David Weprin: The Parking Garage Industry’s Valet?
The Post finds that Queens City Council Member David Weprin has been raking in campaign contributions from parking garage owners, all the while serving as one of the loudest critics of Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan. This ought to sound familiar to Streetsblog readers. Back in May we found that Weprin had taken in at least $20,500 in contributions from the parking lobby. The Post identified an additional twenty grand:
Records show that David Weprin, chairman of the City Council Finance Committee, received 28 contributions totaling $40,650 from garage companies and their owners. Garage operators are worried about losing customers if the city imposes an $8-a-day fee on cars entering Manhattan, and they want to stop the mayor’s plan in its tracks.
Austin Shafran, a Weprin spokesman, said the contributions had "absolutely nothing to do with his opposition to congestion pricing."
A survey conducted last week by The Queens Tribune found only two of 27 Queens state legislators who backed the mayor’s plan. But one key Queens legislator, Rep. Joseph Crowley, who also serves as the Queens Democratic chairman, is in the mayor’s corner. The Metropolitan Parking Association, which represents 800 lots and garages, contributed $5,000 last year to the Queens Democratic Party.
In this May 10 op-ed for the Queens Courier, Weprin argues that his Eastern Queens constituents will be "devastated" by congestion pricing.
Photo: Larry Greenberg, QCLDA