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Individual Donors Combine Like Voltron Through Intermediaries
January 23rd, 2008

Council Speaker Christine Quinn – or shall we say, Prospective Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn – may be lagging behind in fundraising totals among mayoral candidates, but she’s the leader in contributions received from intermediaries.

A roster of 48 individuals have contributed $772,760 as intermediaries to Quinn, according to a review by Gotham Gazette of Campaign Finance Board records. That’s nearly a third of the $2,476,740 she has raised so far. They not only make up a larger percentage of her total contributions than each of her likely competitors, but the total raised by her bundlers is nearly double what their intermediaries have raised combined.

Intermediaries are individuals who collect contributions from a variety of donors and hand it over to a campaign bundled under their name. Many observers have said that low contribution limits have increased the influence of bundlers, who are allowed to bring in as much money as they can.

The leading group of bundlers for Quinn is made up of real estate interests, who have contributed over $243,000. Lawyers are the runner up and have donated over $125,000. But her largest individual bundler is a Jewish singer named Shloime Dachs who collected $53,850 for Quinn, which is eligible for $4,500 in matching public funds, her campaign claims. The next highest intermediary, pulling in $43,000, is Cheryl Effron, and the campaign estimates that is eligible for $3,350 in matching funds. Effron lists her occupation with the board as unemployed, but in 2006, she was listed as a real estate developer. The average giving rate by intermediaries to Quinn is $16,000 apiece.

Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, however, has more concentrated donations from bundlers, meaning a smaller amount of people are giving more. Of the $3,610,133 the New York Represntative has raised thus far, $318,250 of that is the result of the efforts of 11 individuals. His average giving rate from intermediaries is $28,931. Real estate interests again lead this pack, but Weiner’s top bundler is Leena Doshi, an award winning radiologist. His second highest intermediary is Zina Sapir, who raised $56,700,which means an additional $2,250 in matching funds, the campaign says. Sapir lists her job with the board as a homemaker, but a news account places her as the vice president of a real estate firm called the Sapir Organization.

Of the $4,228,931 that Comptroller William Thompson has raised, under two percent comes bundlers have raised $12,720 of City Councilmember Tony Avella’s total $180,940.

In a micro battle, a pair of possible City Council competitors for Simcha Felder’s term limited seat have been bundling for different mayoral candidates. David Greenfield, the top fundraiser among declared council candidates, has raised $25,500 for Weiner. Meanwhile, Assemblymember Dov Hikind, his maybe-competitor, raised $21,560 for Thompson, who has yet to formally announce his candidacy. The campaign says those funds will result in an addition $7,000 in matching funds.

On a related note, Avella has raised over a quarter of his funds through limited liability companies and partnerships. A ban on contributions from these two classes of business organizations went into effect last week. These businesses accounted for about seven percent of mayoral campaign funds.

Also, contributions by unions and their political action committees – which have been a contentious point in the debate over campaign finance regulation – accounted for only one and a half percent of the total funds raised by all the mayoral candidates. Total PAC contributions accounted for two percent of all mayoral contributions.

By on January 23, 2008, 1:52 am
In category: Governing | Comments Off on Individual Donors Combine Like Voltron Through Intermediaries

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