The Problem With ‘Freezing’ 2009 Money

The city’s Campaign Finance Board declined to offer a detailed opinion about whether they’d allow candidates to access money in a “frozen” account if, at a later date, they decide to run for higher office because an incumbent there suddenly decides to not seek re-election.

The question was posed to the board by Peter Vallone Jr., who was actively campaigning for Queens Borough President until the term-limits law was extended. A spokesman for the incumbent Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall, said she intends to run for a third term.

The fear is that Marshall would change her mind after Vallone “freezes” the $800,158 he’s raised so far, and his opponent, Audrey Pheffer – who like Marshall is close to the Queens County Democratic Organization – can still use the $341,492 she’s raised so far.

Pheffer doesn’t ever have to “freeze” her account because unlike Vallone, she holds state office.

Here’s more on the complications posed by the term-limits extension.

UPDATE: Vallone isn’t happy with the CFB. “All future events are ‘hypothetical’, and it’s the taxpayer funded job of the CFB to provide guidance. Apparently, they’ve issued an advisory opinion advising people that they won’t provide any advice.”

He added, “Candidates need guidance. Perhaps amending the CFB legislation is necessary.”