For the second year in a row, Mayor Bloomberg has quietly pumped more than $1 million into the state’s Independence Party — without disclosing it as part of his own campaign spending.
Campaign finance records show that Bloomberg wrote two checks for $600,000 apiece last fall to the Independence Party’s Housekeeping account, as reported by the Daily Politics‘ Elizabeth Benjamin. Both checks were deposited just a few days before the general election. The bulk of the money – a whopping $750,000 – was routed by the party to an Albany campaign outfit called Special Election Operations LLC.
State records show the stealth campaign group didn’t even file incorporation papers until December 3, 2009 — almost a month after the election. It also happens to share a State Street address with the lobbying firm of Capitol Public Strategies whose principals include several Republican operatives including David Catalfamo, spokesman for ex-gov George Pataki, and Ryan Moses, who ran a GOTV effort called “Victory 2005” for Bloomberg’s second mayoral run.
This is the exact same stunt that Bloomberg pulled last year when he dropped another $1.2 million into Independence Party coffers to fund a secret campaign on behalf of Republican state senators.
The checks are all personal donations by Bloomberg – not from his own campaign. This allows the billionaire mayor to take advantage of the sky’s-the-limit rules that apply to contributions to so-called housekeeping accounts. For a guy who spends a lot of time complaining about the free-wheeling ways of Albany pols, the mayor sure knows his way around the political ropes.