Nussbaum of Queens

A footnote to today’s Times story on Michael Nussbaum, a Bloomberg backer who, 20 years ago, had a damaging brush with the Manes scandal, though his conviction in it was tossed.

Nussbaum is now the associate publisher of the Queens Tribune. He’s also the owner of a company, Multi-Media Advertising, which does work for political candidates.

Among those candidates was City Councilman-elect (yes, I know, it was only a primary) Tom White, best known during his previous run in elected office for not showing up to meetings before being ousted by term limits. Nussbaum’s company took $31,195 in fees from White this year, the bulk for “campaign consulting.” And the Tribune endorsed White in the bizarre local race:

“The only viable alternative – the only serious opponent not arrested during a campaign that has shamed the district – is former Councilman Thomas White who has delivered in the past for his community. “

The close relationship between Nussbaum and White raised eyebrows in Queens, though Tribune publisher Michael Shenkler tells The Politicker there’s nothing to it:

“There’s nothing unusual about it,” he said. “It’s no different from a newspaper taking advertisements from companies it covers. It doesn’t effect our coverage.”

It does seem likely that the paper would have endorsed White in any case. Who else? But the apparent conflict is, if nothing else, a glimpse into the small, overlapping worlds that are local politics and community newspapers, particularly in parts of the city where the Manhattan-based media seldom ventures.