Thompson Tries to Clear Avella

Bill Thompson’s campaign reached out to the long-shot Democrat they’re expected to defeat in the September primary and asked if he’d support their effort to have the Campaign Finance Board prematurely loosen spending limits for Thompson.

City Councilman Tony Avella said he was approached about a week ago by Thompson aide Larry Laufer–who helped write the city’s campaign finance laws and worked at the C.F.B. for years.

Lauffer “asked if I’d be supportive,” said Avella, recalling the exchange. Avella said he asked for more specific information, but has not heard back from the Thompson campaign.

In a brief telephone interview today, Avella said he thought it was “inherently dumb” for Thompson to “think he’s the presumptive candidate.” He added, “I’m in this race to the very end.”

When I asked Thompson about this issue earlier in the week, he said, “Obviously you can’t wait.” He added that he  “think[s] it creates an unfair advantage if you have to wait until after the September primary to start to raise funds for the general election.”

When asked for comment today, Thompson's campaign manager Eddie Castell emailed to say, "Given the fact that Bloomberg refuses to abide by campaign spending limits, we are exploring ways to level the playing field for the November elections. Part of this process has included reaching out to other potential candidates." Thompson Tries to Clear Avella