Republican billionaire David Koch and his wife have given $US290,000 to a political action committee supporting New York mayoral candidate Joe Lhota (R). The PAC, New Yorkers for Proven Leadership, will begin running pro-Lhota ads tomorrow, according to the
New York Observer.
Two notes on this:
- The Lhota campaign won’t comment on Koch. I asked campaign spokeswoman Jessica Proud how well Lhota and Koch know each other, whether they have been talking during the campaign, and how he feels about Koch’s national political activities. She declined to comment on any of those matters.
- David Koch is a different figure within New York City than he is nationally. For one thing, he lives here, on the Upper East Side, so he’s not an interloper in our politics. He’s also a major supporter of New York City cultural institutions. The New York City Ballet performs in the David H. Koch theatre. The construction you can see in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art right now is a $US60 million plaza upgrade that Koch is paying for. All of which is to say, among the city’s wealthy liberal elites, his name is probably not as toxic as it might be in Los Angeles. But rank-and-file general election voters are likely to be put off by the Koch name and not care much about the stairs in front of the Met.
The ads, one of which touts Lhota’s “strong conservative leadership,” are designed to shore Lhota up in the Sept. 10 Republican primary. Lhota, a former deputy mayor and MTA head who is backed by most of New York’s Republican establishment, has a strong lead in two recent polls. But he has been outspent by billionaire businessman John Catsimatidis.
The ads are below:
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