Bill Thompson, the Democratic mayoral front-runner, needed to raise a quarter mil to qualify for federal city matching funds at a six-to-one ratio. He didn’t make it, says the New York City Campaign Finance Board. So he missed out on around $1.5 million. (His people are confident he’ll qualify at the next test on August 20.)
Now he’s focusing on another $1.5 million — specifically the city money Mike Bloomberg paid out to non-profits under councilmember Simcha Felder’s authorization, which Felder said he didn’t give — as well as some other potentially troublesome payouts.
Thompson and Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum — also no friend to the Mayor and his crew — have requested the documentation relating to the discretionary funds Bloomberg still insists Felder authorized but misremembers — as well as other discretionary funds, said to total $30 million, from the Mayor’s office.
The Mayor says there’s not much formal paperwork on these deals. It appears Thompson wants to make a bigger issue of the shady disbursements. If so, maybe the next shoe to drop will be a request for paperwork relating to the city council’s slush fund. Thompson made noises to that effect in April but there hasn’t been much follow-through from him, while federal prosecutors have been doing their own work. If he wants to embarrass the Mayor, since he says he has “the authority under the New York City Charter to investigate all matters relating to or affecting the finances of the city,” maybe Thompson should be sending a letter to the mayor’s ally, Speaker Christine Quinn.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 7, 2009