Bill Bradley may have gained a step on rival Al Gore in the race for cash for the Democratic presidential nomination, but the former New Jersey senator and New York Knick apparently will have to rally to catch the vice president in Jewish campaign contributions.
Bradley raised an estimated $6.7 million from July to September, according to the latest figures released by the Federal Election Commission, nipping Gore’s total of $6.5 million for the period.
Much of Bradley’s financial support has come from law firms and securities and investment firms, according to the Center for Responsive Politics in Washington, which looked at contributions through August.
Donations to his campaign from the Jewish establishment are less identifiable, however. For example, the political action committee for the National Jewish Democratic Council cannot say how much Jewish money has gone to Bradley because his campaign does not accept contributions “bundled” from various individual sources, said deputy executive director David Harris.
In contrast, Gore has received about $130,000 from the council’s PAC.
In general, Harris said, “There’s clearly tremendous support for Gore [among NJDC members],” but he added “there’s not insignificant support for Bradley.”
Among Bradley’s public Jewish supporters is Abe Pollin, owner of the Washington Wizards basketball team as well as the city’s hockey team and new arena.
A review of individual contributions by The Jewish Week also shows Bradley received assists from several prominent New York Jewish figures.
World Jewish Congress chairman Edgar Bronfman kicked in $1,000, the maximum for individuals, as did his son Edgar Jr. Center for Jewish Life founder Michael Steinhardt and his wife gave $1,000 each, as did Gershon Kekst, chairman of the Jewish Theological Seminary board.
Also contributing $1,000 were cosmetics tycoon Leonard Lauder, brother of Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations chairman Ronald Lauder; investor and Israeli-Palestinian coexistence funder Alan Slifka; and New York real estate developer Jack Rudin.
Perhaps most appetizing, Saul and Carol Zabar of Zabar’s, the popular Upper West Side food emporium, also gave the maximum.