Mayor Bloomberg donated a whopping $878,800 to state legislative races during the 2008 election season, with the bulk of the money spent trying to keep the Republicans in command of the Senate.
Photo: Mayor Michael Bloomberg during a tour of the Department of Environmental Protection on Tues. He has contributed enormous amounts of his own cash to state political candidates, mostly Republicans. Farriella for News
Despite Bloomberg's efforts, the GOP lost control of the state Senate in January for the first time in more than 40 years.
Bloomberg was by far the biggest individual contributor to legislative races during the two-year period beginning January 2007, the New York Public Interest Research Group revealed Tuesday.
The amount is separate from $1.2 million he's given to the state Independence Party since August because that money was not specifically aimed at legislative races, according to NYPIRG.
"It's really kind of an amazing number," NYPIRG's Blair Horner said about the billionaire mayor's political contributions.
Bloomberg's single biggest legislative donation was $500,000 to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee in February of 2008. That was part of more than $700,000 he gave to the organization during the cycle, according to NYPIRG.
"My sense of it is that he was making those donations as a way to grease the wheels of policy making, at least on the Senate side," Horner said.
Bloomberg's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Overall, NYPIRG found that $94 million was raised by state legislative candidates and party committees during the last cycle, with $38.7 million from businesses, trade associations or other for-profit corporations. Unions donated another $13.4 million.