U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Forest Hills) has gotten a boost in his 2009 campaign for mayor, buying the voter list of his former rival, Fernando Ferrer, federal records show.
Weiner and former Bronx Borough President Ferrer both sought the Democratic nomination for mayor in 2005, with Weiner bowing out of a runoff and clearing the way for Ferrer's name on the ballot in November.
Now Weiner is the only buyer of his former rival's voter list from 2005, the New York Post reported, paying Friends of Ferrer $1,000 in January 2006 for the names to use for his own 2009 mayoral bid.
Ferrer told the Post that he was unaware the list had been sold and that he had not endorsed any candidate for mayor in 2009.
Federal Election Commission records show Weiner used funds from his "Friends of Weiner" congressional campaign committee to buy the list for his mayoral bid, a year before he filed the paperwork in February 2007 to declare himself as a 2009 mayoral candidate.
John Collins, a Weiner for Mayor campaign spokesman, said the expenditure was above-board because the city campaign had reimbursed the federal campaign last week, after the list was first used for a mailing.
A spokesman for the city Campaign Finance Board said it was not uncommon for campaigns to sell voter lists.
The congressman was cited by the CFB in 2005 for paying staffers on his mayoral campaign using funds drawn from his congressional committee account.
In a 2007 decision, the board wrote that the campaign should allocate the costs between the two committees using a sound methodology that would be subject to its review.
Collins said the $1,000 will appear on the next campaign finance filing with the city on Weiner's mayoral campaign because the mailing and transfer of funds had occurred after the July 15 deadline.
As an incumbent congressman running for city office, Weiner has drawn extra scrutiny.
"For any candidate in this situation, the board is going to look very closely at any spending by his federal committee for communications that appear to benefit his city campaign," CFB spokesman Eric Friedman wrote in an e-mail.
In a filing July 15 with the CFB, Weiner had raised $5,027,918 for his 2009 mayoral bid. He faces rivals for that office who are expected to include City Comptroller William Thompson with $4.8 million, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) with $3.09 million and City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) with $212,140 for their campaigns.
©2008 Community News Group
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