State Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin (D-Flushing), a four-term incumbent running unopposed this November, has spent more than $250,000 on his 2000 campaign after drawing much of his contributions from New Yorkers who live outside Queens, records from the state Board of Elections show.
From March 1999 through October, the Flushing assemblyman, who is also president of the New York City Central Labor Council, raised $351,645 and spent $276,132.91, according to campaign finance filings with the Board of Elections.
McLaughlin said through a spokesman, Ryan Delgado, he would not comment on his campaign finances.
Labor groups and unions, whether through corporate channels or political action committees, comprise a significant segment of the assemblyman's contribution base, the records show. Builders and construction supply companies also contributed substantial amounts of money.
Among the assemblyman's contributors were billionaire developer Donald J. Trump, who gave $1,400 in May, and hotel developer Ian Schrager, the former co-owner of Studio 54, who made a $1,500 contribution in June 1999, the records show.
The largest source of his funding was individual contributors, who gave him $140,120, followed by corporate donors at $105,750 and $105,775 from political action committees, or groups established by industries and lobbying organizations that contribute to candidates' campaigns, the records show.
Some of McLaughlin's contributors live in Flushing, Whitestone or College Point, though nearly three-quarters of them do not, the filings show. His district covers Flushing and a sliver of Whitestone.
Among his largest individual contributors were New York labor mediator Theodore Kheel, who gave $3,100; Frederic Goodman of Scarsdale at $2,500; and Dennis Parodi of Little Neck, who gave $2,200.
On the corporate side, the San Francisco headquarters of the clothing retail store the Gap made a $2,800 contribution to McLaughlin's campaign. The Gap is the parent of Old Navy, which has a store in the College Point Industrial Park.
McLaughlin also was given a $5,000 contribution in May 1999 from Muss Development, a New York city developer of hotels and commercial space that is developing a 750,000-square-foot retail center in downtown Flushing. Both Joshua and Harriet Muss each gave $2,500 to the assemblyman, the records show.
Four years ago, Muss submitted plans to develop a "mixed-use" tower in Flushing, specifically at College Point Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, said Marilyn Bitterman, the district manager of Community Board 7. At that time, the manufacturing zoning regulations of that district precluded Muss from erecting a mixed-use structure, Bitterman said.
But in 1998, she said, the zoning regulations were amended, allowing the construction of the 750,000-square-foot building. The website for Muss Development said the building should be completed by January 2003.
As the president of the New York City Central Labor Council, McLaughlin heads an umbrella organization of unions that represents more than 1.5 million rank-and-file. He is also a business representative of Local Union 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, AFL-CIO.
In the Assembly, McLaughlin serves on the Transportation Committee, the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, and the Banks Committee, among others. Of the $57,175 contributed by corporations during the July 1999 reporting period, a significant percentage came from lighting and electrical contractors.
Labor-related organizations also represented a large majority of the $77,000 McLaughlin raised from PACs during that same period.
Among the more than 50 PAC contributions from labor groups ranging from plumbing contractors to iron workers to longshoremen, McLaughlin received $2,500 from District 37 PAC representing hospital workers, $2,500 from Mason Tenders District PAC and $2,500 from the Transport Workers Union PAC.
In terms of expenditures, the assemblyman did most of his spending of $138,894.02 from January to July 1999, the records show.
During this time, the records show, McLaughlin wrote out reimbursements of more than $35,000 to Nick Lageman for consulting work. Lageman, 28, would not elaborate about the nature of his consulting for the assemblyman, saying that it was "between Brian and me."
"I worked for Brian for a period of time," Lageman said in a phone interview. "I'm now a law student. I don't know. What happened then, I'll stand by it."
In addition to consulting fees, the campaign filings also show that the assemblyman spent his money on print advertisements, fund-raisers, cleaning services, office supplies and travel expenses.
McLaughlin spent $23,050.33 on a fund-raiser at the Sheraton Hotels of New York in Manhattan last year, according to the filings. In May, the assemblyman spent $12,902.43 on another fund-raiser at the University Club in Manhattan, the records show.
Since January 1999, McLaughlin transferred $6,875 out of his account, giving a sizeable portion of this amount to the Democratic Organization of Queens County.
Records filed by the assemblyman 11 days before the November election show that he has $315,068.76 left in his campaign account.
Reach reporter Chris Fuchs by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.