State Sen. and Queens borough president candidate José Peralta, who was among the seven lawmakers secretly recorded by ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley, has been racking up legal bills, spending tens of thousands of campaign dollars on lawyers’ fees.
Since December, 2011, Mr. Peralta’s senate re-election and 2013 borough president campaigns have spent a combined $53,500.00 in fees to Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, one of the city’s top election law firms, city and state finance records show. That includes $22,500 in payments from Mr. Peralta’s campaign for borough president–about a quarter of the total $88,873 the campaign has spent so far, the filings show.
Bronx City Councilman Fernando Cabrera was ready to defy established order.
He sensed that Speaker Christine Quinn was losing her grip on the legislative body.
“I’m scared,” he told Politicker at the time. He kept the petitions he gathered at home–just to be safe.
Mr. Cabrera, a pastor, quietly went from colleague to colleague to rally support for two bills that the speaker had stalled, one that would let churches rent school property and another codifying a Tenants’ Bill of Rights. He said he gathered the dozen signatures necessary to give him the power to force a vote—a tactic, called a motion to discharge, that has not been deployed during Ms. Quinn’s tenure.
The candidates for mayor of New York City made their pitch to animal lovers yesterday, and needless to say, they repeatedly professed their love for various species that don’t have a vote.
Republican John Catsimatidis–who likes to call himself “the cat man”–once begged the fire department to rescue his daughter’s cockatiel, for example. Bill Thompson claimed that he had not one, but two rescued cats. And Sal Albanese insisted his mother-in-law lived a few years longer because of a chihuahua named Joey.
I get knocked down
For nearly any other candidate, two guilty verdicts in the trial of a trusted treasurer and fund-raiser on campaign finance fraud charges would spell the end of his or her campaign. But this is John Liu.
The city comptroller soldiered on with his campaign on Friday, attending a fund-raiser where he vowed to not only continue his campaign but win the race—and slammed the feds’ case in the process, taunting them to “put up or shut up” yet again.
“I am speechless,” Mr. Liu said from the living room of the opulent Cobble Hill home, where several dozen supporters had gathered to hear from the candidate. “When I walked in, I was speechless. I mean, this has been an amazing experience, an amazing ride. You could never make this stuff up,” he said, insisting he can still win again and again.
Only days after railing against the entire slate of Democratic mayoral candidates for playing politics with people’s lives–a big failing, he suggested, as public safety is “the most important job of any mayor, period”–Mayor Michael Bloomberg heaped heavy praise on one of those would-be successors.
“Chris Quinn has done a very good job as speaker,” Mr. Bloomberg declared during his weekly WOR radio show this morning. “Whether you’re going to vote for her or not, she has been a very good speaker. The city has been very well served by her. I don’t think that she gets enough credit for it.”
Comptroller John Liu’s mayoral campaign took a significant hit this afternoon when a donor, Xing Wu “Oliver” Pan, and his young former campaign treasurer Jia “Jenny” Hou, were found guilty in federal court for helping to orchestrate a straw donor scheme on his behalf.
“As the jury found, Jia Hou and Oliver Pan stuck a knife into the heart of New York City’s campaign finance law by violating the prohibition against illegal campaign contributions, all to corruptly advantage the campaign of a candidate for city-wide office,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Cases like this give the people of New York yet another reason to be troubled by the electoral process, and they have a right to demand fair, open, and honest elections untainted by cynical subversion of campaign finance laws.”
Most New Yorkers have given little thought to this fall’s mayoral race. But City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the early front-runner, thinks they’ll nonetheless be interested in a new campaign app.
Per her campaign, the “IDEAS App,” announced Thursday, “will give New Yorkers easy access” to Ms. Quinn’s “policy proposals, ideas for New York, and help stay connected with campaign.”
Entering the Fray
Former State Senator David Storobin officially filed for term-limited Councilman Mike Nelson’s district today, setting the stage for what will likely be one of the few competitive general election race in heavily-Democratic New York City.
Politicker actually bumped into Mr. Storobin last night at a fund-raiser for socially conservative Democratic mayoral candidate Erick Salgado–although Mr. Storobin, a Republican, said his presence wasn’t an endorsement. The buzz among several attendees was that the former state lawmaker would indeed run for the seat, so we asked him where he was at in his decision-making process. He claimed to be undecided.
The race for City Hall’s top job continues to get more and more crowded these days.
Whether it’s a “socially media journalist,” a bewhiskered anti-rent activist, a socially conservative reverend or a certain former congressman, the field continues to grow. The latest entry will be He Gin Lee, a Queens architect, who says he’ll announce his campaign for the Democratic primary tomorrow at City Hall Park.
Christine Quinn’s mayoral campaign scheduling arrives with a caveat that her rivals rarely, if ever, employ: “NOT FOR PRINT OR BROADCAST” and “ALL ITEMS EMBARGOED UNTIL DATE AND TIME OF EVENT.”
Beginning with her bid’s launch last month, the Quinn campaign has told reporters they cannot reveal Ms. Quinn’s whereabouts until the event she is attending is underway. In contrast, all but one of Ms. Quinn’s competitors have no stipulations whatsoever, oftentimes simply stating “Media Advisory” or “For Immediate Release.” Only Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s campaign says, “For Planning Purposes Only,” but there is no specific order to avoid publishing the details.