On the list are bold face names like Barry Diller, Anderson Cooper and Jon Stewart.
Also on the list is 2013 mayoral hopeful Tom Allon.
There is only one catch: Mr. Allon is the chief executive of Manhattan Media, which owns Avenue. No other 2013 mayoral hopefuls are on the “A-List.”
”Lifelong New Yorker Tom Allon is bringing his background in publishing and education to the 2013 mayoral education,” the blurb goes. “Allon began his career in education as a journalism and English teacher at his alma mater, Stuyvesant High and today is a leader in New York City publishing currently serving as President and CEO of Manhattan Media.”
The blurb goes on to list Mr. Allon’s ”10 ideas for a better New York City,” among them paying high-performing teachers with bonuses and lowering property taxes. The blurb does not mention however that Avenue is a part of Manhattan Media.
This looks suspiciously like free advertising for the Allon for Mayor campaign. When Mr. Allon first declared his run, The Politicker spoke with Campaign Finance Board spokesman Eric Friedman about the thorny questions involved.
Anything that could be construed as promoting a Mayor Allon candidacy could be seen as an in-kind corporate contribution, even if the candidate and head of the corporation are the same person.
“His newspapers cover city politics,” he said. “So if they are covering it in a straight-forward way, is it a contribution? It gets into a little bit of a gray area there. If they put him on the front page and say, ‘Here’s why this guy is going to be a great mayor’ you get into a different set of questions.”
We have reached out to both Mr. Allon and the CFB for comment, and will update when we receive one.
[Note: This reporter used to be employed at a Manhattan Media newspaper.]