Conservative nonprofit plans to expand statewide presence - 2015-05-21
Reclaim New York's website lists four general policy areas on which it focuses: affordability, education, jobs and economy, and government reform. It has criticized a variety of specific issues, including the recent tax break for yacht purchases, taxpayer-funded ad buys to promote Start-Up NY, and the scaffold law.
Filings submitted to the Internal Revenue Service last year list six directors, each of whom has connections to the Republican Party or conservative causes. Basile was a "lightning rod of controversy" during his tenure as executive director of the state Republican Party that ended in 2011. Stephen Bannon, the group's vice chairman, is a radio host for Breitbart News; Leonard Leo is a former George W. Bush appointee who is currently executive vice president of the Federalist Society; and Lawrence J. Mone is president of the Manhattan Institute.
Mercer's daughters, Rebekah and Jennifer Mercer, serve as treasurer and secretary, respectively. Robert Mercer is a "reclusive" Long Island financier whom the New York Times recently identified as the likely "main donor behind a network of four 'super PACS' supporting [Republican presidential candidate Ted] Cruz that reported raising $31 million just a few weeks into his campaign."
Last year, Mercer contributed $1.55 million to Rescue New York, an independent expenditure committee that supported Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino.