Hawkins Has Raised More Money So Far Than His Entire 2010 Election Effort
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, has raised more money for his campaign so far than he did during his entire 2010 campaign, when he finished 3 among 7 candidates.
Hawkins and Brian Jones, the Green's Lt. Governor candidate, have raised slightly more than $50,000 ($50,766), about $5,000 more than Hawkins' 2010 effort. He has more than 650 donors for an average contribution of $77. The median contribution was $35. Hawkins has voluntarily placed a cap of $2,600 on individual donations, the maximum allowed in federal elections. He does not accept contributions from for-profit corporations and businesses.
Hawkins said the modest level of individual contributions from his supporters compared to the much larger donations received by the other gubernatorial candidates reflects his base of support among working people. "My supporters often apologize for not being able to contribute more because of a recent layoff, involuntary part-time work, low wages, medical bills, or rent that keeps rising. But they dig down and contribute something anyway because, they tell me, no other candidate for governor is speaking up for working people," Hawkins said.
In contrast, a report by NYPIRG earlier this year showed that more than 81% of the money raised by Governor Cuomo came from those donating more $10,000, with 242 individuals donating $40,000 or more.
"Cuomo has the billionaires and millionaires from high finance, big real estate, and big business. He isn't promising his campaign contributors that he is going to raise the minimum wage, ban fracking, make health care a right, fully fund our public schools, or opt out of Common Core-aligned high-stakes testing. He is promoting more handouts and tax cuts for the 1% and access to the second floor at the Capitol," remarked Hawkins.
The single largest fundraising event for Hawkins campaign so far featured an appearance by Kshama Sawant, the socialist recently elected to the City Council in Seattle where she helped lead the successful effort to a $15 an hour minimum wage.
Hawkins recently hired a fundraiser for the campaign. In addition to his campaign manager, he is looking to expand to five campaign staff this month and will shortly begin to air campaign ads. Hawkins is seeking to raise at least $150,000 for his campaign.
"One of the reasons that Cuomo has been able to hide Kathy Hochul from the media is that his $30 million war chest means he can just flood the airwaves with paid ads that avoid any tough questions from reporters or his opponents. Cuomo is so afraid of debates because he doesn't want to give anyone the opportunity to challenge the propaganda myths he creates through his paid media," noted Hawkins.
Hawkins has opposed the limited public campaign finance proposals authored by Cuomo since they would still enable large donors and special interests to dominate the financing of candidates. Hawkins supports full public campaign financing where candidates who obtain a qualifying threshold of $5 contributions would receive equal grants of public funds to run their campaigns without private funding.