Public advocate Jumane Williams was awarded nearly $1 million in city taxpayer dollars Thursday for her re-election campaign — but critics claim she’d rather cash in to help start a run for governor. You can use.
The city’s campaign finance board said Thursday that Williams is eligible to pocket $959,093 in public matching funds for her public advocate re-election campaign.
But the former Brooklyn city councilor faced only symbolic opposition in the race and is widely expected to prevail in November.
Critics said Williams could instead use the money to promote himself as he runs for governor.
State Republican Party President Nick Langworthy said, “Milking other people’s hard-earned money for a self-described socialist is very on-brand, but that’s why taxpayers are on the hook for funding politicians’ campaigns.” Should not happen.”
“We need a governor who is going to eliminate the Albany swamp, not its creature.”
Candidates can receive up to eight public dollars for every dollar raised from small private donations.
The CFB announced that it has already released $123 million for city-wide races and 51 council competitions this year, with another payout period ahead of the November 2 general election. This is more than three times the $38.3 million the city spent on running in 2013.
Under CFB rules, incumbents considered “definite winners” are entitled to only 25 percent of eligible matching funds, unless they file a “statement of requirement”, provided they close in a competitive race.
Williams did not claim he was in a competitive race, which could have paid him more than $4 million for the final weeks of the campaign.
His opponents include Republican nominee Devi Numpiaparampil, Conservative candidate Tony Herbert and Libertarian candidate Devin Balkind.
State Conservative Party chairman Jerry Kasar also said the public money given to Williams is a waste and misuse of taxpayer dollars.
“Williams can use this money to fund the governor’s campaign against Kathy Hochul next year to focus on Democratic primary voters in the city and [state Attorney General] Letitia James,” said Kassar.
“This is one of the many reasons we oppose public funding of campaigns. It is an opportunity for politicians to receive taxpayer dollars and use it in a way that is unrelated to the campaign they are running for. Huh.”
James, like Williams, is considering challenging Hochul in the Democratic primary for governor next year rather than running for re-election as attorney general.
Even proponents of taxpayer-funded campaigns said that incumbents without a real race should not receive public money.
John Kehney, executive director of Revenant Albany, said: “We support providing public funding for competitive elections, but not the ongoing campaign against symbolic protests.”
He said the city council could pass legislation to tighten the rules.
Williams defended accepting public money.
Williams said in a statement, “I will never take any election lightly, and I am grateful and grateful to all the small dollar donors who are powering this campaign – knowing that their donations are worth the money.” will be matched and multiplied under our system.” .
“My team will use a portion of the funds allocated by the CFB to ensure that the people of New Yorkers hear our message about the work I have done in office so far and if I have the honor of being re-elected. The work is still ahead, and I will refund the balance of any unused funds after the general election.
Hochul Campaign declined to comment.
Meanwhile, Democratic mayoral candidate Eric Adams isn’t taking any more public money. He already has $7.7 million in cash, reaching a maximum limit of $7.4 million in campaign spending under CFB rules.
Adams, the current Brooklyn borough president, could have taken millions more in public funding, but it would have required him to return donations to private contributors to come within spending limits. But he decided not to take any other taxpayer fund instead.
“Since the start of the general election, Eric’s campaign has received overwhelming support from thousands of New Yorkers, allowing the campaign to spare further public money and saving taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Adams campaign spokesman Evan Theis.
The CFB approved an additional $687,255 in matching funds for Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliva, which is still being held and spent by rival Adams.