Last week, Council member Annabel Palma was fined $30,000 by the city’s Campaign Finance Board for essentially having 1199 SEIU run her 2003 campaign. The union, the CFB said, illegally coordinated with the campaign, providing in-kind contributions in excess of local limits.
Palma told me she’s happy just to pay up and put the matter behind her, and that she’ll be holding fund-raisers to help cover the cost of the fine, one of the largest (the largest?) to be levied against anyone for such an infraction.
“I’m just glad it is over,” she said on the City Hall steps this morning. “I’m glad I got a fine and can move on.”
When I asked her if she’ll take matching funds again (she’s term-limited in 2013), she said, “I don’t think I will. I don’t think–my treasurer will probably kill me, but, I don’t want to accept campaign funds, public funds.”
Will that affect her ability to seek higher office?
“I don’t think so. I think this experience made me a little wiser in terms of what I need to do and who I surround myself with. And I definitely don’t think this will discourage me from seeking higher office after I’m term-limited. And I won’t let campaign finance get me into thinking I can’t serve the public.”
Palma is having a fund-raiser tomorrow at Laces Out (1040 Castle Hill Avenue), from 6 to 8 p.m., and another on October 25 at Latin Quarters (511 Lexington Avenue), also from 6 to 8 p.m.