David Weprin & NYC Campaign Finance Board violations

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Readers of “Penners Pen” along with my letters to the editor over the years will not be surprised to learn that the NYC Campaign Finance Board has charged Assemblymember David Weprin with numerous violations 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 Chairperson and current assemblymember’s claim to fame for holding or running for higher public office was his so-called “financial expertise.”

Responsibility for adhering to all Campaign Finance Board rules and regulations resides with Weprin along with his campaign manager and finance directors who reported directly to him. All clearly could not balance and properly manage his comptroller campaign budget which resulted in all of these fines.

No wonder those who have known Weprin best, be it colleagues in the Council, New York State Legislature, Queens County Democratic Party executive committee or millions of voters have consistently been reluctant to support him for higher public office or leadership positions. Everyone knew years ago he would not be prepared to manage either a $70 billion annual municipal as comptroller or $130 billion annual state budget today.

All the money in the world could not buy Weprin victories in his races 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 remedial finance course at Queensborough Community College to rekindle his accounting skills.