Helen Marshall, a councilwoman and Democrat from East Elmhurst, has raised more than $75,000 in her bid for the Queens borough presidency, an elected office that Claire Shulman must leave this December because of term limits.
According to the City Campaign Finance Board, Marshall, who is prevented from running for City Council again because of term limits, has received contributions from 531 donors. Her filings show that her donation base is comprised chiefly of individual contributors, many of whom live in Queens, and relies little on political action committees, corporations and partnerships.
Im what they call a cross-over candidate, Marshall said in a telephone interview late last month, which means that I can get my support from all of Queens, and thank God I do.
The councilwomans last filing was Jan. 11, according to finance records, at which time she had raised $76,915. The city matches every dollar a candidate raises with four of its own, bringing Marshalls total contributions to $252,595, the filings show. Contributions from a source other than an individual or family, however, is not matched.
As the landscape of city governance shifts, owing in large part to term limits, Marshall along with the other 13 Queens council members affected by that law have had to consider whether to remain in city politics by seeking office elsewhere. To that end, Marshall announced last year that she would run for Queens borough president, an office held by Shulman since 1986.
Besides Marshall, there are six candidates running for the borough presidency, including City Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis), who has raised $122,128; Carol Gresser, a former representative of the Board of Education and Democratic candidate, who has raised $201,428; Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), who has raised $53,625; state Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway), who has raised $72,212; Councilman Alfonso Stabile (R-Ozone Park), who has raised $68,625.
Haydee Zambrana, a community activist, said she is running but has not yet filed finance records with the board.
All but 17 of Marshalls 531 contributors were individuals, her filings show. And of those 17, only two were political action committees, groups typically established by unions or businesses that contribute money to political campaigns. Such committees can make contributions only if they are registered with the Campaign Finance Board.
According to Marshalls filings, the two committees were Rangel for Congress, set up by U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Manhattan), which gave $1,000; and the N.Y.C. Pepsi Cola PAC Fund, which contributed $250. The city does not match contributions made by political action committees.
Marshalls filings also show that a number of her contributors are educators, whether in elementary school, high school or college. There were more than 40 such contributors, the filings show, most of whom gave nominally to her campaign. Taken together, though, the contributions accounted for more than $4,000, an amount that with few exceptions was eligible to be matched by city funds.
In the City Council, Marshall, a former teacher, serves as chairwoman of the Committee on Higher Education.
Apart from those contributors, Marshall also received money from Joyce Dinkins, the wife of former Mayor David Dinkins, and from Percy Sutton, the owner of the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Dinkins gave $100, and Sutton $750, the filings show. In addition, the filings reveal, she received $500 from Joseph Mattone, a developer whose company is building a condominium complex on Third Avenue in Whitestone and a movie theater in Jamaica Center, and $100 from Ethel Chen, a Democrat running for City Council in Flushing.
Frank Barry, a spokesman for the Campaign Finance Board, said there is a $1,177,000 ceiling on spending for both the primary and the general election. Matching funds from the city cap off at $647,350, he said. Only contributions made by individuals living in the five boroughs are eligible for matching funds, he said.
Under the matching funds program, the city contributes $4 for every $1 that a candidate raises, only if the contributor is an individual, Barry said. Although an individual can contribute as much as $3,500 to a borough president candidates campaign, the city will match only up to $250.
Reach reporter Chris Fuchs by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2001 Community News Group
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