Picking on Ognibene

Mike is doing his best to remove the feeding tube, as it were, from Tom Ognibene‘s campaign for Mayor, which has struggled to gain traction despite the dissatisfaction on the Mayor’s right.

Today, the chairman of the Manhattan Republican Party, James Ortenzio, sent a letter to the city’s Campaign Finance Board asking that Ognibene be disqualified from the CFB-backed debate in Harlem because he doesn’t meet one of the technical requirements for qualifying, showing up with at least 5% support in a poll of at least 1,000 voters.

Ognibene’s name hasn’t been included in a poll of that sample size, and he has shown up at 1% and 2% in smaller polls.

“Please note that the absence of a qualifying poll for Mr. Ognibene is due to the fact that his public support is insignificant,” Ortenzio writes. “Indeed, in a September 27, 2005 Marist poll which surveyed 721 registered voters, of which 381 were likely voters, Mr. Ognibene only polled at 2% and 1%, respectively. If one subtracts the margins of error (4% and 5% respectively) as required under the MOU, it would result in negative levels of support.”

Hard to believe the CFB will back down on this one, but it does allow the Bloomberg campaign to, again, raise the spectacle of Freddy alone on stage. It’s also a demonstration of how the resource-rich Bloomberg campaign is able to fight for every inch of ground on all fronts.