The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Local News

November 3, 2012

Local money fuels campaigns

While Election Day isn’t until Tuesday, scores of area residents have already voted — with their wallets.

A review of federal campaign records by The Daily Star shows that State University College at Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski donated $250 to President Barack Obama’s campaign in August. She wrote a check to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s campaign for the same amount last year.

Henry Cooper of Cooperstown, the chairman of the board of the environmental group Otsego 2000, donated $1,000 to Gillibrand’s campaign last year. Anthony J. Casale of Cooperstown, a consultant, former assemblyman and political strategist for the state Republican Party, donated $1,000 to Rep. Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, in three installments in August.

Records show that Gillibrand is evidently popular with several doctors at Bassett Medical Center.

Among those donating $1,000 each to her campaign were Dr. Carlos Bermejo,a urologist, and Henry Weil, assistant dean for medical education at a program Bassett has with Columbia University’s medical school.

Two other Bassett physicians, Peter van der Riet, an ear, nose and throat specialist, and Timothy Campbell, the medical center’s chief of radiation-oncology, donated $250 each to the senator, who polls say holds a lopsided advantage over GOP challenger Wendy Long, a Manhattan lawyer.

One of the region’s most prolific political donors, Cobleskill Village Mayor Mark Galasso, said people who donate to campaigns simply want to help their candidates get their message out in order to make the case that they deserve to be elected.

“I choose to be active in politics because I believe that in a democracy if you are not involved you get trampled,” said Galasso, who with his brother Martin oversees Lancaster Development Inc., a construction firm based in Richmondville. Federal campaign records show Mark Galasso has contributed more than $40,000 over the past dozen years to various candidates and political action committees.

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