Although the next round of city elections is more than three years away, the delay has not stopped those with special interests from contributing to the tens of thousands of dollars amassed in Queens elected officials’ campaign coffers.
An executive behind the massive Astoria Cove housing bid in Hallets Point donated $1,000 to Borough President Melinda Katz’s campaign. And telecommunications companies concerned about the city’s Wi-Fi contract strategy have kicked $1,250 into the campaign account of Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), chairman of the Zoning and Franchises Committee, who also sits on the Technology Committee.
Once campaign spending is factored in, Katz has $78,109 on hand for a re-election bid, Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Glendale) $51,541, Weprin $38,019, Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) $16,132, Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) $12,906 and Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) $14,000.
Van Bramer’s and Crowley’s campaign committees have not yet declared that the politicians are running for re-election, but those close to their campaigns confirmed both are seeking a third term in City Hall.
Katz’s re-election campaign account has profited from employees at the lobbying firm Greenberg Traurig LLP, where she previously worked, and a political action committee it finances that have collectively contributed $3,810.
Others who donated generously to the borough president’s bid include Eugen Gluck, chairman of the E. Gluck watch company moving to Little Neck, who gave $2,000; leaders of the F&T Group behind the Flushing Commons development, who collectively gave $1,320; executives of the TF Cornerstone firm selected to construct the middle-income Hunter’s Point South housing complex, who collectively gave $1,000; and an Alma Realty developer managing the Astoria Cove residences proposed in Hallets Point, who gave $1,000.
As borough president, Katz is charged with issuing recommendations on proposed zoning and land use changes.
Katz spokesman Nathan Smith said her fund-raising adhered to all regulations.