Curtis Sliwa accused of boosting mayor’s campaign on radio
A Bronx lawyer has filed a lawsuit against Guardian Angels founder and aspiring Republican Mayor Curtis Sliwa, accusing him of breaking campaign laws by promoting his candidacy on his own WABC radio show.
The promotion amounts to an illegal “in-kind” donation from 77 WABC Radio, which is owned by business mogul John Catsimatidis’ Red Apple Media company, the complaint filed with the city’s campaign fundraising board said. lawyer Nicholas Marricco.
“I bring to the attention of the Campaign Finance Board (CFB) information regarding a potential violation of the Charter, the Act or the Rules. Specifically, mayoral candidate Curtis A Sliwa has extended his political activities to his podcast and radio show via the AM-WABC station by openly discussing his mayoral candidacy and actively promoting his campaign. “Said Marricco.
Such activity is illegal because the radio station aids Sliwa’s candidacy in violation of limits on “in-kind” donations by a company to a candidate, according to the complaint.
“As an employee of AM-WABC, Mr. Sliwa and his campaign receive ‘in-kind’ donations by being allowed to promote Mr. Sliwa’s candidacy and not reporting the same to BFC,” he said. declared Maricco.
Sliwa registered as a mayoral candidate on February 17 and is seeking 8-to-1 matching public funds regulated by the CFB. The maximum donation a candidate can receive from anyone is $ 2,000.
The BFC told Marricco it was looking into his complaint.
An election lawyer unaffiliated with mayoral campaigns said Sliwa’s dual role poses a legal problem because a radio company cannot grant preferential airtime to a candidate.
“This is an inappropriate contribution from a company,” said the veteran campaign lawyer, who requested anonymity.
Sliwa told The Post Thursday night he may have to drop his radio show – but not before his name officially appears on the ballot, which won’t happen until the end of April for the GOP primary. June 22. The petition for voters’ signatures to qualify for ballot status begins next month.
“If I get the signatures to be on the ballot, then it becomes a problem. I may have to quit the radio show, ”Sliwa said.
He said he had discussed the legal issues with WABC executives, including owner Catsimatidis.
Sliwa also admitted that he occasionally discusses his mayoral bid on his radio show, which runs from noon to 3 p.m.
The Guardian Angels chief is set to face off against defender of the bodega-taxi industries Fernando Mateo, financier Sara Tirschwell and retired policeman Bill Pepitone in a GOP primary.
Meanwhile, the Brooklyn Republican Party executive committee approved Sliwa as mayor Thursday night. He received 35 of the 46 votes.
The Staten Island GOP also supports Sliwa, while the Republican County Committees in the Bronx and Queens have endorsed Mateo.
More than 40 candidates are running to replace the mayor of Blasio with a limited mandate.
Leading Democratic Party candidates include City Comptroller Scott Stringer, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, former chief legal counsel to Blasio Maya Wiley, l former City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, former Federal Housing Secretary and Budget Manager to President Obama Shaun. Donovan, ex-Citigroup executive Ray McGuire, ex-Town Director of Veterans Affairs Loree Sutton, and nonprofit social services director Diana Morales.