Independent Budget Office Suggests Boosting Taxes on Beer, Liquor and Plastic Surgery

The IBO thinks the city should boost taxes on liquor, wine and beer. (Photo: AFP PHOTO /  LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
The IBO thinks the city should boost taxes on liquor, wine and beer. (Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/Getty)

The city’s Independent Budget Office has some ideas for incoming Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio to boost revenue and save cash as he prepares to take the reins of City Hall.

As part of its annual wish list, the group has suggested boosting the city’s tax rate on alcohol–and adding new tax on wine–to rake in nearly $50 million in extra revenue a year. Continue reading “Independent Budget Office Suggests Boosting Taxes on Beer, Liquor and Plastic Surgery”

Councilman Proposes Cigarette-Style Warnings on Independent PAC Ads

A mock independent expenditure, courtesy of Councilman Lander's office.
A mock independent expenditure warning. (Photo: Councilman Lander’s office.)

City Councilman Brad Lander is looking to rein in exploding expenditures from super PAC-like groups with proposed new legislation that would slap cigarette-style warnings on their mailings, among other regulations.

The package of proposed reforms comes as outside groups are pouring millions of dollars into city races through so-called “independent expenditures,” following the Citizens United court decision, which allows near-unlimited spending, as long as the groups don’t directly co-ordinate with campaigns. Of particular concern to Mr. Lander in the real estate industry-backed “Jobs 4 NY” committee, which has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on local City Council races–sometimes in the face of candidates’ opposition.

Continue reading “Councilman Proposes Cigarette-Style Warnings on Independent PAC Ads”

Outside Groups Start Spending Big on Thompson, Stringer

Campaign Finance Board.
A UFA poster. (NYC Campaign Finance Board)

A new generation of super-PAC-like groups have begun to pour money into the city’s races, and several candidates are certainly benefiting.

Former Comptroller Bill Thompson has already been boosted by more than $650,000 in spending on his behalf from groups formed by two of the city’s major unions, according to new disclosure statements filed with the city’s campaign finance board today.

Continue reading “Outside Groups Start Spending Big on Thompson, Stringer”

Bill de Blasio Hitting the Airwaves Tomorrow

Bill de Blasio.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Bill de Blasio. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio is set to hit the airwaves tomorrow with the first ad buy of his mayoral race.

Mr. de Blasio, whose campaign appears to be gaining momentum as the clock ticks toward primary day, has been working to re-introduce himself to voters in the wake of Anthony Weiner’s latest sexting scandal, which appears to have given him an opening in the polls.

Continue reading “Bill de Blasio Hitting the Airwaves Tomorrow”

Weiner Raises More Than $800,000 in Two Months

Anthony Weiner: Fund-raising machine.
Anthony Weiner: Fund-raising machine.

Despite speculation that Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s sudden jump back into politics would drag Anthony Weiner’s name back into the mud, his campaign appears to be getting off to a good week.

The former congressman, who is now leading the polls in the mayors race, raised an impressive $828,886 dollars over the past two months, according to new disclosures filed with the city’s Campaign Finance Board earlier today.

Continue reading “Weiner Raises More Than $800,000 in Two Months”

John Catsimatidis Spending Big on Billboards, Lip Balm and Candy

John Catsimatidis opening his new Brooklyn campaign office Wednesday. (Photo: twitter/JCats2013)
John Catsimatidis opening his new Brooklyn campaign office Wednesday evening. (Photo: Twitter/JCats2013)

All of the major mayoral candidates have been spending cash at a relative steady clip; but no other candidate has managed to do so as fast as billionaire supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis. The self-financed Republican has spent a whopping $880,000 since he entered the race, including $615,332 in bills over the past two months.

Continue reading “John Catsimatidis Spending Big on Billboards, Lip Balm and Candy”

Bill Thompson Reports Significant Fund-Raising Haul

Bill Thomspon. (Photo: Facebook/Bill Thompson)
Bill Thomspon. (Photo: Facebook/Bill Thompson)

Bill Thompson raised more than $600,000 over the past two months for his mayoral bid–a haul his campaign touted as a “dramatic” uptick in their fund-raising pace.

The money, raised from March 12 through May 11, is nearly double what Mr. Thompson raised during the previous period–a sign, staffers said, that his campaign is gaining steam.

Continue reading “Bill Thompson Reports Significant Fund-Raising Haul”