Bronx Councilman Fernando Cabrera is running against State Senator Gustavo Rivera in a Democratic primary–but a well-heeled donor with Republican ties is filling his campaign coffers.
Sean Fieler, a conservative hedge fund manager known for his controversial statements about homosexuality and his activism against abortion, recently donated $6,500 to Mr. Cabrera, campaign records show. Mr. Fieler has been active in this year’s election cycle, but his money has flowed to Republicans like Rob Astorino, a gubernatorial candidate, and John Cahill, the candidate for attorney general.
Mr. Fieler’s donation is not necessarily a surprise: Mr. Cabrera, a pastor, is known for his pro-life views and is a former Republican. He’s appeared on a radio show for the Family Research Council, a right-leaning organization that was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Mr. Fieler, president of the Equinox Partners hedge fund, has drawn fire in Democratic circles for attacking the concept of gay marriage. “It promotes a very harmful myth about the gay lifestyle. It suggests that gay relationships lend themselves to monogamy, stability, health and parenting in the same way heterosexual relationships do. That’s not true,” Mr. Fieler told the New York Times last year.
Mr. Rivera, a Democratic stalwart, ripped his opponent for taking a donation from Mr. Fieler–and therefore being far out of touch with the more liberal Bronx.
“It’s not surprising that Fernando Cabrera is financing his campaign with money from the most extreme elements of the radical Republican Party — because he’s one of them,” said Rivera spokesman Karthik Ganapathy. “Whether it’s his praise for a Ugandan government that passed an appalling ‘kill-the-gays’ bill; his longstanding ties to an extremist hate group; or his support for right-wing presidential candidate Rick Santorum, Fernando Cabrera ’s views are discriminatory, backwards, and wrong. The bottom line is: Sarah Palin would agree with a lot of what Mr. Cabrera says, and the Bronx can do better than that.”
Mr. Cabrera did not immediately return a request for comment.