Readers of my letters to the editor over the years will not be surprised to learn that the city Campaign Finance Board has charged state Assemblyman David Weprin with numerousviolations from his ill-fated 2009 city comptroller campaign.Weprin personally owes $28,000 in penalties and his old campaign committee must return $325,561 in matching public campaign funds.
How ironic that former City Council Finance Committee Chairman Weprin’s claim to fame for holding or running for higher public office was his so-called “financial expertise.” Responsibility for adhering to all CFB rules and regulations resides with Weprin, along with his campaign manager and finance directors. They clearly could not balance and properly manage his city comptroller campaign budget, which resulted in all these fines.
Weprin raised and spent several million dollars. A majority came from “pay-to-play” fundraisers, from $1,000 to $4,900 per contributor. These dollars supported his numerous quests to hold various public offices and leadership positions. Contributors were looking to making political investments today in return for favors in the future.
All the money in the world could not buy Weprin victories in his bids for City Council speaker in 2001 and 2005, state Comptroller in 2007 and Congress in 2011.
Weprin’s September 2009 Democratic primary loss for city comptroller was devastating. Out of 351,000 Primary Day voters, only 38,922 actually voted for Weprin. Having raised and spent almost $2.5 million dollars, each vote cost him $64 representing a terrible return on his investment.
Perhaps Weprin should consider taking a finance course to rekindle his accounting skills.