From the Queens Chronicle:
A campaign to discredit Republican City Council candidate Dan Halloran by a Queens weekly may have backfired.
“I am hoping people will see it for what it is,” said Halloran, who is running to replace Democratic Councilman Tony Avella in the 19th District. Avella is not seeking re-election. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor in the primary.
A front page story in the Sept. 17 edition of the Queens Tribune depicts Halloran as a “Pagan Lord.” His photo, showing him dressed in a tunic, is positioned next to a preppy-looking, smiling Kevin Kim, labeled the “Democratic Victor.”
The Tribune’s sister company, Multi-Media Corp., is representing Kim in his campaign and has already raked in more than $80,000 from the candidate, according to the city Campaign Finance Board’s list of Kim’s expenditures.
Those expenses include campaign mailings, printing, campaign literature, professional services and consulting.
Michael Nussbaum, president of Multi-Media, is also associate publisher and executive vice president of the Queens Tribune. In a 2003 column, Michael Schenkler, the Tribune’s publisher and editor-in-chief, bragged that his office is next to that of his friend, Michael Nussbaum.
The newspaper was founded by Congressman Gary Ackerman (D-Queens), who Kim worked for immediately before running for office.
Although Kim has raised $306,566, which is more than any of the other Democratic hopefuls he beat in the primary, he only has $17,220 left until Election Day. He opted out of city matching funds, he says, as a practical matter, because he entered the race late and had to raise as much money as he could against the Queens Democratic Party-endorsed candidate, Jerry Iannece, and a well-known political name, Paul Vallone.
According to records for the last filing date, Halloran has raised $16,340 and has $6,529 left to spend. He will also get full matching funds since he opted into the program. “I have raised $20,000 and will get plenty back,” Halloran said, noting that he received a lot of financial support last week, based somewhat on anger over the printed attack.
The Republican added he has heard from many people who said they were offended by the Tribune’s tactic. “We should be talking about issues,” Halloran said. “Our nation was founded on religious freedom in America. It shouldn’t be part of the political process.”
He finds the attack particularly repugnant, “especially here in Flushing, the home of the Remonstrance,” the document that gave birth to religious freedom in America. “I’m a man of faith.”
In a perverse way, the attack on Halloran has energized his campaign. “I absolutely believe I’ll win. I am 100 percent committed to the campaign and I won’t be affected by cheap shots,” he said.