Two candidates are running in the District 11 City Council Democratic Primary.
But a third party arguably has the most at stake – that is, if money is the chief consideration.
Jobs for New York, a political action committee spearheaded by Real Estate Board of New York executives and advised by union officials, has spent about $146,176 backing Andrew Cohen and more than $30,929 criticizing his opponent, Cliff Stanton.
The PAC’s collective $177,105 in spending is $9,105 more than the $168,000 spending cap Mr. Cohen and Mr. Stanton must abide by as participants in the Campaign Finance Program.
It’s also more than either candidate has privately raised.
Mr. Cohen, an attorney and Community Board 8 member, has collected $95,749 in contributions and the maximum available through the Campaign Finance Program — $87,780.
Mr. Stanton, a businessman and leader of parent-teacher organizations, has raised $64,187. He, too, received $87,780 in matching funds.
The Campaign Finance Program requires candidates to adhere to strict fundraising and spending limits as a condition of accepting public money. It was designed to minimize the impact of big money on elections and even the playing field for independent candidates.
In District 11, Jobs for New York has spent about $94,093 on mailings, $43,868 on fliers, $6,995 calling voters and $1,219 updating its website to promote Mr. Cohen. Their stumping consisted mostly of introducing Mr. Cohen as a candidate who will fight to fund senior centers, increase Access-A-Ride services, and reduce class sizes in schools while expanding arts offerings, along with working to raise the minimum wage.
Jobs for New York has also spent $30,929 on four mass mailing drives that criticize Mr. Stanton for accepting campaign contributions from Richard Gans, whose business portfolio includes ownership of strip clubs, and who is also Mr. Stanton’s commercial landlord.
Strip club images
The PAC’s literature denouncing Mr. Stanton features images of graffiti, a “peep show” sign, a pink bra and strip pole as well as quotes from the New York Daily News and Riverdale Review, which has inaccurately reported that Mr. Gans is the largest contributor to Mr. Stanton’s campaign.