Thursday, April 10, 2008

State Senator Carl Kruger and his campaign war chest

The Village Voice's Tom Robbins this week finds Brooklyn State Senator Carl Kruger to be the poster child countering "good-government types." The piece is headlined Living the Political Life Fantastic, with the subtitle "Surf, turf, and doughnuts: A state senator dines out on his campaign war chest."

Before we go to the details, let's remember some other elements of Kruger's record: he's a supporter of Atlantic Yards and the $6 billion lie; he received $4000 from Bruce Ratner's brother and sister-in-law; and, though a Democrat, he campaigned for Republican Martin Golden in return for new district boundaries that protected his seat, as recounted by Seymour Lachman in Three Men in a Room.

And, less we forget, Kruger has emerged as a dubious player in the debate over Coney Island, using that considerable campaign war chest to gin up public opposition to the city plan and support for Joe Sitt.

The Ratner connection

Remember, as the Observer's Matthew Schuerman reported 5/31/06, Kruger and fellow Atlantic Yards-loving South Brooklyn politicians come out of the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, which also produced Ratner aide Bruce Bender.

From the Voice

Robbins writes:
Kruger is a product of one of New York's last and best-functioning political machines, the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club in Canarsie. He launched his political career the proper way, as an aide to one of the club's proudest sons, former Assembly Speaker Stanley Fink. When the local state-senate seat became vacant in 1994, Kruger got the nod. He is now so popular that Republicans don't even bother running against him. In his last race, he got 95 percent of the vote.

Despite that electoral comfort zone, Kruger has banked some $1.6 million in his campaign kitty, much of it from city real-estate moguls who appreciate his support. This is more money than even the senate's mighty leader, Joe Bruno, has in his own war chest. Kruger's campaign coffers earned so much interest last year that he had to pay the IRS $22,000 in taxes.

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