Though some say Fidler owes the city $88,550 in campaign finance funds, the councilman says he expects to return around $10,000

Councilman Fidler has told Crain’s Insider that he hopes to return about $10,000 of the $88,550 in taxpayer funds he received from the Campaign Finance Board for last November’s elections.

Fidler drew the ire of city press ever since he received the $88,550 – making his total war chest over $170,000 – in matching funds, with the Daily News going as far as demanding he return every penny of taxpayer dollars. His opponent, Gene Berardelli, only raised about $4,000 and did not qualify for matching funds.

Sheepshead Bites has been in constant communication with Fidler’s staff, and though he’s waiting for a city audit to announce the precise amount, the councilman told us from the beginning that he expected to return “five figures.”

The news comes as the Campaign Finance Board launches hearings to review the efficacy of funds, particularly, according to Crain’s, whether it helped grassroots candidates compete. As the race for the 46th illustrated, the CFB’s matching funds stifled challengers with small fundraising apparatuses, and instead funneled public money to incumbents facing underfunded and overwhelmed opponents.

From Crain’s Insider:

Fidler had spent money and signed contracts in expectation of a primary before his Democratic opponents were kicked off the ballot, so he used matching funds toward those bills. Fidler says he took his Republican opponent seriously because Mayor Bloomberg endorsed the challenger and opened a campaign office in Fidler’s district, and the challenger ran a “vicious” campaign. He adds that his district has pockets of Republicans. But districtwide, Democrats outnumber them nearly 5-to-1. Fidler hopes to return about $10,000 in matching funds.

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  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur Borko

    10k thats it?

    What a CROC. An Absolute Fucking CROC.

    He didn’t need a single penny of that money, he should be forced to pay it all back.

    I wonder how often Lew is going to comment here now he’s won the election?

  • http://www.njluxurymotors.com Arthur B

    10k thats it?

    What a CROC. An Absolute Fucking CROC.

    He didn’t need a single penny of that money, he should be forced to pay it all back.

    I wonder how often Lew is going to comment here now he’s won the election?

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    The question is, how could he have spent over $100,000 on the campaign?

    Of course the mayor spent more than 90 Million on his campaign. However, to the best of my knowledge, none of that money was used to help others running on the Republican line.

    Fidler faced inconsequential opposition in the Democratic primary. None could gather enough valid signatures for inclusion on the ballot. In early July this matter was decided.

    So whatever money raised and given CFB went to dealing with the Berardelli threat. A candidate whose chances of success, according to the councilman himself, were almost none.

    While it is always possible that the fear of voter rejection due to his controversial vote to temporarily suspend term limits necessitated, in his honest view, the need to spend money to get his message across. Even as his opponent was obviously having great difficulty raising campaign funds himself.

    If one of the functions of the CFB is to ensure an even playing field then this is a horrid example of how it is done. Those who have, get more. Those who don’t, are not given any means to conduct a viable opposition.

    Fidler took advantage of a flawed system. It is the system that needs changing.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/ Lisanne!

    The question is, how could he have spent over $100,000 on the campaign?

    Of course the mayor spent more than 90 Million on his campaign. However, to the best of my knowledge, none of that money was used to help others running on the Republican line.

    Fidler faced inconsequential opposition in the Democratic primary. None could gather enough valid signatures for inclusion on the ballot. In early July this matter was decided.

    So whatever money raised and given CFB went to dealing with the Berardelli threat. A candidate whose chances of success, according to the councilman himself, were almost none.

    While it is always possible that the fear of voter rejection due to his controversial vote to temporarily suspend term limits necessitated, in his honest view, the need to spend money to get his message across. Even as his opponent was obviously having great difficulty raising campaign funds himself.

    If one of the functions of the CFB is to ensure an even playing field then this is a horrid example of how it is done. Those who have, get more. Those who don’t, are not given any means to conduct a viable opposition.

    Fidler took advantage of a flawed system. It is the system that needs changing.

  • Local Broker

    can someone say AUDIT. where are the receipts for money spent. i see local businesses that have commercials on tv and dont spend that kind of money for advertising. lisanne you are wrong the system is not flawed its fucked up completely. the city keeps spending money where there is not that much of a need. there are so many things that could be done that dont. one example is marty the monkey wanting to spend 64 mil at sea breeze park its a joke. why dont you take 15 mil make a nice park for people to enjoy and spend the rest of the money on improving quality of life. they keep wanting the city to grow and dont have the infrastructure for it. traffic is constantly a problem either its rush hour or construction crews. theres no parking anywhere. there is dog shit everywhere. i think im going to move soon maybe iowa its really green there and i will be the only one with a bimmer.

  • Local Broker

    can someone say AUDIT. where are the receipts for money spent. i see local businesses that have commercials on tv and dont spend that kind of money for advertising. lisanne you are wrong the system is not flawed its fucked up completely. the city keeps spending money where there is not that much of a need. there are so many things that could be done that dont. one example is marty the monkey wanting to spend 64 mil at sea breeze park its a joke. why dont you take 15 mil make a nice park for people to enjoy and spend the rest of the money on improving quality of life. they keep wanting the city to grow and dont have the infrastructure for it. traffic is constantly a problem either its rush hour or construction crews. theres no parking anywhere. there is dog shit everywhere. i think im going to move soon maybe iowa its really green there and i will be the only one with a bimmer.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    Perhaps I should have said fatally flawed. Which would mean that the Campaign Finance Board would be totally scrapped and a new entity made to replace it. Problem with that is that the replacement agency would probaby contain the same fatal flaws. They always do.

    Rather, I would like to see the rules under which money is allocated changed to reflect the real advantage or disadvantages a candidate faces. Candidates that were unable to raise much money would then have the opportunity of meeting a different criteria for receiving CFB money. The details would hopefully be worked out by those who have an objective understanding of the dynamics of political races.

    Iowa sounds like a nice place to live. It’s quiet, I’ve heard. You can hear a rooster for miles there.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001/ Lisanne!

    Perhaps I should have said fatally flawed. Which would mean that the Campaign Finance Board would be totally scrapped and a new entity made to replace it. Problem with that is that the replacement agency would probaby contain the same fatal flaws. They always do.

    Rather, I would like to see the rules under which money is allocated changed to reflect the real advantage or disadvantages a candidate faces. Candidates that were unable to raise much money would then have the opportunity of meeting a different criteria for receiving CFB money. The details would hopefully be worked out by those who have an objective understanding of the dynamics of political races.

    Iowa sounds like a nice place to live. It’s quiet, I’ve heard. You can hear a rooster for miles there.