Stringer Takes NYC Mayoral Campaign to Ken Griffin and Dan Loeb’s Steps
(Bloomberg) -- Hedge fund managers Ken Griffin and Dan Loeb got a home visit from city Comptroller Scott Stringer on Thursday, who took his mayoral campaign to the steps of the financiers’ luxury Manhattan apartments to protest multimillion-dollar donations to candidates running for New York City mayor.
“I am going to protect city government from greedy men,” Stringer said, while standing outside the Central Park high rise of Griffin, the founder and CEO of Citadel. “I don’t think that you should have two billionaires who are now cherry-picking two candidates.”
Stringer used the publicity stunt to protest recent donations by Loeb and Griffin to political action committees raising funds for rivals Eric Adams, the Brooklyn Borough President who is leading in some polls for the June 22 Democratic primary, and Andrew Yang, the former presidential contender who has the highest name recognition throughout the city.
“They know as enemies of public education, I am their biggest enemy,” Stringer said.
Both Yang and Adams have supported charter schools, a contentious issue in New York City, the largest public school system in the U.S. Griffin and Loeb have donated millions in campaign contributions to expand charter schools across the city.
Strong Leadership NYC Inc., a PAC set up to support Adams, received a total of $2 million from Griffin, Loeb, Stanley Druckenmiller and Paul Tudor Jones. The PAC spent around $1.2 million on a television ad for Adams, who is calling for deploying more police to combat the city’s rise in violent crime. Griffin and Loeb also gave $500,000 each to a PAC that supports Yang.
A spokeswoman for Griffin said he has also donated tens of millions of dollars to supporting public education across the country. She said he has served on the board of the Chicago Public Education Fund for over a decade as part of his commitment to ensuring all students have access to a high-quality education.
Loeb’s Third Point declined to comment. Druckenmiller and Tudor Jones didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
In a poll released Monday by Emerson College and Pix11, Adams was leading the race with 18% of respondents ranking him first among 631 people polled from May 13-15. Stringer and Yang were tied at 15%. This will be the first mayoral election where ranked-choice voting will be used.
Stringer has received $1.5 million from a super-PAC called NY4Kids Inc., which has collected donations from the United Federation of Teachers. The UFT, the city’s largest teachers union, has endorsed Stringer and become one of the most-powerful supporters of his campaign.
The union has staunchly stood by Stringer despite an allegation by a woman who claims the mayoral candidate groped her while she was volunteering for his 2001 campaign to be the city’s public advocate. Stringer denies the allegation.
Stringer said there was a “big difference” between receiving money from unions versus billionaires with an “agenda.”
Yang’s campaign said Stringer’s public protests today are a sign of desperation as the Democratic primary grows closer to a June 22 vote, which will likely determine the next mayor of the heavily Democratic city. Adams’ campaign has said it doesn’t coordinate with the PACs. “It would be inappropriate for us to discuss contributions made to completely independent groups which have nothing to do with our campaign,” spokeswoman Madia Coleman said.
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