Republican mayoral candidate Paul Massey is raising money hand over foot, but the first-time politician is also spending more than he’s taking in, excluding loans to himself.
The campaign — managed by David Amsterdam, a former SL Green executive — spent $389,000 on staffers, $278,000 on consultants and $37,000 on executive recruitment during the last reporting period, according to the New York Times. It also forked over $12,000 for advertising and another $2,000 for campaign materials. To date, Massey has loaned the campaign about $2 million.
Despite a large staff, the Cushman & Wakefield executive has yet to formulate positions on key issues and aides have stumbled over logistics like scheduling a news conference at the same time as the City Council speaker’s state of the city speech and failing to take reporters on a campaign launch tour around the city, the Times said.
“There’s a groundswell of support for my candidacy; I’m feeling that,” Massey told the Times, citing the $860,000 raised in the January filing period. In terms of spending, he said he’s “all about bringing the best team to the table.”
“I’ve learned a lot,” he added. Asked if he’d do anything different, he said “nothing.”
Still, the campaign has made early missteps, replete with anecdotes like his appearance at the St. Patrick’s Day parade, when aides had to tell onlookers who he was. Massey also shared a story about a Staten Island woman whose daughter attended a charter school in Harlem but when pressed, neither the candidate nor his aides could recall her name.
Massey has also not always appeared comfortable answering reporters’ policy questions.
“The last thing New York needs is a multimillionaire, Republican real estate executive from Westchester county who can’t or won’t say where he stands on stop-and-frisk, our schools, President Trump, or protecting immigrant families,” Dan Levitan, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign, said.
In response to the Times, the Massey campaign disputed that the campaign was mismanaged. “When one in four New Yorkers support Paul Massey’s candidacy even before the campaign is in full swing, you should probably be giving us credit for doing a lot right,” spokesperson Mollie Fullington told the Times. [NYT] — E.B. Solomont