Let the money games begin!
Now that term-limit opponent Councilman David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights) has made stronger indications that he is indeed running for comptroller and not for re-election, the six candidates to succeed him say the money will really start flowing into their coffers.
The uncertainty of Yassky’s candidacy — even more so than the stagnant economy and the historic presidential race just concluded — depressed the fundraising totals for local candidates.
“The first time I thought about fundraising was on Monday after Yassky announced he’d solidified his campaign for comptroller,” said Isaac Abraham, who pulled in the biggest amount of money in just-released data by the city Campaign Finance Board — $11,892 between July 12 last year and Jan. 11 — among the six candidates to represent the district covering the area bounded by Greenpoint, Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope.
After Yassky backed Mayor Bloomberg’s successful bid to extend term limits, there had been lingering doubts that Yassky would make good on his vow to run for comptroller. But those questions largely vaporized with the legislator’s announcement in a recent e-mail to supporters that he’d hired high-priced media consultant Josh Isay, whose other clients include winner Mayor Bloomberg and loser Caroline Kennedy. (Yassky’s campaign office did not return calls for comment.)
“Yassky’s intentions were certainly a question,” said Jo Anne Simon, another aspiring councilmember.
“I always believed that if Comptroller [Bill] Thompson ran for mayor, then [Yassky] would continue his run for citywide office. Now, that question has been answered.”
So Abraham, Simon and the gang hope donors open up their checkbooks, because the candidates’ war chests are fairly depleted.
Simon, a Democratic district leader from Boerum Hill, pulled in the second highest total — $10,760. That added to her leading total of $65,797. The second-runner up in the money game was Evan Thies, a former staffer to Yassky, who posted $9,445. He’s raised $58,065, but has only spent $15,838 compared to Simon’s expenditures of $40,143.
Rounding out the race are Ken Baer, a former Sierra Club chair in New York, with $3,927; Stephen Levin, chief of staff for Assemblyman Vito Lopez, with $2,475; and Ken Diamondstone, who pulled in $2,395.