Friday, July 17, 2009

The money primary, updated; James nudges ahead; Simon's rivals have cash on hand; Lander leads, Skaller also ready to spend

The latest fundraising reports to the New York City Campaign Finance Board are out.

In a contrast to the reports from May, City Council Member Letitia James has raised more than $8000 more than rival Delia Hunley-Adossa in the race for the 35th District, though the totals raised by each would put them well behind candidates in the nearby 33rd and 39th Districts, where there are vigorous contests for open seats to succeed David Yassky and Bill de Blasio, respectively. In terms of cash on hand, the race is closer; James has about $3000 more.

In the 33rd District, Jo Anne Simon remains the fundraising leader, but Steve Levin and Evan Thies have more cash on hand. (Here's more from the Observer, about Thies's role challenging Levin.)

In the 39th District, Brad Lander remains the fundraising leader, though three other candidates have outspent him so far, with John Heyer the only one to run a significant deficit; Josh Skaller, second in fundraising, has about $28,000 cash on hand, but Lander has nearly $40,000 left.

Matching funds and a changing landscape

While there's no reason to expect the fundraising to stop, those with more cash can spend it more strategically on advertising, mailings, and phone calls as the September 15 primary election approaches.

Below, a few more details. Keep in mind that money is only one factor, along with endorsements, geography, and even gender, depending on the race. Also key: if Council candidates raise at least $5000 from 75 district residents, they qualify for matching funds on a six-to-one basis, with a maximum match of $1050 for each person's $175 and a maximum in public funds of $88,550.

So someone like Heyer running a deficit likely expects either matching funds and/or additional fundraising.

Also, this week the candidates turned in petitions to get on the ballot, as Gotham Gazette explains; expect them to challenge their rivals before the Board of Elections.

The 35th District

James has raised $31,030 and has spent $27,713, including $8500 on office rent, $4410 on her fundraising treasurer, and $2000 on the Rosa Parks Democratic Club for petitioning.

James's largest contributor, giving $1000 is Trevor Wilson of Prestige Management, which manages the three Mitchell-Lama towers of Atlantic Terminal II. She also got $500 each from Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union and Local 702 of the Board of Education employees. She gave $500 herself.

Hunley-Adossa has raised $22,585 and spent $23,392, including $7000 to election lawyer and former state Senator Martin Connor.

After in-kind contribution of $2300 from Idris Abdullah for office expenses, Hunley-Adossa's next-largest donor, at $1135, is herself. Also, giving $1000 each are the New York City Council of Carpenters, Willard Hawkins, and Dorothy Bembry-Guet.

Also giving $1000 is Alan Weisberg of One Stop Promotions, an Atlantic Yards supporter (and, perhaps, the same Alan Weisberg associated with the Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club in south Brooklyn that spawned Forest City Ratner public affairs VP Bruce Bender).

The Hunley-Adossa contribution is by far the largest of Weisberg's three contributions. He lives in the 11230 zip code, in the Midwood area, well outside the 35th District. 

Hunley-Adossa, who chairs the committee of the signatories of the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), has also received contributions from construction unions that support AY, but not specifically from Forest City Ratner or its employees.

Third candidate Medhanie Estiphanos has raised $3,517 and spent $1,187.

The 33rd District

Jo Anne Simon has raised $103,383 and spent $83,992, including more than $21,000 on mailings, pamphlets, and postage.

Steve Levin has raised $90,738 (though the last reported contribution is June 30) and spent $58,003, including more than $16,000 on postage and a mailing.

Evan Thies has raised $64,345 and spent $35,291, including $7500 for election lawyer Jerry Goldfeder.

Ken Diamondstone has raised $51,424 and spent $46,251, including $12,500 to campaign consultant Morgan Pehme, another critic of the entrenched leadership of the Brooklyn Democratic Party.

Isaac Abraham has raised $45,466 and spent $43,258, most significantly on campaign consultants, compliance, and petitioning.

Ken Baer has raised $23,511 and spent $33,080, including more than $9500 on printing and postage.

Doug Biviano has raised $20,785 and spent $16,376, including $6000 for rent.

The 39th District

Brad Lander has raised $115,486 and spent $65,607, including nearly $12,000 on the firm Berlin Rosen, which represents, among others, the Pratt Center for Community Development (Lander's professional home), ACORN, Service Workers United, and the Working Families Party. (See NLG for some criticism of over-the-top blogging regarding Lander.)

Josh Skaller has raised $101,089 and spent $72,806, including more than $16,000 on fundraising. Skaller has caught up a little on Lander, closing about one-third of the fundraising gap from May.

Bob Zuckerman has raised $80,695 and spent $74,848, including $11,000 on political consultant Hank Sheinkopf.

John Heyer: has raised $57,305 and spent $84,592, including $18,311 for campaign manager Jesse Adelman and $17,500 on Branford Communications, a firm which has done a lot of work for the Democratic Party.

Gary Reilly has raised $26,330 and spent $33,351, including nearly $20,000 on a campaign consultant.

Green Party Candidate David Pechefsky has raised $13,749 and spent $9,887

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