Wednesday, June 5, 2013

This Columbia prof convicted of attempted incest is just one of the shady bundlers raising big money for Christine Quinn
  • Last Updated: 11:36 AM, June 5, 2013
  • Posted: 2:47 AM, June 5, 2013
The high-end fund-raisers raking in dough for mayoral candidate Christine Quinn look more like a rogues gallery.
Quinn’s “bundlers” — those who host events to collect large-sum campaign contributions for political candidates — include a former insurance executive who was just released from federal prison and a former Columbia University professor charged with incest, according to a review of her campaign finances.
She also relied on donations from a restaurant honcho who was accused in a federal class-action lawsuit of allegedly failing to pay his employees the minimum wage — which Quinn wants raised in the state — and overtime, records show.
David Epstein
Simon Oren
New York Real Estate Journal
Brian Madden
FUNNY MONEY: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s campaign has accepted more than $61,000 from “bundlers” of dubious integrity in her mayoral run.
Robert Miller
FUNNY MONEY: City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s campaign has accepted more than $61,000 from “bundlers” of dubious integrity in her mayoral run.
Together, the trio took in $61,245 for Quinn, the City Council speaker who is leading her Democratic opponents in fund-raising.
Quinn’s bid for Gracie Mansion got a $24,350 boost from Brian Madden, the president and co-founder of the now-defunct Liberty Title Agency. Madden was released from federal prison last month after serving a year-and-a-half for embezzlement and wire fraud.
The money was raised in 2007 — three years before Madden pleaded guilty — but Quinn’s campaign indicated she has no plans to return it. She did, however, return a $4,950 contribution from Madden himself.
Madden’s executives also donated to the campaign of mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, and Madden himself gave a contribution to Anthony Weiner — all before Madden’s conviction. They did not return the money.
“The contributions were received years ago, and in line with our campaign policy, we returned any donations from anyone who was convicted of wrongdoing,” said Quinn campaign spokesman Mike Morey.
Quinn also got $13,825 in donations from a fund-raiser co-hosted by David Epstein, a former Columbia professor charged in 2010 with felony incest for allegedly engaging in a three-year consensual relationship with his adult daughter.
Epstein pleaded guilty to misdemeanor attempted incest.
His attorney even questioned the difference between incest and homosexuality in Epstein’s defense.
“It’s OK for homosexuals to do whatever they want in their own home. How is this so different?” attorney Matthew Galluzzo asked at the time.
Another Quinn bundler is Simon Oren, a restaurateur who runs Sushi Samba and Five Napkin Burger. He was accused in a federal class-action suit by his kitchen workers of failing to pay minimum wage and overtime. Oren raised $23,070 for Quinn.
Ironically, another Quinn bundler is Steve Nislick, the man behind the effort to ban horse-drawn carriages in the city.
His group has since turned on Quinn for her defense of the carriage industry and is funding a series of ad buys against her. Quinn returned Nislick’s personal donation but she never gave back the money he raised on her behalf.
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