With little more than a week to go before the Democratic primary for New York mayor, outside groups have poured $3 million into supporting and opposing their preferred candidates, according to the most current figures through Sunday.
The effect of those expenditures is being closely watched, because this is the first citywide election in which outside groups, like corporations and unions, have had an opportunity to spend unlimited amounts on campaigns in the wake of the United States Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case.
And with the majority of candidates abiding by tight spending caps in exchange for participating in the city’s matching-fund program, any significant outside financing, especially for political ads and mailings, could make a difference.
In the race for mayor, for instance, all the major Democratic contenders are participating in the program, which allows the campaigns to spend $6.7 million in the primary.
So far, William C. Thompson Jr., a former city comptroller, has benefited from $1.55 million in outside money, making him the biggest beneficiary, by far, of such support, according to detailed records cataloged by the city’s Campaign Finance Board. Much of the money has been spent on palm cards, radio commercials and mailers, thanks to a group affiliated with the United Federation of Teachers, which has endorsed Mr. Thompson.
New York City is Not for Sale, a group of animal-rights activists and others who are vehemently opposed to the candidacy of Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, have spent $774,000. They were the first outside groups to spend money on a television commercial criticizing a candidate, and many political analysts say their relentless campaign has hurt Ms. Quinn.
Ms. Quinn, in fact, is the only mayoral candidate who has been the target of outside spending.
Some of that opposition, however, may have been blunted by $657,000 from outside groups that support Ms. Quinn. Of that amount, about $610,000 has been spent on English and Spanish-language materials by a group connected with the Hotel Trades Council, which has endorsed Ms. Quinn.
Locally, we have this:
Jobs for New York, Inc.: independent expenditures of $105,885 since 8/5 supporting Paul Vallone@PaulVallone #FilingDay— NYC Campaign Finance (@NYCCFB) September 1, 2013