Former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate faces an uphill battle in restoring his public image after being ousted from the Senate in February for assaulting his girlfriend, but he is also far behind his opponent, community activist Francisco Moya, in campaign financing as he prepares for the Sept. 14 Democratic primary for the Assembly.
From April to Aug. 13, Monserrate raised about $33,500 for his Assembly campaign — a pittance compared to Moya, who raised more than $124,000 in the same amount of time and more than $150,000 since the beginning of the year.
Monserrate has long been a magnet for scandal. He was booted out of the Senate in February after being convicted of misdemeanor assault against girlfriend Karla Giraldo in October 2009 for a December 2008 incident in which he slashed Giraldo’s face with a broken glass and pulled her through the lobby of his apartment by her hair.
The courts reduced a full order of protection for Giraldo against Monserrate to a limited order of protection last month and the two have reconciled. Monserrate also faces scrutiny from his fellow politicians, who did not approve his impromptu appearance at recent Ecuadorian events in Queens, and from the Senate leadership, who want him to return his Senate-issued parking placard.
Monserrate’s campaign finances from January to March cannot be considered contributions for his Assembly race since he ran in the special election for his old Senate seat March 16, which he lost to Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights). Peralta formerly held the Assembly seat for which Moya and Monserrate are now battling.
Monserrate’s largest contributor was Crossroads to Better Life Inc., which gave $6,000 to the candidate June 17. Crossroads’ address is listed on the state Board of Elections website as 110-36 Ditmars Blvd. in East Elmhurst, although calls to the address revealed the organization no longer resides there. The company did not appear in Internet searches or in searches of area nonprofits.
Monserrate also received contributions of $3,500 from Beverly’s Home Care Agency in Rego Park, $2,500 from Atlas Construction of New York Inc. in Astoria and contributions of $1,500 each from A&A Kathy’s Day Care in Jackson Heights, Firstline Printing in Woodside, K & G Risk Management Services Corp. in Flushing and Sarman Food Corp. in Corona. Ruben Diaz for State Senate also donated $1,000 to his campaign.
Moya’s most recent large contributions have come from the Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York Political Action Committee, which contributed $6,000. Moya received $3,800 each from both JF Contracting in Brooklyn and NY Hotel and Motel Trades Council Committee in Manhattan. The 1199 SEIU New York (United Healthcare Workers East) also contributed $3,000.
Other elected officials who have contributed large sums to Moya’s campaign in the last two months include Assemblyman Michael Den Dekker (D-Jackson Heights), who gave $2,500; Democratic Assembly candidate Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, who gave $2,000; and Peralta, who gave $1,000.
Monserrate has spent about $17,000 since April, most of which has gone to wages for his staff and consultation services. The largest expenditure was $5,000 to Jesus Ocasio of the Bronx for consulting.
Moya has spent about $55,000 since the beginning of the year and about $46,500 since April. His most recent large expenditures were also for consulting services: He has given about $23,000 to Brooklyn-based Red Horse Strategies, $9,000 to Mirram in Manhattan and $1,250 to Juan Antigua of the Bronx. He has also spent money on promotional events, spending $1,425 on the Colombian Parade of New York, which took place in July, and $1,300 on the Ecuadorian Civic Committee.
Humberto Suarezmotta has filed as a Republican candidate in the race, although he has not filed any contributions or expenditures as of Aug. 13.
Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at rhenely@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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