Political fundraisers typically collect a flat fee for New York City mayoral elections. John Caney of the government reform group Reinvent Albany said following the type of deal Mr. Suggs negotiated himself risks paying more than the current rate.
“It's unusual. If you're giving consultants that much money, all that money isn't going to the actual mayoral campaign,” Caney said, referring to phone banking and door-knocking. “You can't see [Suggs’ arrangement] that's all. They don't fit into New York City culture or state fundraising. ”
The revelation of the bizarre arrangement adds another layer of intrigue to Adams' political life.
Federal prosecutors have blamed the mayor's successful 2021 campaign on possible collusion with the Turkish government and suspicions that he received prohibited donations from foreigners through a Turkish construction company based in Brooklyn. We are investigating. As part of that investigation, FBI agents searched Suggs' Brooklyn home on November 2 and seized electronic devices and items believed to be related to the campaign.
No one has been charged in the investigation.
Vito Pitta, the campaign's compliance attorney, told POLITICO that Suggs has a deal in place to get 10% of the funds raised in early 2022. Some of that cash was donated to others who work at her company, Suggs Solutions.
Pitta did not answer further questions about the arrangement, but noted that Suggs worked on data entry and helped process campaign filings.
“Ms. Suggs helped raise a record amount of support for her campaign and was fairly compensated for her efforts,” the statement said.
Basil Smickle Jr., former head of the New York State Democratic Party, said committee contracts like the one struck between the Suggs and Adams campaigns were once common. However, they have since fallen out of fashion. One reason for this is that fundraising life can be unpredictable.
“If it's a long campaign, you can potentially get a lot of money up front,” said Smickle, who worked for a rival mayoral campaign in 2021. “But it's going to start to decline towards the end. Make sure your salary isn't dependent on poll results or a bad month.”
Sag's payments have been erratic and made in seemingly arbitrary amounts, with more than two-thirds of them paid in the last six months of 2023, according to records from the regulator's Campaign Finance Commission. That's what it means. Averaging her nearly two-year stint, her compensation will be approximately $14,000 per month, the highest for an experienced fundraiser.
A Democratic operative authorized to discuss others' campaign strategies on condition of anonymity said committee-style arrangements may be appropriate for short-term assignments or financially risky political action committees. However, he said that it is not suitable for a mayoral election where flat fees are the standard.
Another consultant, who requested anonymity for similar reasons, said such an arrangement could end up giving perverse incentives to fundraisers, giving candidates more leverage than voters in the final stages of a campaign. He said they may want to spend more time with donors.
The full extent of Ms Suggs' compensation was revealed on Tuesday night when CFB released Ms Adams' fundraising records for the second half of 2023. Suggs received her final payment of $63,967 on November 1st.
Suggs has a close relationship with Adams and his inner circle, and the mayor's chief adviser, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, claims she is his goddaughter. Suggs also worked at a PAC called “Striving for a Better New York,” where she aligned with Adams.
In the wake of the FBI raid, Adams praised her as an integral part of his re-election effort.
“I have confidence in her integrity and in her efforts,” he said in November.