Tali Farhadian Weinstein’s wealth has been long been a target for her rivals in the race for Manhattan district attorney.
But it’s now center stage with Primary Day just around the corner.
“Ms. Weinstein is willing to do anything to win. And every good prosecutor – those here, those listening – knows that the worst thing a prosecutor can do is to do everything in order to win their case,” DA candidate and former prosecutor Lucy Lang said Thursday at a 77WABC radio debate.
“We cannot allow Wall Street’s favorite candidate to buy the race,” Tahanie Aboushi told NY1 earlier.
Critics say Farhadian Weinstein – who’s been endorsed by the New York Post and Daily News as well as Hillary Clinton and who’s led in the limited public polling – could be swayed by her close ties to the financial sector.
A former general counsel in the Brooklyn DA’s office, she sank $8.2 million of her family’s fortune into her campaign in the final weeks.
The amount eclipses what her seven opponents raised collectively and supplements funds she’s raised from supporters.
“I wasn’t the first person in this race to self-fund. I wasn’t the first person in this race to be the beneficiary of a seven-figure check,” Farhadian Weinstein told NY1 in response to the criticism.
Meanwhile, a ProPublica investigation revealed she and her hedge fund manager spouse paid almost no federal income tax in four of the past six years.
No illegality is alleged.
“My husband is in an a high-risk business, so some years we don’t have an income," Farhadian Weinstein said. "But we did say, transparently, that in the last 10 years, we have paid over 50% of all of our income in federal, state and local taxes, which is a very high tax rate.”
Farhadian Weinstein's campaign has also been on the attack, using mailers and a TV ad to portray rivals Alvin Bragg and Dan Quart as lenient on domestic abuse and rape.
Their response? The attack smacks of desperation and spins reality.
“To take my support for the Exonerated Five and twist it into a suggestion that I don’t support rape survivors, it’s just not rooted in the facts," Bragg said. "It boggles the mind that someone who wants to run the Manhattan district attorney’s office would engage in this kind of abhorrent conduct.”
Quart said: “It’s a negative, deeply vapid, misleading ad attacking me in really disturbing, negative ways. It really shows a campaign with a lack of ideas, a lack of energy.”
Quart, a state assemblyman, has seen fellow lawmakers and sexual misconduct survivors come to his defense.
Bragg is a former state chief deputy attorney general who has accumulated endorsements from the New York Times and supporters like Preet Bharara.
He's also seen outrage on his behalf, including from the Reform the Sex Crimes Unit advocacy group that endorsed him.
Farhadian Weinstein stands by the ad, saying it puts a spotlight on her opponents' blind spots.
The radio debate Thursday also touched on public safety, a topic that tough-on-crime defense attorney Liz Crotty and reform-minded public defender Eliza Orlins clashed on. Diana Florence, the eighth candidate in the Democratic primary, meanwhile, touted herself as the most experienced prosecutor.