Senate Republicans spent us into a hole
by Jimmy Vielkind on February 13, 2009
ALBANY—A company that has earned almost half a million dollars over the last seven years for maintaining the web sites of New York's state senators is also under contract with the now-minority Republicans to produce attack emails about the Senate Democrats.
Senate Democrats now in the majority have been slowly unraveling how the Republicans spent money, and according to majority spokesman Austin Shafran, Troy-based L&P Media was paid $472,056 dollars since May 2001 to develop and host Web pages for individual senators.
In the last two years, campaign finance documents show the company were also paid over $107,000 by the Senate Republican Campaign Committee for work including partisan Web sites and most recently, email blasts. They are also doing more than $1 million in contract work for other state agencies and donated to State Senate Republican and their proxies at the same time.
L&P is behind emails attacking State Senators Darrel Aubertine, David Valesky and Craig Johnson as "following the orders" of their "New York City boss," according to a copy that has been circulating this week. If you look at the bottom of Johnson's official Web site, there's the official "Developed by L&P Media" stamp.
"This seemingly pathological blurring of the political and the governmental is very troubling, and—at best—improper," said Rich Azzopardi, a Johnson spokesman.