By Peter Sorkin
State Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Ridgewood), seeking her eighth term in office, has surpassed her Republican opponent, Alice Lemos, in fund-raising by more than $100,000, according to documents filed with the state Board of Elections.
The 37th Assembly District covers Ridgewood, Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and parts of Astoria.
Nolan, who holds seats on several committees in the Assembly and chairs the Labor Committee that oversees workers' issues, received the bulk of her contributions from political action committees formed by labor unions. PACs are typically put together by special interest groups to donate money to a candidate and lobby elected officials for their constituents.
With an opening balance of $61,988.60 on Jan. 1, 1999, Nolan had raised $146,450 and spent $16,427 on her campaign as of Aug. 23, 2000, the campaign finance filings showed.
Lemos raised $2,095, none of which came from PACs, according to her documents for the same period. Lemos indicated in her filings that she had spent less than $1,000, which means she did not have to itemize expenditures for the Board of Elections.
The largest donation to Lemos' campaign of $400 came from Sunnyside Grand Old Republican Club. Nolan has accepted donations, each for $1,000 or more, from 20 contributors.
The largest PAC contribution Nolan received for the general election came from the Mason Tenders District Council of New York, which contributed a total of $5,700. The second largest donation, $3,700, came from the New York State AFL-CIO. She has also received $2,500 from the New York Council of Hotel, Restaurant Employees and a corporate donation of $2,250 from Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker, an Albany public relations firm.
Nolan benefited significantly from PACs during her primary battle with newcomer Michael O' Malley. In that campaign, the biggest single donation came from the City Employees Union Local 237, which gave $4,200. The Lawyers' Political Action Committee at 132 Nassau St. in Manhattan gave $3,100, as did SEIU Local 1199 in Manhattan. Friends of Sheldon Silver, the Democratic speaker of the Assembly from northeast Queens, donated $3,000.
The New York Nurses Association contributed $2,000 to Nolan's campaign and Public Employees Federation of Albany gave $1,875. Vote/Cope, a PAC which stands for Voice of Teachers in Education/the Committee on Political Education, also of Albany, gave $1,500.
Of the $16,427 Nolan spent on her campaign, the largest amount went to reimbursements for campaign workers for a total of $1,910.47. Providence Washington, a Connecticut firm representing the Ridgewood Democratic Club, was paid $1,871. Jackson Heights' Manducatis Restaurant was paid $900 for a fund-raiser held in January, and Buster Sabba Printing in Sunnyside received $876.83.
Reach reporter Peter Sorkin by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 155