NYC Billionaire reveals gives Zeldin campaign m to end crime wave Hochul says wants tax bill down

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New York cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder, 78, who is one of the richest men in the city has donated $11 million to the New York gubernatorial campaign of Republican  Representative Lee Zeldin in a bid to end the Big Apple’s crime wave.

But Lauder, who has a net worth of $4.5 billion and is a Trump-aligned Republican has given millions of dollars to back conservative causes and candidates.

He and his brother, Leonard Lauder, are the sole heirs to the Estée Lauder cosmetics company, founded by their parents, Estée Lauder and Joseph Lauder, in 1946 

The very notion that the governor’s office would be winnable for Republicans in New York, where there are twice as many Democrats as Republicans and a GOP governor has not been elected in 20 years, is the latest warning for Democrats that they could face deep losses in this year’s midterm elections.

Zeldin, a congressman and ally of former President Donald Trump, has tightened the race in recent weeks after focusing for months on rising violent crime in New York with Lauder’s money giving a much-needed boost to his chances of securing victory.

NYC Billionaire reveals gives Zeldin campaign m to end crime wave Hochul says wants tax bill down

Ronald Lauder, 78, the billionaire heir of Estee-Lauder has donated $11 million to the New York gubernatorial campaign of Republican Representative Lee Zeldin

There has been a late-stage surge in funding by Republican Lee Zeldin which could result in an upset in the traditionally blue state

There has been a late-stage surge in funding by Republican Lee Zeldin which could result in an upset in the traditionally blue state

Lauder’s cash injection forced Democrats to create a super PAC in New York to try and boost incumbent Governor Kathy Hochul’s run as her polling and fund-raising advantages have slowly began to crumble as election day draws near.

It is a sure sign of the party’s growing fears that a late-stage surge by her Republican rival could result in an upset in the traditionally blue state. 

Should Zeldin win he would become the state’s first GOP governor since George Pataki left office in 2006. 

Hochul raised $50 million for her campaign over the course of a year while Zeldin only managed to raise about half that amount – but Lauder’s involvement significantly narrowed the gap with Lauder being responsible for close to half of all pro-Zeldin spending between August and late October.

The money has gone towards a barrage of political ads that portray Hochul as being connected to the rise in crime and Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, being soft on crime. 

The Super PAC to which Lauder donated his $11 million has held pay for newspaper ads and Zeldin lawn signs together with a texting campaign to drive turnout

The Super PAC to which Lauder donated his $11 million has held pay for newspaper ads and Zeldin lawn signs together with a texting campaign to drive turnout 

The Super PAC to which Lauder donated has also paid for newspaper ads and Zeldin lawn signs together with a texting campaign.

Over the years, Lauder has donated money to art and philanthropy to Jewish causes but within the political sphere has has spent at least $35 million in the last few decades supporting Republicans for state and federal office including $200,000 to former President Donald Trump.

It was was Lauder who famously pitched the idea for Trump in 2019 to buy Greenland from Denmark. The former president even invoked his National Security Council to discuss the matter. The Danes, however, scoffed at the idea.

Since 2016, Lauder has donated more than $1.6 million to pro-Donald Trump organizations 

In 1989, he made a run from New York mayor running against Rudy Giuliani spending about $14 million, or about $33 million in today’s money.

This time around, Zeldin has made his focus the rising crime rates and a string of high-profile violent incidents, including some killings on the New York City subways. He blames Hochul and Democrats in Albany for not being tough enough on criminals.

Rates of violent crime and killings have broadly increased around the U.S. since the coronavirus pandemic, in some places climbing from historic lows.

Lauder is a Trump-aligned Republican who has thrown millions of dollars to back conservative causes and candidates over the years

Lauder is a Trump-aligned Republican who has thrown millions of dollars to back conservative causes and candidates over the years

Ronald Lauder as American ambassador in Austria. Vienna. 1986. Photograph by Nora Schuster. (Photo by Nora Schuster/Imagno/Getty Images) Ronald Lauder in seiner Zeit als Amerikanischer Botschafter in Ã-sterreich. Wien. 1986. Photographie von Nora Schuster.

In 1989, he made a run from New York mayor running against Rudy Giuliani spending about $14 million, or about $33 million in today’s money. He is pictured here in his role as as American ambassador in Austria in Vienna in 1986

Ronald Lauder and Estee Lauder are pictured at the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center in New York City in May 1993. She died in April 1994 at the age of 97

Ronald Lauder and Estee Lauder are pictured at the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center in New York City in May 1993. She died in April 1994 at the age of 97

Crime continues to run rampant in the Big Apple, with violent offenses up nearly 30 percent

Crime continues to run rampant in the Big Apple, with violent offenses up nearly 30 percent

Crimes on New York City's subways are now up 41 percent over last year, murders in particular rising to their highest rates in 25 years, with nine reported this year alone

Crimes on New York City’s subways are now up 41 percent over last year, murders in particular rising to their highest rates in 25 years, with nine reported this year alone

Rates of murder, rape, robbery and assault have all increased across New York since the pandemic, and all of those crimes except robbery have increased from 2012 to 2021, according to New York state data.

New York Police Department data shows that in New York City, murder rates are lower than they were two years ago, but rates of rape, robbery, assault and burglary are all up.

Crimes on the transit system are also up, but the crimes represent a small fraction of the passengers on the subway system and come as ridership has also increased.

Hochul says Lauder’s interest in backing Zeldin is simply in his own self-interest with Zeldin’s promise to scrap estate tax that would save his family millions, and the halting of the construction of an offshore wind farm he opposes.

‘It’s not a beef. It’s what he’s going to get in return. Ron Lauder is going to get a lot more than a thank-you note from Lee Zeldin,’ Hochul said when asked to explain Lauder’s interest in the race. 

Cosmetics giant Estee Lauder is pictured with her family in 1978, (L-R) Gary Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, Joseph Lauder, Estee Lauder, Aerin Lauder, William Lauder, Jane Lauder, Leonard Lauder, Ronald Lauder and Jo Carole Lauder

Cosmetics giant Estee Lauder is pictured with her family in 1978, (L-R) Gary Lauder, Evelyn Lauder, Joseph Lauder, Estee Lauder, Aerin Lauder, William Lauder, Jane Lauder, Leonard Lauder, Ronald Lauder and Jo Carole Lauder

Ronald Lauder is the current President of the World Jewish Congress. He is pictured in October 2021

Ronald Lauder is the current President of the World Jewish Congress. He is pictured in October 2021

Over the years, Lauder has donated money to art and philanthropy to Jewish causes. He is pictured in December 2019, in front of the notorious gate at the site of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp alongside former German ChancellorAngela Merkel

Over the years, Lauder has donated money to art and philanthropy to Jewish causes. He is pictured in December 2019, in front of the notorious gate at the site of the former Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration and extermination camp alongside former German ChancellorAngela Merkel

But Lauder insists his motivations are simple and selfless and are driven with the sole aim of tackling crime and the fear of. 

‘I’m no ogre. It’s a question of one thing I believe in, always have. I want two parties. I want a Republican and a Democratic Party. When you have just one party, I believe things go wrong,’ he told the New York Times.  

Lauder says he believes Hochul should have pushed harder to reverse changes to the state’s bail law that bars prosecutors from asking for cash bail for less serious crimes.

While Hochul has worked to toughen up the law, Zeldin wants it completely overturned.

‘You couldn’t pay me to get on the subway,’ Lauder said to the Times nothing that he does not want his children and grandchildren ‘to have to go with bodyguards.’  

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He also insists him backing Zeldin is unrelated to his tax bill. 

Recent campaign finance reports covering three weeks in October show Zeldin outraised Hochul by bringing in $3.6 million to her $3.4 million

Recent campaign finance reports covering three weeks in October show Zeldin outraised Hochul by bringing in $3.6 million to her $3.4 million

Lauder insists his fundraising motivations are simple and selfless, driven with the sole aim of tackling crime and the fear of. 'I'm no ogre. It's a question of one thing I believe in, always have. I want two parties. I want a Republican and a Democratic Party. When you have just one party, I believe things go wrong,' he said. He is pictured in 2019

Lauder insists his fundraising motivations are simple and selfless, driven with the sole aim of tackling crime and the fear of. ‘I’m no ogre. It’s a question of one thing I believe in, always have. I want two parties. I want a Republican and a Democratic Party. When you have just one party, I believe things go wrong,’ he said. He is pictured in 2019 

‘It has nothing to do with money for myself, a millionaire tax,’ he said. ‘Frankly, if I was a different person, I would have moved already.’

The most recent campaign finance reports covering three weeks in October show that Zeldin outraised Hochul by bringing in $3.6 million to her $3.4 million.

Siena College polling since July, including as recently as mid-October, has shown Hochul with a significant lead over Zeldin. But other recent polls have suggested Hochul has only a modest advantage.

Hochul, who took over as governor in August 2021 after former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned amid sexual harassment allegations, is trying to win the office outright this year, which would make her the first woman to be elected as New York governor.

But Hochul has had a lower profile than her predecessor and has been working to introduce herself to New Yorkers over the past year.

She initially focused her campaign heavily on her support for abortion rights and highlighting Zeldin’s alliance with Trump and his vote as a member of the U.S. House against certifying Joe Biden´s 2020 election victory.

In recent weeks, she has been speaking more about public safety and stepped up her efforts to portray Zeldin as ‘extreme.’

Hochul, who took over as governor in August 2021 after former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned amid sexual harassment allegations, is trying to win the office outright this year, which would make her the first woman to be elected New York governor. She is pictured alongside President Joe Biden during a visit on Sunday

Hochul, who took over as governor in August 2021 after former Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned amid sexual harassment allegations, is trying to win the office outright this year, which would make her the first woman to be elected New York governor. She is pictured alongside President Joe Biden during a visit on Sunday

Hochul has had a lower profile than her predecessor and has been working to introduce herself to New Yorkers over the past year. She is pictured alongside former President Bill Clinton during a visit on Saturday

Hochul has had a lower profile than her predecessor and has been working to introduce herself to New Yorkers over the past year. She is pictured alongside former President Bill Clinton during a visit on Saturday

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