Spin Cycle

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NYC: Underdog Dem Albanese blasts rivals' tax spending on politics

In a photo released by his campaign, mayoral

In a photo released by his campaign, mayoral candidate Sal Albanese criticized rivals' use of what he said were taxpayer funds for politics at a news conference Monday in Manhattan. (May 20, 2013) (Credit: Handout)

Former Councilman Sal Albanese, running as a reformer for New York City mayor in the Democratic primary, Monday issued a provocative and interesting piece on rivals' use of their incumbencies for campaign purposes. He adds this shot on disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner that he "has yet to apologize for the $350,000" that taxpayers doled out "for a special election to replace him the last time he asked for their trust."

Albanese's man Todd Brogan states in a release:

Today, Democratic Mayoral candidate and former City Council Member Sal Albanese called out City Comptroller John Liu, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and former Congressman Anthony Weiner for wasting $1.7 million in taxpayer dollars for personal political gain.

“Despite significant funding from special interests, these career politician have made fleecing the taxpayers a campaign policy,” Albanese said at a morning press conference on the steps of City Hall.

According to Albanese, the Comptroller has hired six staffers who previously worked or were reimbursed by political campaigns. The Public Advocate and City Council Speaker, meanwhile, have hired nine and seven political operatives, respectively, onto the public payroll. In total, their salaries cost New York City taxpayers $­­­­­1.4 million per year. All employees were hired within the last 18 months, as the three citywide officials laid the foundations for their campaigns for Mayor.

Albanese also called out former City Council colleague and likely mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. “Tony is getting asking New Yorkers to trust him, but he has yet to apologize for the $350,000 that they had to pay for a special election to replace him the last time he asked for their trust.”

Albanese, who spent fifteen years as the City Council’s top reformer, reiterated his call for a hiring freeze for elected officials seeking citywide office. His proposal, announced on May 7, would bar officials like the Public Advocate, Comptroller, and City Council Speaker from adding new positions to their payrolls during the 18 months preceding a primary election. Officials would still be allowed to replace employees to maintain the integrity and workload of the office.

“Last time I checked, running for Mayor was not in the job description of the Speaker, the Public Advocate, or the Comptroller,” declared Albanese. “Yet they have used their positions to force taxpayers to foot the bill for their political ambitions.”

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