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Millionaire for Ferrer

He may be smack in the upper echelons of the mayor’s demographic, but Leo Hindery Jr. is out to give Bloomberg a run for his money.

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Former YES Network chairman Leo Hindery Jr. has many millions in common with Michael Bloomberg: They both made their fortunes in communications, and they’ve both tangled with Cablevision (which shut out YES from its system). But as finance chair of Fernando Ferrer’s campaign, Hindery wants to commit plutocraticide and get Mike out. He spoke to Greg Sargent.

Isn’t your real campaign function to make Ferrer acceptable to the white business Establishment?
If somebody views my involvement in that fashion, fine. My job is to help Freddy raise money.

But you seem like a natural supporter of a CEO turned mayor like Bloomberg.
He’s a fine mayor for the Upper East Side. But he doesn’t get that there are four and a half other boroughs. Mike is not a very good mayor, and I say that as a longtime friend of his.

Longtime friend?
I met Mike when I had cable systems that carried Mike’s [Bloomberg News] channels.

Surely many of your other friends support him and are suspicious of Ferrer.
Mike is really good at helping people who are like Mike. But for every colleague who supports him, I can find more who don’t. Some of my friends have hundreds of employees who are desperate for good schools and an efficient MTA. They understand that if we don’t fix chronic unemployment among minorities, this won’t be a hospitable place to live.

Won’t Ferrer have a tough time winning white votes?
That’s just tired. We can’t start parsing the city into ethnic groups.

But that’s exactly what Bloomberg will do with $100 million in targeted ads.
He’s got an unlimited checkbook, and he’s not a clean fighter. It would be a crying shame if Bloomberg’s reelection in what is a defining race for national Democrats is made possible by his net worth.

Speaking of national Democrats, why should they support Ferrer, whose backers withheld support from Mark Green, handing City Hall to a Republican?
It was a bitter campaign. But we learned from it.

How much do you have to raise to say you’ve succeeded?
With matching funds, $25 million or $30 million. A quarter of what Bloomberg will spend.


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