New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has
thanked the four New York state GOP senators who voted for gay
marriage by donating the maximum to their reelection campaigns.
Bloomberg, a Republican turned
independent, made out checks of $10,300 – the maximum allowed –
to Republican Senators Mark Grisanti of Buffalo, James Alesi of
Rochester, Roy McDonald of Saratoga and Stephen Saland of
The mayor had lobbied for passage of
the law. He delivered a major speech calling on lawmakers to approve
marriage equality and traveled twice to Albany to meet with undecided
“The mayor said he would support
Senate Republicans who stood up – and he did,” Micah Lasher, a
Bloomberg staffer, told The New York Daily News.
Bloomberg to officiate over the same-sex wedding of two of his top
Grisanti, considered the most
vulnerable of the four Republicans, received another $40,000 in
donations from people who publicly back gay marriage rights,
including $10,000 from gay philanthropist Tim Gill.
“I didn't vote that way to get
campaign contributions,” the Buffalo News quoted Grisanti as
marriage foes have labeled Grisanti a traitor for his vote and have
vowed to work against his reelection. The Buffalo-area lawyer
turned lawmaker said he was “inalterably” opposed to marriage
equality during a failed 2008 campaign bid.
On the Senate floor before he cast his
vote that helped New York become the sixth – and most populous –
state to legalize gay marriage, Grisanti told lawmakers that he could
not find a legal reason to oppose marriage equality.