MODEL-$$ BOOST FOR WEINER
By MAGGIE HABERMAN, NY Post
An immigration lawyer supporting a bill that Rep. Anthony Weiner is pushing to give foreign models easier entry is holding a fund-raiser for the likely 2009 mayoral hopeful, The Post has learned.
Immigration lawyer Eric Bland, whose firm has represented some top modeling agencies, will play host to a June 30 event to boost Weiner's mayoral run.
Bland reportedly also helped raise $10,000 from top modeling agencies for Weiner's 2005 failed mayoral run.
Political experts said the timing of the fund-raiser, soon after Weiner's bill was revealed, raised eyebrows.
"Clearly it looks like a quid pro quo, and anything that looks like a quid pro quo is not good," said Baruch College political science expert Doug Muzzio.
Bland dismissed that, saying he hadn't spoken to Weiner after 2005 until last March, adding, "Quite honestly, I [just] really like Anthony . . . I haven't had any conversations with him [about the bill]."
Weiner's bill calls for placing foreign models in a separate immigration category. They now compete against tech workers for precious H-1B work visas.
An aide said Weiner, a House immigration-subcommittee member, has long favored the move, which gives "job preservation" for industries like stylists and photographers, and that he has "many supporters in the fashion, publishing and advertising sectors, part of the creative class that helps create thousands of good jobs."
Today, the News looked at Special interest money in Weiner's congressional race.
Rep. Anthony Weiner has sworn off special interest money for his mayoral campaign next year - but he's raking it in for his congressional reelection bid this fall, federal records show.
The Queens Democrat collected $42,500 from unions and political action committees in the last filing period even as he has spurned their cash in the city race, saying, "We need to restore faith in transparency."