Lisa Chow is the economics reporter at WNYC. She tries to explore in her stories surprising aspects of New York’s many economies—in plain view or hidden, in neighborhoods or sectors.
Donors Mixed Over Weiner Scandal
Thursday, June 09, 2011
Rep. Anthony Weiner's biggest donors in New York City are mixed about whether to continue supporting the Democratic Congressman, whose online sex scandal has captured newspaper headlines for days.
Fertilizer tycoon Alex Rovt said he'll continue to support Weiner, despite the scandal.
"This is between him and his wife," said Rovt, president of IBE Trade, who along with his employees have contributed $12,000 to Weiner in the 2009-2010 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
Rovt, whose net worth is valued at $1.7 billion according to Forbes Magazine, said his evaluation of Weiner is based on what the congressman has done for New York City and New York State, not on these latest revelations.
"He's a leader," Rovt said, adding that he supported Weiner's position on raising taxes on the wealthy. Weiner was an outspoken critic of President Obama's tax compromise with Republicans late last year.
Other donors are taking a wait-and-see approach, including the Mason Tenders District Council of New York, which has contributed $10,000 to Weiner in this cycle.
The union's political director Michael McGuire said the Mason Tenders supported Weiner because the congressman was a champion of the Zadroga bill, which set aside money to pay the health-care costs of those impacted by the World Trade Center attacks, but that they were in "no big hurry" to contribute now, given all the pressure Weiner is under to resign.
Another donor, Bernard Schwartz, CEO of BLS Investments, refused to comment. He along with his employees have donated $9,600 in the 2009-2010 cycle.