Comptroller John Liu may not be leading his Democratic rivals in the polls, but his mayoral campaign is far ahead of the field in legal fees.
Mr. Liu spent nearly $100,000 on lawyers over the past two months, according to disclosures filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board this week. That’s as much as triple what other leading Democrats funneled into legal services, the records show.
Disgraced former Gov. Eliot Spitzer managed to collect a whopping 27,000 petition signatures in the four days since he announced his last-minute, comeback bid for city comptroller.
A beaming Mr. Spitzer, joined by staffers, arrived at the Board of Elections headquarters in Lower Manhattan shortly after 10:30 p.m. carting four large boxes of signed petitions–which he gleefully displayed to the throngs of waiting press.
Law & Order
Eliot Spitzer has been scrambling to collect the 3,750 valid signatures the city says he needs to make it on the ballot to run for comptroller. But could he actually need to collect double that?
According to several top election lawyers, Mr. Spitzer and other citywide candidates should, in fact, be aiming to collect 7,500 petition ballots–not just to provide a cushion to protect from faulty entries–but because that’s the minimum number required by a conflicting state law.
As former Gov. Eliot Spitzer fights speculation he won’t have enough petition signatures to make it on the ballot, former Comptroller Bill Thompson has nothing to fear. The mayoral contender has amassed more than 75,000 signatures to appear on the Democratic primary ballot, his campaign is announcing today.
That puts Mr. Thompson, who has the backing of the Brooklyn and Bronx Democratic county organizations, as well as the powerful teacher’s union, far ahead of his challengers, including early front-runner and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. Her campaign, which has flooded the city with volunteers and unpaid interns, reported that she would submit 46,710 signatures earlier this week.
Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer has less than 48 hours to finish collecting the 3,750 valid signatures necessary to earn a spot on the ballot for the comptroller’s office. And since he decided to enter the race at a remarkably late stage on Sunday night, Mr. Spitzer has been forced to hurry.
Racing against the clock, it appears Mr. Spitzer’s signature-gathering operation is showing mixed results, including the strains that come from using hastily-hired staffers as opposed to a well-trained volunteer army.
Former DNC political director Clyde Williams faced two challenges to the 6,000 petition signatures he obtained to get on the ballot in the congressional race for Upper Manhattan’s 13th district that he blamed on “associates” of the incumbent, Charlie Rangel. Those objections have expired and Mr. Williams said he’s going to be on the ballot without issue.
“Thousands of residents who signed my petitions participated in the electoral process and now their voices will be heard. I will be on the ballot on June 26,” Mr. Williams told The Politicker. “We now enter a new phase of the race and I look forward to continuing to engage voters and share ideas for the future of this community.”
On Monday, the five Democrats vying to represent the 13th District submitted petitions to get on the ballot. Today, objectors filed challenges to some of those petitions and former DNC head Clyde Williams accused the incumbent, Charlie Rangel, of “trying to silence the voices of change.”
“Last night, I learned that associates of Charlie Rangel intend to try to block my access to the ballot,” Mr. Williams wrote on his Facebook page. “Some might say a petition challenge is the sincerest form of flattery. But in fact what my opponents are challenging is the right of the people to be heard – trying to silence the voices of change. I will fight this challenge because I – like so many District residents – share a the desire to change our fortunes and seize our future for the better.”
Last Monday night, candidates for congress in New York had to turn in signatures to get onto the ballot, setting the stage for rival candidates to object and contend that not enough valid signatures were gathered to earn ballot access. While most of these challenges around New York City totaled to only a handful of objections in each race, the campaign for an open congressional seat in Queens attracted no less than 27 objections.