Chip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesIf Joseph J. Lhota had his druthers, A. Gifford Miller would be serving out his second term as mayor, and David S. Yassky would be entering his fifth term as a Brooklyn congressman.
Or so one could reasonably surmise, based on a review of campaign contributions made by Mr. Lhota, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and his wife, Tamra, a Republican fund-raiser.
Mr. Lhota is stepping down from his job at the end of December in order to explore a bid for mayor as a Republican. And, befitting someone who was a zealously loyal budget director and deputy mayor under Rudolph W. Giuliani, he has been an active political donor.
A vast majority of the Lhotas’ donations have been to Republicans, which is why their modest contributions to Mr. Miller, a former City Council speaker ($500 in 2003 toward his 2005 mayoral campaign), and Mr. Yassky, a former councilman who is now the city’s taxi commissioner ($250 for House campaign in 2005), stand out as exceptions.
(Mr. Miller lost the Democratic nomination in 2005 to Fernando Ferrer, former Bronx borough president. The Republican candidate, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, did not accept campaign donations.)
Over all, of the Lhotas’ almost $80,000 in city, state and federal political contributions since the 1980s, about 95 percent went to Republicans. Much of that went to Mr. Giuliani’s mayoral and presidential bids, and to federal candidates.
Recipients of their $56,000 in donations to federal races included the George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney presidential campaigns, and to Senators Scott P. Brown of Massachusetts, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Sam Brownback of Kansas.
Mr. Lhota has given only once to a national Democrat: $1,000 to Senator Frank R. Lautenberg of New Jersey in 2007.
On the state level, Mr. Lhota has been relatively silent. But in 2010, when he was a top executive for Cablevision, he wrote checks of $5,000 to Rick A. Lazio‘s gubernatorial bid, and $1,000 apiece for Harry Wilson for comptroller, and two West Side Democrats, State Senator Thomas K. Duane and Assemblyman Richard N. Gottfried.
The Lhotas, who are Brooklyn Heights residents, have been even less active when it comes to city candidates. The last time they gave to anyone was in 2004, when Mr. Lhota donated $500 to Mr. Yassky for City Council. They did not donate to any of Mr. Yassky’s opponents in that race.