Ranieri personally gave $1500 to Lazio's campaign chest in 1997, $500 in 1998, and $1000 in 1999. His wife, Peg, gave $1000 to Lazio in 1998 and $1000 in 1999. Through a soft-money pipe, Lewie himself gave $250 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in 1997 and $25,000 in 1998. In 1999, he and Peg also gave $2500 each in soft money to the Bank United Corp. fund. Ranieri, no longer on Wall Street, is chairman of Bank United, a Texas thrift. So it's no surprise that Ranieri & Co. employee Patricia A. Sloan of New York City gave $3500 in 1999 to the Bank United Corp. soft-money fund, helping refuel the PAC after it had given $25,000 in 1998 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. The Bank United PAC, in turn, gave $1000 directly to Lazio in 1999.
The idea that Lazio is a lightweight or lacks "heft" as a candidate is simply not true. He's had powerful allies for years. The National Mortgage News reported in 1997 that the huge industry's top 26 executives gave Lazio more money during the 1995-96 election cycle than they did to any other congressional candidate in the nation. Including D'Amato.