Koslowitz makes push for campaign donations

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City Council candidate Heidi Harrison Chain’s donations, including more than $20,000 she gave to herself, boosted her to top of the pack financially in the last filing period, but Karen Koslowitz raised more money than any of the other candidates vying for Councilwoman Melinda Katz’s (D-Forest Hills) seat in that time period.

Democratic candidates Koslowitz, Chain, Lynn Schulman, Michael Cohen, Mel Gagarin, and Albert Cohen are all on the ballot for District 29, which includes Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, and parts of Richmond Hill, Maspeth, and Elmhurst.

Chain has raised a total of about $78,000, more than any other candidate, though she has given about $22,800 of her own money to her campaign. Chain is able to give that much to herself because she opted out of the city’s matching funds program, a move criticized by some of her opponents, including Schulman.

Chain received 45 donations totaling $24,271 from May to July. Of the approximate $3,000 that did not come from Chain, the candidate received $1,000 from Nancy Lieberman, a Manhattan-based attorney, and $200 from another attorney, James Frank, also in Manhattan.

Chain spent about $31,000 in the last filing period, which went to campaign consultants, petitioning expenses, and campaign mailings.

Koslowitz received 135 donations totaling $45,313 between mid-May and mid-July, which was more than any other candidate raised in the race.

Koslowitz received such donations as $300 from Friends of Nettie Mayersohn; $1,000 from IBEW Local 3 in Fresh Meadows; $2,750 from Michael Kerr, a real estate manager from Woodsburgh, N.Y.; and $1,000 from the Taxpayer for Affordable NY Political Action Committee.

Koslowitz spent more than $36,000 in the last filing period, which primarily went to campaign consultants, fund-raising receptions and campaign literature.

The amount Koslowitz has received places her third in the total amount fund-raised by candidates in the 29th Council District race, just behind Chain and Schulman. Schulman garnered 31 donations totaling a little more than $15,000 from mid-May to mid-July. She has a total of $73,595, placing her just behind Chain.

One of Schulman’s larger donations came from the union 1199 SEIU, which endorsed Schulman Tuesday and gave her $2,750 in the last filing period. She also received $1,000 from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, based in Washington, D.C. She has gotten smaller contributions from individuals throughout the country, including $100 from Mark Pimble, a travel agent in Virginia.

Schulman spent more than $44,500 in the last filing period, much of which went to petitioning expenses and campaign literature.

Michael Cohen has raised a total of $34,903, $3,600 of which he received in the last filing period. Much of that $3,600 comes from district residents.

Gagarin has fund-raised a total of $12,944, including $1,136 from mid-May to mid-July. All of the $1,136 raised came in small donations of under $175. The greatest one donation of $175 came from Zephyr Johnson, a paralegal at the NAACP, which employs Gagarin.

Albert Cohen has gotten a total of $5,300 in donations, all of which he has raised in the last filing period. Sam Kislin, a Russian Jewish tycoon from Manhattan, gave $2,750 to Cohen, the largest donation the candidate has received.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 174.

Posted 6:31 pm, October 10, 2011
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