Today’s news:

Stabile collects $155K toward boro prez race

Now that City Councilman Mike Abel (R-Bayside) has dropped out of the Queens borough president’s race, City Councilman Alphonso Stabile (R-Ozone Park) is the only Republican left in the dwindling crowd of hopefuls to succeed Claire Shulman, who cannot seek re-election due to term limits.

Stabile had $155,724 in his campaign war chest, according to the Campaign Finance Board, which tracks the contributions and expenditures of each candidate for elected city offices, as of Jan. 11, the first deadline of the year for candidates’ campaign finance disclosures,

He has raised $68,625 for his campaign to lead the borough’s more than 2 million inhabitants. Some $35,665 of Stabile’s contributions qualified for the city’s matching fund program, which brings his total to $211,285.

His war chest represents the contributions made to his campaign plus the money given to his campaign as part of the city’s matching fund program minus his $55,561 in expenditures.

“Fund-raising is going great and we are getting a lot of community support,” Stabile said. “A lot of people who had supported the Democrats are now becoming working class Republicans. They are realizing that the Republican Party is not only for the rich.”

Frank Barry, a spokesman for the Campaign Finance Board in Manhattan, said the city matches every $1 donated to candidates with $4 up to $250 per individual contribution. He said if an individual donates $500 to the candidate, $250 is eligible to be matched by the city and thus the political contender receives $1,000 in matching funds.

Stabile was ranked fifth in terms of the funds he has raised in the group of seven candidates hoping to succeed Shulman.

City Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis), who has $431,115, led the pack and outpaced Queens’ former Board of Education representative, Carol Gresser, with $423,023. They were followed by City Councilwoman Helen Marshall (D-East Elmhurst) with $237,737, state Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer (D-Rockaway) with $173,502 and City Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), who was in sixth place on the money list at $98,076.

Community activist Haydee Zambrana has announced her candidacy for borough president, but has not yet filed with the Campaign Finance Board, while Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio (D-Richmond Hill) and Abel have dropped out of the race for the borough’s top elected position.

Stabile’s campaign has been buoyed by a number of very large contributions and the majority of his 268 donations came from within his council district, which stretches from Ozone Park the Rockaways and from Woodhaven to Howard Beach. The district also covers parts of Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park.

The largest individual donation to Stabile’s campaign came from Joseph Farrer of East Elmhurst, who donated $2,625. He was followed by Daniel Panitz, of East Elmhurst, who gave $2,500; Anthony DeSantis, of Staten Island, who contributed $2050; William Santangelo, of Bronxville, who kicked in $1,525.

Lisa Logan of Atlantic Beach, June Ophan of Westbury, Mceroy Dennis and Donna Sgambati gave $1,250 each. They were followed by Janet Pace of Howard Beach, Josephine Valletta of Wantagh at $1,000 each and Michael Hickey of Farmingdale at $995.

Stabile said he has received support from plumbers because he has friends who are members of the plumbers local and has a strong connection with the unions. He said he has always worked with the plumbers union on their concerns such as benefits, working conditions and jobs.

“I work for the people,” he said. “I was the only Republican in the City Council to vote for the fair wage bill a few years ago.”

The largest single block of individuals to donate to Stabile’s campaign were members of Plumbers Local 1, people who worked in the plumbing industry or related fields. Stabile received $4,185 from this group of people.

The Plumbers Local Union 1 in New York City gave Stabile $3,500, Plumbers and Steam Fitters Local in Syracuse kicked in $400 and the Steam Fitters Local 638 contributed $1,795.

Political action committees donated $8,695 to the councilman’s campaign. According to the Campaign Finance Board, politicians can accept PAC money if the PAC is registered with the board.

The four largest PAC donations to Stabile’s borough president run came from the Plumbers Local Union 1 in New York City; Steam Fitters Local 638; District Council 37, which gave $1,000; and the Uniformed Firefighters Association, which donated $995.

The councilman also received $1,250 in contributions from the heads of the Green Bus Lines and the Jamaica Bus Lines.

Stan Brettschneider, president of the Green Bus Lines; Jerome Cooper, president of the Jamaica Bus Lines, contributed $450 each; while Doris Dranch, vice president of the Green Bus Lines, contributed $350.

Stabile received $6,150 from corporations after the November 1998 deadline when a referendum made it illegal for political candidates to accept contributions from companies.

According to Barry, if Stabile joins the CFB matching funds program, all of the corporate contributions will have to be returned. He said Stabile has until June 1 to join the program.

The three largest donations came from Audux Construction Corporation in Long Island City, which donated $995; Metropolitan Auto Parts Inc. in South Ozone Park, which contributed $995; and the Cox Mechanical Contraction Inc., which gave $800 to Stabile’s campaign.

“These donations came from a golf outing we had,” Stabile said. “Some people paid with a corporate check and we did not realize it at the time. The money will be refunded.”

The maximum amount any candidate can spend on the borough presidency race is $1,177,000 for the primary and the same amount again for the general election. The cap on public matching funds is $647,350.

Barry said matching funds are only available for donations from individuals who live in the five boroughs. A political action committee and individual donations from people from outside the city are not eligible for matching funds.

Reach reporter Adam Kramer by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 157.

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