ED KOCH PUTTING THE KIBOSH ON LOPEZ ENDORSEMENT
Group: alt.religion.scientology Date: Mon, Aug 15, 2005, 8:45pm (CDT-2)
KOCH PUTTING THE KIBOSH ON LOPEZ ENDORSEMENT
By STEFAN C. FRIEDMAN
August 15, 2005 -- ED KOCH has rejected a request from advisers to Mayor Bloomberg to endorse the embattled Margarita Lopez for Manhattan borough president as new revelations about Lopez's cozy relationship with Scientologists came to light.
Officials close to Bloomberg, who has made no secret that he holds a soft spot for Lopez, asked the still-influential former three-term Democrat mayor to throw his support behind Lopez, the borough president-wannabe, to give her campaign a badly needed boost, sources said.
But after revelations that Lopez took massive donations from Scientology members and had other problems with the Campaign Finance Board, Koch decided that she wouldn't be getting his nod.
"I don't know who I'm going to endorse, but it's not going to be her," Koch told The Post.
"It's not so much the Scientology as it is the involvement with the Campaign Finance Board," Koch added, referring to a board decision to withhold Lopez's matching funds because she allegedly didn't return excess cash from a 2001 City Council race.
"The failure to return money is unacceptable," Koch continued.
Despite the former mayor's insistence that disclosures about Lopez's relationship with Scientologists did not play a major role in his decision, insiders say the Scientology controversy didn't help her chances.
Although Republican Bloomberg considers Lopez "a friend," according to people close to the mayor, he's unlikely to endorse anyone in a Democratic primary and was hoping Koch, a chairman of the mayor's campaign, could act as his surrogate.
Koch's decision came as The Post discovered that more than a third of Lopez's more than $115,000 in campaign donations from Scientologists were collected by a single member of the brass at the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project.
That's the center, co-founded by Tom Cruise, that benefited from tax dollars steered to it by Lopez.
Keith Miller, a spokesperson for the project, was the intermediary for $36,750 in donations to Lopez's campaign, campaign-finance documents show.