David Greenfield

Greenfield fundraising dropped off months before retirement announcement

John McCarten / New York City Council

New York City Councilman David Greenfield surprised everyone Monday morning by announcing he won’t be running for reelection this year – but his fundraising numbers suggest he may have been considering the move for longer than he is letting on.

And with questions being raised about whether Greenfield timed his exit from the race so that he could handpick his successor – an allegation the councilman vehemently denies – a recent decline in his fundraising could undercut his claim that it was only two weeks ago that he had considered leaving the City Council for a new job at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.

Greenfield, the chairman of the influential New York City Council Land Use Committee since 2014, was a prodigious fundraiser through 2014, 2015 and 2016, but his fundraising fell off a cliff in 2017.

Between Jan. 12, 2014, and Jan. 11, 2015, Greenfield’s campaign raised almost $150,000. The next year, he raised more than $424,000, and in 2016, he raised $240,000. 

But since Jan. 11 of this year, Greenfield has only raised about $53,000. His numbers became even more anemic the closer he got to his announcement that he would not run again, taking in only $5,000 between March 12 and May 11. And in his latest filing with the New York City Campaign Finance Board, covering May 12 to June 11, he raised just over $8,000.

Greenfield said his slower pace of fundraising was simply because he had raised enough money. "Once I raised enough to fund my successful campaign, I turned my efforts to helping other people," he told City & State. 

Indeed, while most candidates amp up their fundraising as election day gets closer, slowing contributions as the race nears may just be Greenfield’s modus operandi. After raising more than $100,000 in 2011 and 2012, Greenfield raised just over $3,000 in all of 2013, the last year he was elected. Greenfield faced two opponents that year, though they were not well-funded, and he easily won with 82 percent of the vote.

These numbers reflect only his city campaign fund, officially called Greenfield NYC. Greenfield has faced scrutiny for a separate campaign fund for state office, GreenfieldNY, which held more than $300,000 at the most recent disclosure period, in January. Greenfield had raised only $14,500 in that account between January 2016 and January 2017.

RELATED: Key 2017 New York City primaries by district

Until his Monday announcement, Greenfield was widely expected to run for reelection. He had no opponents challenging him for his 44th Council District seat covering Midwood, Borough Park and Bensonhurst.

Greenfield will serve out the rest of his term, then take the executive director and chief executive officer position at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, an influential nonprofit still working to rehabilitate its reputation after its former CEO, William Rapfogel, pleaded guilty to stealing millions of dollars from the charity.

Greenfield told the New York Post that the hiring process for the Met Council job “started two weeks ago.” Similarly, the Daily News reported that he said he had been approached about the position only two weeks ago.

In an interview on NY1 Tuesday evening, Greenfield addressed concerns that he was circumventing the will of voters to install his ally Kalman Yeger.

“There certainly was no conspiracy over here,” Greenfield said. “This was something that wasn’t anticipated. We’d have to be significant idiots to say, ‘Oh, hey Kalman, you go campaign for two years in a different district, to collect signatures and raise money for that seat, go knock on doors, if there was a plan. There was no plan! This was a complete coincidence.”

Nonetheless, making the announcement this late in the race this year has political benefits for Greenfield and Yeger, his ally and former staffer. 

As Greenfield will get a new job, so, it seems, will his former senior advisor. Yeger was previously challenging incumbent City Councilman Chaim Deutsch in the neighboring 48th district. After being approved Tuesday by a local political committee led by Greenfield, Yeger will now be running unopposed for Greenfield’s seat, with the support of a number of Jewish groups that hold considerable political sway in the district.

Good government groups have questioned the move, since it came too late for any other candidates to start an official campaign. As Citizens Union Executive Director Dick Dadey told the Daily News, “A lot of handpicking is going on that has resulted in no handpicking by the voters, and that's the real crime.”

RELATED: The five people who earned the most from Massey's campaign

Yeger had also considerably slowed his pace of fundraising closer to Greenfield’s announcement. Yeger raised more than $84,000 between March 12 and May 11, but less than $16,000 between May 12 and July 11. Still, Yeger had outraised his one-time rival Chaim Deutsch, $98,000 to $92,000.

Yeger’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment, but Jake Dilemani, a spokesman for the Deutsch campaign, said he was surprised by Greenfield’s announcement and Yeger changing districts.

“It caught all of us off-guard,” he said. But Dilemani was happy that Yeger was leaving the 48th Council District race. “God bless New York state ballot access laws,” he said.

The Met Council did not respond to a request for comment. A number of city and state agencies must approve all executive hires at the Met Council following the Rapfogel scandal, and the Forward reported on Monday that Greenfield’s hire had not yet been approved. But the Met Council board was enthusiastic about the hire, releasing a statement saying his “understanding of nonprofit management and fiscal responsibility will be an enormous asset.” 

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a comment from New York City Councilman David Greenfield. 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.