Weprin Says He’s Not Getting Personal, Rivals Disagree

David Weprin said he stands by the critical statements his spokespeople have made about his opponents, but insisted, “I’m trying not to make anything personal.”

In the last few days, his spokespeople have slammed Melinda Katz for being too close to the real estate industry, and questioned John Liu’s dedication to the office, noting his late entry into the race. Weprin himself went after David Yassky for taking member-item money for his constituents while proposing an end to the way the money is allocated.

“I’m confident in the people I’ve hired,” Weprin told me. “They call it like they see it. I think there is a big contrast between me as a candidate and the others. My entire résumé has been geared towards the comptroller’s office.”

As for his opponents, Weprin wasn’t shy about criticizing them.

“Melinda Katz sounds like she’s running for chair of the City Planning Commission. John Liu sounds like he’s running for the head of the M.T.A.,” said Weprin.

He said Yassky’s work on gun and environmental issues were nice, but “not really geared towards that of the comptroller.”

Weprin said, “I’m happy to point out that my whole background, my whole focus, has been to the office of comptroller, but I’m not looking to attack anyone personally.”

The folks on the receiving end of Weprin’s criticism are responding.

A spokeswoman for Liu, Juanita Scarlett, said,
“We’re focused on talking to voters about why John Liu is the best qualified candidate to become the next City Comptroller. Perhaps David Weprin would be doing better in the race if he spent more time focused on the issues and explaining who he is to voters and creating a rationale for his candidacy.”

Danny Kanner, a spokesman for Yassky, said, “The job of the Comptroller is to fight the special interests to root out waste, demand accountability and results, and help get the City’s economy back on track. That’s what David Yassky did when he sued Exxon Mobil to clean up the Greenpoint oil spill, when he stood up to the NRA with Chuck Schumer to pass the Brady Bill and Assault Weapons Ban, when he closed tax loopholes for luxury developers that were costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, and when he passed the film production tax credit to create thousands of good-paying jobs for working and middle class New Yorkers.”

And in response to Weprin’s comment about Melinda Katz sounding like she’s running for chair of the City Planning Commission, her spokesman Ben Branham emailed to say, “And David Weprin sounds like a 4th place candidate. Or wait, was that supposed to be a joke from his stand-up routine?

“Melinda Katz is dedicated to a productive dialogue about the future of New York at a critical time in the city’s history — not adolescent name-calling. ”

How this will play out on the campaign trail is unclear. They’ve all done a respectable job of fund-raising, and in the latest Quinnipiac poll from June 17, are all basically unknown. Weprin Says He’s Not Getting Personal, Rivals Disagree