Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., continues to maintain an office for his dormant campaign for New York City mayor, according to campaign-finance disclosure forms filed Tuesday. But his disclosure shows no signs of fundraising or spending to suggest that he is preparing for a political comeback in 2013.
For the six-month period beginning on July 12, 2012 and ending last Friday, Weiner's campaign account spent just shy of $37,000, mostly on rent. The New York Post reported last year that Weiner's office is at 420 Lexington Ave., in what as known as the Graybar Building on Manhattan's East Side. The recipient of the campaign funds -- amounting to more than $25,000 during the six-month period -- is the commercial realtor SL Green, which manages the Graybar Building.
Last July, when Weiner filed his last report with the city's Campaign Finance Board, rumors swirled that the former congressman might apply his sizable warchest to a campaign for mayor or public advocate. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is technically term-limited (and not seeking a fourth term), while the current public advocate, Democrat Bill de Blasio, is considered almost certain to run for mayor.
Just two days into the new disclosure period last summer, Weiner made two curious expenditures. He paid the law firm Baker & Hostetler LLP nearly $10,000 for "legal services," the new report shows. He had previously paid the firm in 2010 and 2011, before he resigned from the House after it was revealed that he has having intimate conversations with women over the internet, though the July 2012 payment was more than twice what he had paid the firm in the two prior years combined.
Weiner also reported spending $38 on a hard drive from a Best Buy in Elmhurst, Queens, on July 13, the same day as the legal fees were paid out. Ten days later, he paid GoDaddy.com $241.92 for "domain hosting," presumably for his website, anthonyweiner.com, which has not been updated since the sex scandal broke.
But that's when the expenses stopped, other than continued rent payments and a recurring phone bill from Verizon. The Campaign Finance Board estimates Weiner's cash-on-hand at nearly $4.5 million, an amount that would put him on par with some of the other top mayoral contenders, including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has a little more than $5 million in the bank. Moreover, the public match on Weiner's funds -- which could amount to an additional $3.5 million -- is reportedly set to expire following the 2013 election.
For now, with nine months until the Democratic primary, there is little indication that Weiner is readying a comeback, though that comeback would be well-financed.