Anthony Weiner Plotting A Comeback?
Former Congressman Anthony Weiner, who resigned Congress in disgrace after being caught sending suggestive pictures to several woman and then engaging in a week long effort to deceive the press about it, appears to be thinking about getting back into politics:
Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s dormant New York City mayoral campaign paid more than $100,000 to a San Francisco-based polling firm earlier this month, suggesting the once-prominent Democrat whose career was derailed by allegations he sent salacious texts and photographs to various women online was contemplating a return to politics in this year’s elections.
The expenditures were disclosed in a filing with the city’s Campaign Finance Board late Friday. Weiner’s campaign paid David Binder Research $52,500 on March 4 for “research,” and then another $54,000 on March 5 for “polling costs,” according to his latest finance report, which includes expenditures from Jan. 12-March 11.
Reports of polls testing Weiner’s relative strengths and weaknesses appeared earlier this year in the New York tabloids. In late January, both the Daily News and the Post reported that voters had been called by telephone pollsters including Weiner’s name in Democratic primary matchups; the News reported Weiner’s name was tested among the city’s mayoral candidates, while the Post cited two Manhattan Democrats who said they had been polled about a potential run for city comptroller.
The payments to David Binder Research constitute the vast majority of Weiner’s spending over the past two months. He continues to pay rent on a campaign office in the Graybar Building on the east side of Manhattan. His only other expenses over that time were Verizon telephone bills, and a payment to the U.S. Treasury for taxes.
Even with the recent polling payments, Weiner is still sitting on more than $4.3 million in campaign funds, and the amount of money he could spend in a primary would grow if he participated in the city’s matching-funds program. But the lack of any other expenditures during the filing period suggests he isn’t plotting a campaign, perhaps as a result of what the internal polls told him.
It’s unlikely that Weiner would get into the Mayor’s race. His past would be a problem, of course, but there’s also the fact that Christine Quinn seems to be running away with the race at the moment. Comptroller or Public Advocate would both be possibilities. Of course, it’s possible that the internal polling told Weiner that his reputation is so damaged that no comeback is possible, at least not now. No doubt Weiner is keeping an eye on the political fortunes of Mark Sanford at the moment.