NY super PACs raising $4M to back law-and-order candidates

Two new super PACs plan to spend $4 million promoting law-and-order candidates for the state Legislature in the June primary elections — and even some Democrats are warning that it could cost progressives dearly, The Post has learned.

The political action committees — Common Sense New Yorkers and Voters of NY — will back pols “who value public safety” and support Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed rollback of bail reform and related anti-crime measures, said treasurer Jeff Leb, a lobbyist and political consultant.

“The supermajority of New Yorkers want safer streets and the far-left groups out there pressuring elected officials are out of touch,” he said.

“Legislators should vote the way their constituents elected them to do and they shouldn’t be pressured by Twitter.”

Common Sense New Yorkers held a Feb. 28 fundraiser at the members-only Casa Cipriani in Lower Manhattan’s former Battery Maritime Building that was attended by Mayor Eric Adams and Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin, and has raised more than $1 million, Leb said.

The races for the seats now held by veteran Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan (D-Queens), who is retiring, and progressive, anti-cop Assemblywoman Yuh-Line Niou (D-Manhattan), who is running for state Senate, are among those on which the groups will spend their advertising money, Leb said.

The super PACs plan to support Hochul’s proposed rollback of bail reform and other related anti-crime measures.
Seth Wenig/AP

The others have yet to be decided but will be soon, he said.

Ballots for the June 28 primaries must be finalized by May 5 and early voting is set to begin on June 18.

The super PACs are modeled on two predecessors — Common Sense NYC and Voters of NYC — that were involved in last year’s City Council primary elections, said Leb, who was also the treasurer of those groups.

Common Sense NYC spent more than $550,000 attacking Democrats, some backed by the Democratic Socialists of America, and defeated six out of eight, according to a July report by CNBC, which cited records from the city’s Campaign Finance Board.

The group also supported 18 candidates, including one Republican, of whom 13 won their races, CNBC said.

One Democratic lawmaker said the outside spending “made a real difference in helping differentiate candidates to voters.”

Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou speaking.
Assembly member Yuh-Line Niou was under fire for anti-cop rhetoric, including liking a tweet that compared NYPD to Nazis.
Robert Miller

“I think their approach will have even more of an impact [this year] because you have very big public safety items – notably bail reform,” the elected official said.

“With bail reform being so high on everyone’s mind right now, any money spent to help support moderate candidates will help those candidates go a long way.”

Democratic consultant Wendell Jamieson, a former New York Times reporter who advised ex-Nassau County Executive Laura Curran during her failed re-election bid last year, also said, “We see clearly that there is an appetite for law enforcement.”

“This is something people should pay attention to because I do believe there is a safety-first approach that people need to focus on,” he said.

Stephen Ross
Equinox, SoulCycle chairman Stephen Ross sparked outrage after hosting a fundraiser in 2019 for then-President Trump, prompting mass membership cancellations.
Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

“People want to feel safe. It just seems like the pendulum has swung.”

Most of the funding for Common Sense NYC came from billionaire real estate developer Stephen Ross, chairman of the Related Companies and an investor in Equinox Fitness and SoulCycle.

In 2019, Ross hosted a fund-raiser at his waterfront Southampton estate for then-President Donald Trump, sparking outrage among well-heeled, liberal gym rats who canceled their memberships in droves, The Post exclusively reported at the time.

Ross isn’t currently involved in the latest efforts, which are being backed by developers William Lie Zeckendorf and Albert Laboz, Leb said.

https://nypost.com/2022/03/22/ny-super-pacs-raising-4m-to-back-law-and-order-candidates/