A Councilman’s Convictions, a Mayor’s Money and More: Campaign Newswire for July 21

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“Ruben Wills betrayed the trust of all New Yorkers when he abused his position in the State Senate to steal thousands of dollars from the hardworking taxpayers of New York for his own selfish gain.”
-Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito

A Councilman Disgraced
The Daily News
Queens Councilman Ruben Wills was convicted Thursday of five counts against him in a corruption trial, which included charges of stealing more than $30,000 in taxpayer money. Wills, who was accused of using the money to buy food, clothes, gas and a $750 Louis Vuitton handbag, buried his head in his hands as the jury read its verdict at the end of an 11-day trial in Queens Criminal Court. The jury found Wills guilty of one count of a scheme to defraud, two counts of grand larceny and two counts of filing a false instrument. The jury acquitted Wills on a single charge of filing false business records.

Female Candidate Trying to Stop Diaz Machine in the Bronx
Village Voice
Of the seven candidates in the race to replace term-limited councilmember Annabel Palma, who has represented the district since 2003, Amanda Farias is the only woman. That helps her stand out and presents both an advantage and a disadvantage: More women vote than men (at least in presidential elections), but men donate more to politicians. And though Farias has been endorsed by the New York City chapter of the National Organization for Women, she lacks a Rolodex of high-powered, high-earning supporters.

The Commuters Speak … And Don’t Have Many Nice Things to Say
WNYC
The subway system is officially in a “state of emergency,” and it lived up to the hype this week. A track fire broke out at 145th Street Monday morning, causing extensive delays and exceptionally crowded platforms. The man in charge of the subways blamed the situation on littering. And the other man in charge of the subways is being hammered for spending state money to put colorful lights on bridges and tunnels. WNYC’s been collecting comments and questions about the subway, which its We the Commuters ambassador will deliver at the MTA board meeting next Wednesday. Turns out, the trains have given people plenty to comment on.

De Blasio’s Warchest
Gotham Gazette
Mayor De Blasio, a first-term Democrat, has racked up a massive campaign warchest, far outpacing his rivals on both sides of the aisle. The mayor now has nearly $2.6 million at his disposal after raising about $4.9 million and spending about $2.2 million over the course of the campaign. De blasio, drawing large donations from wealthy donors, unions and the real estate industry, pulled in $414,123 in the latest filing period covering the two-month period from May 12 through July 11, and spent nearly $400,000 in the same time. The haul was lower than the previous filing period in which the mayor raised about $670,000.

Councilman Talks About Protest Arrest
DNAinfo
Local Councilman Corey Johnson, who was was arrested in Washington Wednesday protesting efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, said that being HIV positive compelled him to demonstrate with dozens of others outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office.

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