Mayor Michael Bloomberg has outspent City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside) by about 251 times in the bid for the city’s highest seat, according to recent filings, but Avella said he is ignoring the numbers and instead focusing on getting his name and message out to city residents.
“I don’t pay attention to fund-raising,” Avella said. “I may lose because of that, but if I win, I’ll win the right way.”
Avella, a Democrat, raised $22,651 from May 12 through July 11, which he added to his war chest of $176,925, according to last week’s filings with the city Campaign Finance Board. The records showed Avella also spent $142,167.
Bloomberg, an independent billionaire, is solely financing his own campaign and has said he would spend as much as $100 million to win the race. According to last week’s filings, Bloomberg has spent about $37 million of his own money.
City Comptroller William Thompson, a Democrat, raised $201,000 in the last filing period, giving him a total of $5.3 million. Thompson has spent about $637,000 and has $2.9 million on hand, according to the CFB.
“I refuse to sell my soul to raise huge amounts of money like Bill Thompson has,” Avella said. “You make a lot of promises to get that money.”
A spokeswoman for Thompson did not return a request for comment.
Avella said he is taking a grassroots approach to fund-raising, and his records show as much. He received just one donation of $1,000, from Gerald Antonacci of Plainview, N.Y., and the rest of his donations were smaller increments, such as $10, $25 and $100. He spent $20,000 for fund-raising consultants, according to the filings.
Thompson has also received smaller donations of $10 and $25, although he has landed larger donations, such as $4,950 from California resident Randy Andrews, CEO of Andrews International. Andrews International, based in Los Angeles, describes itself as a “full service provider of security and risk mitigation services” on its Web site.
Thompson received another $4,950 from Correction Officers Benevolent, a union representing correction officers, and from Alan Handelman, CEO of RFR Holdings, a real estate investment company based in Germany. Another RFR employee, Shahar Perry, gave Thompson $4,950, as did Joshua Pickard of the Green Apple Group and Bedford, N.Y. resident John Tishman of Tishman Construction.
Manhattan resident Renee Willis of IBM handed $4,900 to Thompson.
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson
©2009 Community News Group
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