The latest state campaign filings show that Brooklyn state senator Carl Kruger — who hasn’t had a tough race in 15 years — took in another half-million bucks from his many supporters.
The haul keeps Kruger, who represents a swath of south Brooklyn, at the top of the state senate’s political money mountain, with a new total of $2.55 million in his war chest. That’s two and a half times the $989,000 that senate leader John Sampson has in his own campaign bank. Only Assembly boss Sheldon Silver has more, with $2.7 million.
What makes Kruger’s tremendous success even more interesting is that he kept plugging away at the fundraisers this year, even as the FBI continued its ongoing investigation into his operation.
The feds arrested a south Brooklyn nightclub operator last month, charging him with having lied to agents about his efforts to win Kruger’s official help with a $3,000 downpayment. In doing so, the feds filed papers revealing that they’ve been eyeing Kruger’s campaign for two years. Kruger’s longtime lawyer, Ben Brafman, insists that his client is not a target of the probe, although other sources say the feds are still diligently poking around.
Whatever the probe’s status, the filings show that Kruger shelled out $7500 to the law firm of Meissner, Kleineck & Finkel, where partner Richard Finkel is representing Kruger chief of staff Jason Koppel who was also cited as part of the federal probe. Finkel told the Voice last month that his client is also out of the woods with the feds.
Among Kruger’s big hauls this past spring was some $80,000 raised from operators of home health care agencies, a major growth industry that has been a steady target of investigations by attorney general Andrew Cuomo and others.
Which is not to say that the senator doesn’t have high standards. Late last month, he took in a nice fat check for $2500 from the Worth Construction corporation. And last week he gave it right back, presumably because Worth has been repeatedly cited for its close ties to mobsters, most recently by the New York state comptroller’s office, and whose ex-CEO pled guilty to bribery last year.