With Governor Cathy Hochhol facing an unexpected competitive challenge from U.S. Representative Lee Zelden of Long Island, the incumbent receives a boost of support from the family that owns Madison Square Garden — which benefits from a unique tax break estimated to be worth $43 million a year.

Government campaign finance records show that the Coalition for Reclaim New York, a political committee founded by James Dolan, who owns Madison Square Garden Entertainment which is also owned by Knicks and the Rangers, spent $560,000 last week on television, radio and digital advertising supporting Hochhol.

Dolan Hochul’s family members also supported, especially during these final days of the Governor’s Race. Campaign funding records show that last week, James Dolan’s two sons, Ryan and Quentin, contributed $47,100 to friends of Kathy Hochhol. James’ father, Charles F. Dolan, donated $44,700, and his sister, Marian Dolan-Weber, contributed $25,000.

Previously, James Dolan gave $69,700 to friends of Kathy Hochhol in March, and Charles contributed $25,000 in November of last year.

In all, the Dolan clan spent $258,600 last year to promote Hochul’s re-election.

The move comes as Hochul has seen her comfortable double-digit lead on Zeldin shrink to less than four percentage points.

The Hochul Alliance website “endorses” and declares: “Since taking office, Governor Hochul has introduced a new, collaborative approach to governance and works hard to keep our communities safe and prosperous.

“Governor Hochul put New Yorkers first and got results for all of us. While her opponent will bring 4 years of fighting and stalemate, Cathy will spend the next 4 years fighting for New York.”

Coalition funded by James Dolan to restore New York State backed Cathy Hochhol.

Screengrab / Alliance to Support New York

Dolan’s committee, the Coalition for the Restored New York, did not immediately respond to questions about its decision to support Hochul.

Previous advertisements sponsored by the Coalition for the Restoration of New York closely resemble Zeldin’s relentlessly negative message about a city and state besieged by rising crime rates.

Zeldin’s campaign is uniquely focused on public safety, portraying New York City as a place of lawlessness and increased crime under the current governor. He decried bail reform measures backed by many Democratic state leaders and said he would remove Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg from office if elected.

When James Dolan founded the Alliance to Save New York in January 2021, at the start of last year’s mayoral race, his website warned against going back to the “inappropriate era of the ’70s and ’80s.” The commission’s election mails at the time – without naming candidates – highlighted crime and mayhem, including photos of police at the crime scene, an NYPD car on fire and what appeared to be thieves breaking into a storefront.

They also poured campaign money into support of conservative Republicans. James and Charles collectively gave $13,500 to help elect Donald Trump. The family gave $20,000 this year to the campaign of US Representative Nicole Malliotakis (Staten Island/Brooklyn), who is in a rematch with former Representative Max Rose, a Democrat.

In 2020, MSG Sports awarded $50,000 to the Majority Fund, a political action committee focused on Republicans winning the US House of Representatives, according to federal campaign files. Dolan told the New York Post that year he would take a more active role in politics, and push for a more “pro-partisan” democracy in New York.

A billion dollars in tax credits

Dolan has more than one interest in a balanced government at stake.

Under state law on books since 1982, Madison Square Garden has received a full tax break, worth $43 million a year, according to estimates by the Independent Budget Office — a total of more than $875 million over 40 years, when adjusted for inflation.

A bill to repeal the interruption, introduced in 2013 by then-Representative Brian Kavanaugh (Democrat from Manhattan), who is now a senator, has repeatedly stalled in Albany, but has always been able to be revived.

Furthermore, the local special permit for the park is set to expire next year and will need to be renewed by the city council. Even as Hochul pushes for a $7 billion redevelopment of Penn Station that taps money from real estate development in the area, some opponents are calling for the yard to be moved.

Earlier this year, the Dolan Committee was a dominant player in the state’s Senate primary races, contributing at least 40% of the $1.7 million pumped into the August election — mailing letters against bail reform laws and directing voters to their website. Where it lists the intermediate list. Supported Democratic candidates.

There is precedent for the generosity of the Dolan Democratic Party. Now discontinued cablevision television company Hochhol’s predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, has given more than $550,000 in campaign contributions over the years. Cuomo had begun the redevelopment of Penn Station, which Hoshol has since inherited.

A spokesperson for the Coalition for a New York City Restoration said, “We need to keep New York safe and restore our economy. Governor Hochul is working closely with city leaders which makes her the right candidate to achieve those goals and the last thing we need is stalemate in Albany.”

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