $140,000 figure included Hannon’s January 2012 filing which covers the second half of 2011 and less than two weeks of 2012.
Cronin raised $75,761 in the first half of 2012, which including $2,000 from the campaigns of Sen. Liz Kruger (D-Manhattan) and $2,500 from Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria).