Sampson Passes on New Car, Reflects on Albany

After a series of questions about the $49,000 vehicle the state purchased for him, Senate Conference Leader John Sampson said he will not be driving the car. Sampson told Fox 5 that instead he will use his current vehicle, a 2005 Crown Victoria with no air conditioning.

"For good?" Sampson was asked.

"Yes," he replied.

Sampson also defended the recent and massive uptick in campaign money that's been flowing to him since he became the conference leader. The Buffalo News reported that Sampson's campaign got just over a million dollars in the six months after he got the job.

Sampson told Fox 5: “They cannot say I violated any campaign laws,” and “I did everything very honest and openly with respect to raising money.”

When asked what the contributors are trying to get, Sampson replied, “I don’t know what they’re trying to get from me because I believe that does not influence me.”

Later, Sampson was asked if Albany’s “culture” is “broken.” He seemed to agree with that notion, but cast it as a problem that predated his seat.

“The culture and the environment existed in Albany long before Senate Democrats became the majority,” he said.