Friday is a fundraising deadline for the current crop of mayoral hopefuls. And getting there, for most of the field, has been a mad dash to establish credibility.
But not for Council Speaker Christine Quinn. She hit the city’s fundraising limit for the primary a year ago, and she was in a jovial mood the day before the deadline. At a luncheon of tourism and Broadway officials, she joked at her own expense after accidentally saying a four-letter word.
“Whoopsie daisy!” she erupted. “This is a family operation here. What are you doing, Chris?" And then she corrected herself by saying "Reaches out to all those other folks…”
The rest of the Democratic field has been furiously collecting checks.
“Six events last week and ten events this week,” said Betsy Gotbaum, a finance co-chair for former Comptroller Bill Thompson. “I mean, it’s like a bit overwhelming.”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio also held more than a dozen fundraisers in the last few days, including a high-dollar reception on Thursday night co-hosted by attorneys including former Bill Clinton White House deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes, and Ken Feinberg, who oversaw the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund.
And John Liu held a balloon-filled birthday fundraiser in Chinatown on Tuesday, where one attendee sang a Marilyn Monroe-inspired rendition of “Happy Birthday, Mr. Mayor.”
Liu told reporters there that he was looking forward to February 4, the first day of the trial of Xing Wu Pan, a Liu fundraiser, and Jia Hou, the campaign’s treasurer. They face charges of misrepresenting campaigns donors to evade donor limits.
“Lot of things [have been] thrown at me, lots of things thrown at my campaign, all sorts of insinuations and allegations,” said Liu. “None proven.”
On the Republican side, Doe Fund president George McDonald announced his candidacy for mayor on Thursday. He filed a lawsuit on Monday to block enforcement of the city’s campaign donor limits.
“I’m going to keep raising money under the state law,” McDonald said at his announcement. “We’ve done what we’ve have to do as a responsible campaign to put us in the position to raise money not only from my friends who have very little money, but from my friends who have a lot of money.”
Additional reporting by Bergin Bergin.