Cablevision, Time Warner Cable big spenders in New York political scene

Two New York-based MVPDs, Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and Cablevision (NYSE: CVC) were not surprisingly among the bigger donors doling out funds to New York State politicians, a recent breakdown from the New York Public Interest Research Group revealed.

Time Warner Cable, came in eighth on a list of 170 donors that contributed $50,000 or more to politicians and political parties. The operator, which hopes to be acquired by Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), provided a $558,710 boost to state politicians and party bankrolls in 2013 while Cablevision, which came in 14th on the list, chipped in another $354,097. AT&T (NYSE: T) contributed $309,725, to finish in 19th place; Verizon (NYSE: VZ)  finished in 30th place with contributions totaling $262,889.40; and Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) along with NBC finished 62nd with $145,700 in contributions.

The providers all reserved their biggest donations for the New York State Democratic Committee Housekeeping fund, which is used to buy TV ads touting Gov. Andrew Cuomo, among other things and which means, in a way, that they just put the money back into their own advertising budgets. TWC chipped in $175,000 while Cablevision and Comcast both added $100,000. AT&T sank $125,000 into the housekeeping fund and Verizon added $106,500.

"Gov. Cuomo was overwhelmingly the largest beneficiary of the current system," NYPIRG said. "Donations to his campaign committee and to the housekeeping account of the NYS Democrats--which spent millions of dollars running television advertisements featuring the governor selling New Yorkers on his agenda--accounted for 40 percent of the total money raised from this list of mega-donors."

For more:
- see this press release (.pdf)

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