New York Republican Rep. Peter King called for a campaign finance Lysistrata Wednesday after House Republicans killed a Hurricane Sandy relief package. It's time for New Yorkers to start withholding campaign donations to congressional Republicans, King told Fox News:
"These Republicans have no problem finding New York when they're out raising millions of dollars. They're in New York all the time filling their pockets with money from New Yorkers. I'm saying right now, anyone from New York or New Jersey who contributes one penny to congressional Republicans is out of their minds. Because what they did last night was put a knife in the back of New Yorkers and New Jerseyans. It was an absolute disgrace."
This is not the first time Republicans post love of New York has been deemed less than sincere. In December 2001, Republicans were opposed to $7.5 billion in rebuilding funds for New York City that Democrats bundled into a post-9/11 defense spending bill. President Bush opposed the money, too, threatening to veto any money spent above the $40 billion already directed to New York. Bush eventually compromised and New Yorkers got more grants and loans for small businesses and unemployed people, Congressional Quarterly reported.
In December 2010, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart mocked Republicans for using New York to raise money and campaign, and then, after the 2010 midterm election, blocking a vote to provide health care for 9/11 first responders who got sick from the dust at Ground Zero. New York was so lucrative that former presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani held a fundraiser in which he asked for donations of $9.11. The New York Times credited Stewart with getting the first responders bill passed by dedicating an entire show to shaming Republicans into passing it. (That's one of the Daily Show's graphics above.)
But no matter their differences, like the sex-starved men and women in Aristophanes' play, New York donors and Republican politicians can't keep their hands off each other. House Speaker John Boehner reportedly made the call to not take up the Sandy bill; two New York City zip codes were among the top 10 donating to his 2012 campaign, giving more than $100,000. For Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who initially pushed to hold a vote on the Sandy bill Wednesday, four of his top 10 zip codes were in New York City, for a total of $269,350. For the entire Republican Party in 2012, New York was the top metro area for donations, giving $15,559,163. New Yorkers gave $4,036,542 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, which gets House members reelected. And the zip codes that give money to Republicans are not the ones that were devastated by Sandy.