Scott Stringer’s a nice guy. That’s how Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey and Republican comptroller candidate Michel Faulkner replied when I asked them about Paul Massey’s past substantial financial contributions to Faulkner’s expected general election opponent, Democrat and incumbent City Comptroller Scott Stringer.
Massey and Faulkner exchanged endorsements today at City Hall, offering each other warm praise. Faulkner recently dropped out of the mayor’s race and switched to the comptroller’s race. To date he’s the only Republican candidate for comptroller, and he and party leaders expect that he will not face any Republican opponents.
Massey has contributed $7,000 to Stringer over the past three election cycles, giving 2,000 to Stringer’s Borough President reelection campaign in June, 2007, $2,500 to Stringer’s erstwhile mayoral campaign (Stringer later switched to running to for comptroller) in November 2011 and $2,500 to Stringer’s comptroller reelection campaign (his current race) in November 2014. It’s an unusual contribution history for a Republican mayoral candidate, although it’s not the only unusual item in Massey’s contribution history. He gave Bill de Blasio, yes that Bill de Blasio, the maximum legal contribution of $4,950 in October 2013.
Massey avoided directly answering my question seeking an explanation of his contributions to Stringer and how it squares with his current support for Faulkner. Replying only that “Scott’s a nice guy … I like him very much” Massey offered that Faulkner is the “right guy” and flipped to attacking Mayor de Blasio.
Faulkner similarly offered little of substance in responding. Echoing Massey’s characterization of Stringer as a “nice guy,” Faulkner noted that Stringer has represented him in the Assembly and Borough President’s office (and inaccurately referenced the City Council) and said that he called Stringer to say he’s running, but didn’t focus at all on Massey’s contributions.
Here’s an excerpt with my question to Massey and Faulkner and their responses: