New Yorkers, Virginians Will See Your Political Campaign Contributions and Raise You Dick Saslaw

Sen. Dick Saslaw Official Photo

by James C. Sherlock

The New York Post was scandalized.

In a stunning display of how New York politics work, two of the state Legislature’s most outspoken opponents of charter schools are also among the biggest recipients of campaign cash from New York’s teachers’ union and its political action committee.

State Sen. John Liu (D-Queens), chairman of the New York City Education Committee, has raked in $33,300 since his first Senate race in 2018, putting him in the No. 3 spot behind Sen. John Mannion (D-Syracuse), who got $35,100 during the same period.

The money for the anti-charter pols came from both the New York State United Teachers — parent of the city’s powerful United Federation of Teachers — and its Voice of Teachers for Education PAC, state Board of Elections records show.

“Stunning,” they wrote.


Now I happen to agree with the Post’s position supporting charter schools. But the writers of the article are spoiled by New York’s campaign finance laws.

They need to come to Virginia to see what real financial influence in politics looks like.

In the 2022-2023 election cycle alone, contributions to Virginia candidates from the real estate and construction sector were $10,775,820; retail/services sector $8,572,576; energy/natural resources $5,891,155; and health care sector $5,764,700 dollars. Source: VPAP.

Some familiar names have career total donations of note. Source again, VPAP.

  • Sen Dick Saslaw (D): $1,399,593 from the health care sector; $1,346,869 Energy/Natural resources sector, including $660,508 from Dominion Energy.
  • Sen. Louise Lucas (D): $519,657 from energy and natural resource donors, including $400,950 from Dominion Energy; $433,863 from health care interests.
  • Sen Steve Newman (R): $664,771 from the health care sector.
  • Sen Emmett Hanger (R): $650,779 from health care interests.
  • Sen. George Barker (D): $418,738 from health care interests.

Now we’re talking real money.

And they can spend it on anything they want, including themselves and their families.

So, New York Post, we’ll see your candidate getting $35,000 since 2018 and raise you Dick Saslaw.