Republican mayoral candidate Nicole Malliotakis raised $250,00 in the two month reporting period that ended last week. It was a decent, but far from outstanding, fundraising performance for the expected Republican nominee in her first full reporting period. Malliotakis joined the race in April, about two weeks before the previous reporting deadline, and reported raising about $94,000 in that truncated period. With reported expenses of $64,000 this period, Malliotakis ended the reporting period with $275,000 in cash on hand.
Malliotakis’ financial picture may markedly improve with matching funds from the City’s Campaign Finance Board. An analysis by Politico estimated that based on her reported fundraising Malliotakis may receive just over $600,000 in City matching funds, which are given at a 6-1 ratio for qualifying contributions. Malliotakis has not yet qualified for the program, however, and her receiving matching funds therefor remains uncertain. Time is short for Malliotakis, with a limited opportunity to reduce the large current fundraising gap with her expected general election rival, Mayor Bill de Blasio, who reported $2.5 million cash on hand in the prior (mid-May) report.
Malliotakis’ contributors included many Staten Islanders and Republican and Conservative Party leaders. She received 12 “maxout” contributions of $4,950 and two contributions of $4,900, just below that maximum, generating $69,200 of her $250,000 total. Among the maxout contributors were several well-known New York Republican donors, including State Republican Chairman Ed Cox, James Tisch, former MTA chairman Peter Kalikow and his wife Mary and, at $4,900 each, real estate developer and former Port Authority commissioner and MTA vice chairman David Mack and his wife Sondra. Three of the other “maxouts” were from people (Charles P. Joyce, Richard W. Joyce and Randy M. Shayler) employed by Otis Eastern Service, a pipeline construction and maintenance business. Most eye-catching, however, were two nationally known Republican donors, Robert and Rebekah Mercer. The father-daughter team were major financial supporters of Donald Trump in the 2016 election, with close ties to Trump advisor Steve Bannon.
Malliotakis contributors also included many people from the New York City Republican and Conservative parties. (The Conservative Party has selected Malliotakis as its mayoral candidate.) Among those contributors: the state chairman of each party, Ed Cox and Michael Long ($175), Republican County chairs Adele Malpass (Manhattan – $175)) and Theodore Ghorra (Brooklyn – $175) and former chair John Antoniello (Staten Island – $100) and Conservative county chairs Stuart Avrick (Manhattan – $175), Gerard Kassar (Brooklyn – $160 in-kind) and Harold Wagner (Staten Island – $175).
Current and past political candidates contributing include Joe Lhota ($250), the 2013 Republican and Conservative mayoral nominee, Herb London ($200), Conservative Party public advocate candidate Michael O’Reilly ($175), former City Council candidate Dennis Saffran ($175) and current City Council candidate Rebecca Haray ($25). Malliotakis also received police union support, with the Lieutentants Benevolent Association and the Captains Endowment Association each contributing $1,000. Captains Endowment Association President Roy Richter personally contributed $175.
Two former Staten Island candidates with checkered pasts also contributed to Malliotakis. Vito Fossella, the former congressman who left Congress after a drunk driving arrest led to the revelation that he had a child with a woman in the Washington D.C. area while his wife and their children lived on Staten Island, contributed $250 to Malliotakis, and Jody Hall, a former City Council candidate contributed $100. Once the head of the New York Liquation Bureau, Hall was arrested in 2006 and charged with rigging contracts related to renovation of the Bureau’s offices. In 2008 she pled guilty to defrauding the Bureau and third degree grand larceny. (The New York Liquidation Bureau is a quasi-state agency that liquidates failed insurance companies, acting on behalf of the NYS Superintendent of Financial Services. I was Deputy Chief of Staff at the Bureau in 2007-08.)
Malliotakis spent a modest 25% of the amount she raised in this period, with about half of her expenditures spent on polling and “prof srvcs/media management.” Malliotakis did not report any spending on advertising or mailings. She lists only two campaign staff as receiving payments, deputy campaign manager Jo Ann Poly Calvo and spokesman Rob Ryan, with an additional payment to Noelle Nikpour of Little Rock, Arkansas for “Campaign Consul/Fundraising/Strategy”. Malliotakis does not list any payments to a campaign manager or other campaign staff.