Hey Buddy, Can You Spare a Campaign?
If you've got a few grand lying around and have nothing better to do with it, you might ring up one of the candidates for municipal office. According to Campaign Finance Board records, 36 candidates have taken out $1.16 million in loans so far this campaign season. The loans are perfectly legal, but if they aren't paid back by the date of the primary election, they are considered contributions. That means any loan over the contribution limit (which is $4,950 for citywide office, $3,850 for borough president races, and $2,750 for council contests) will be considered a violation and grounds for a possible fine.
But that rule doesn't apply if you loan money to your own campaign, because candidates can make unlimited contributions to their own bids for office. And seven of the top ten loan takers have borrowed money exclusively from themselves. Here are the top ten, with the source of their funding at right:
1. Andrew Rasiej Public Advocate $525,000 (self)
2. Carlos Manzano Manhattan BP $80,000 (bank)
3. Stephen Kaufman City Council $77,500 (mixture)
4. Jack Lester City Council $67,000 (self)
5. Stanley Michels City Council $50,000 (self)
6. Jay Golub Public Advocate $41,400 (self)
7. Michael Beys City Council $40,000 (self)
8. Marlene Tapper City Council $36,500 (self)
9. Robby Mahadeo City Council $30,000 (self)
10. Edward Rodriguez City Council $30,000 (mixture)