Alesi, the first Republican State Senator to announce his support for same-sex marriage — was given a $10,300 donation from Mayor Bloomberg. The donation was received, and cashed, but it happened just after the cut-off date for this latest filing, according to the spokesman. (Bloomberg’s generosity was widely noted earlier, but today, many of those campaigns are making their filings public.)
Bloomberg has already heaped praise on Alesi for stepping out early on this issue, and has pledged to financially help the three other Republican State Senators who voted to legalize same-sex marriage.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $10,300 to Mark Grisanti, a freshman Republican State Senator whose re-election was thrown into even greater uncertainty after he voted to legalize same-sex marriage. Tim Gill, head of the national LGBT advocacy group, the Gill Foundation, donated $10,000 to Grisanti’s campaign.
Overall, Grisanti, who represents a heavily Democratic district in Buffalo, raised $148,325 ($91,461 from individuals and the rest from corporations and unions). During this latest filing period, he spent just over $28,495.
This morning at Gracie Mansion, Mayor Bloomberg heaped praise on Jim Alesi, the first Republican State Senator to say he would vote for same-sex marriage, which narrowly passed thanks to a handful of votes from his side of the aisle.
Bloomberg said Alesi “showed courageous leadership” and was the “tipping point in the debate.”
“I think you will go down in the history books as the legislator who turned the tide on marriage equality,” said Bloomberg, “Not only here in New York State but I think this is going to spread across the country.”
Alesi, said nine of ten constituents in his upstate district have thanked him for his vote, but admitted, there has been some political fallout.
Before the vote last week, “I did call my chairman in Monroe County and did give him a courtesy call,” said Alesi. “And I think shortly thereafter, in a matter of seconds, we had an understanding that our relationship was over.”
One more note about the attempt to cobble together one more Republican to support same-sex marriage: the effort won’t include Jim Alesi, who supports the bill.
Before entering this morning’s Republican State Senate conference meeting, Alesi told reporters he supports legalizing same-sex marriage, but felt it would be inappropriate to lobby his colleagues on the matter.
“I’m not going to debate with my colleagues,” he said. “I have not lobbied my colleagues in my conference.”
“We all know each other and I don’t think that would be the appropriate course of action. They know how I feel and why I feel the way I do,” Alesi said.