Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Is Weiner planning to try and win back his old Congressional seat?

6/15/12 Update: According to a source at the Board of Elections in the city of New York, former Congressman Anthony Weiner still has another year to decide if he wants to use the nearly $5,000,000 he has raised to run for mayor.

I had mistakenly reported that Weiner only had until June of 2012 to decide, but last year The Queens Campaigner reported, "Weiner is required to alert the board by June 2013, the next election year, whether he will drop out of the race." However, my source at the NYC Board of Elections told me that that date is speculation, and that a deadline won't be chosen until 2013. The New York Post recently reported that Weiner isn't running for mayor, but no official decision has been reached, as far as I could determine.

My source at the NYC Board of Elections agreed that it was strange that no papers in New York City were reporting that Weiner could still be a candidate for mayor in 2013, especially since he has nearly $5,000,000 and his committee recently moved to Manhattan.

As I exclusively reported last month (see below), the office for Friends of Weiner moved from Forest Hills to Manhattan on May 7, and is now using the email address for his longtime fundraiser Dolev Azaria, who received a raise last year after he resigned.

Weiner's spokesperson Risa B. Heller, the Friends of Weiner committee and Dolev Azaria have ducked all my questions. Heller and Azaria won't even tell me if they still work for Weiner, but those questions hopefully will be answered after the next New York City campaign update is released.

6/7/12 Update at bottom: Six weeks after resigning from Congress, Weiner registered a domain for 2013 NYC mayoral race

6/5/12 Update at bottom: Screenshots of interior of fancy new Park Avenue South location for Friends of Weiner

On May 7,  2012, a new Statement of Organization was filed by Friends of Weiner which changed the committee's email address to Weiner's former campaign finance director Dolev Azaria. Azaria was paid nearly $8,000 a month for the last six months of 2011 after Rep. Weiner resigned, as I exclusively reported in February, but hasn't been listed on any of the previous 2012 filings.

The old address for Friends of Weiner was also changed from 1 ASCAN AVENUE #31 FOREST HILLS, NY 11375, as the 2007 Statement of Organization indicated, to 254 PARK AVE SOUTH SUITE 12A NEW YORK, NY 10010.

Since Weiner still has close to $5,000,000 in his war chest, and has at least another year to decide if he wants to run for NYC mayor, this might just be some sort of temporary stop-gap.  It seems extremely unlikely that Weiner would fight for his old seat, just a year after the Weinergate scandal.

According to Melissadata, a filing appears to indicate that the "Candidate is the challenger in the current election cycle" for NY-9 in 2012.

I've contacted Friends of Weiner and will update this post if I receive a response.

6/5/12 Update: New Park Avenue location for Friends of Weiner

As I reported, Friends of Weiner has relocated from Queens to Manhattan. Since I still have yet to receive a response from the committee, I have no idea what this move means. It's possible that the fancy new location is where Weiner's former fundraiser Dolev Azaria now resides, since the committee is now using her email address.

The website for 254 Park Avenue South brags, "Not just another Park Avenue facelift in a chic enclave where life is everyone's favorite sport live stirred not shaken north of your expectations south on Park Avenue come explore."

"On the outside, 254 Park Avenue South is a flawless example of neoclassical architecture in the Beaux Arts style," the building's website adds. "On the inside, it's a triumph of modernism, functionality and ease. Constructed in 1913 using an abundance of French limestone, 254 was recently rejuvenated by design principal, Charles Allem. The passion and expertise can be seen throughout, from the sensitive restoration of the historic facade to the carefully considered interior spaces."

Clicking on lifestyle informs visitors, "The residents at 254 are not the types to let moss grow underfoot. If there's a game to be played, they show up, suit up and play. Whether that means a workout at 254's fully equipped fitness center or shooting a few hoops in their home (ceilings heights soar up to 14 feet), the players at 254 grab live by the basketballs, tennis balls, golf balls...you get the picture."

Unfortunately for former Congressman Weiner, 254 Park Avenue doesn't appear to have an ice rink where he can play hockey.

Some screenshots of the room interiors taken from the website: