Bounced Checks, Booze, & the Mayoral Race


Candidate finance reports reveal the oddities of life on the campaign trail

The latest mayoral campaign finance reports are in and there are lots of big numbers to look at, like Mayor Michael Bloomberg‘s almost $10 million in spending already. But the tiny numbers are interesting too, in that they give a hint at what day-to-day life in a mayoral campaign is really like, such as . . .

$15 to $29—The range of reimbursement checks from Anthony Weiner‘s campaign to staff members for taking the interns out to lunch.

$68—The Bloomberg campaign spent that much on fire extinguishers, while $158 is what Fernando Ferrer‘s campaign spent on firewater (a check to the Park Avenue Liquor Shop filed under the purpose “drinks for meeting.”) Ferrer and Bloomberg have one thing in common, however: Both use Administaff for some of their HR work.

$78—That’s what Gifford Miller‘s campaign staff spent on a few web surveys by Survey Monkey last summer. This year, they upgraded, cutting a $36,600 check to the Mellman Group for a poll in February.

$10—The fee that Weiner’s campaign has paid to Commerce Bank for each of the 16 bounced checks it reported between last summer and earlier this year.

$5,150—The Forge Works in Arnold, Missouri, was sent this fee for creating “gala triangles” for a Virginia Fields fundraiser last year.

$368—The amount paid to Confidential Shredding of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey, for providing “shredding services” to the mayor’s campaign. Reporters digging in the Bloomberg 2005 campaign’s trash for that “Super Secret Election Plan,” be advised.