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Two developer-backed groups supporting Coney council candidate Mark Treyger have launched an ad campaign blasting his rival, John Lisyanskiy, for what they claim are crooked fund-raising practices.
The Small Business Coalition — founded by Louis Jerome, scion of a family of Manhattan property owners — began running ads attacking Lisyanskiy last week on sites like BrooklynPaper.com. The online spots refer to the council hopeful as “Shady John Lisyanskiy,” and blast him for accepting a donation from the mother of a Brighton Beach restaurant owner arrested in May for allegedly bilking millions from people through a phony debt-relief agency.
The web ad claims: “Some of that stolen money made its way to Shady John Lisyanskiy and his campaign for City Council.”
Lisyanskiy acknowledged that he received a single $250 donation of the mother of the accused, but pointed out that she was never charged with any crime.
“What did she do wrong? That her son got tied up in an incident? She was not indicted,” said the Ukrainian-born candidate.
Pressed to back up its allegation that the $250 Lisyanskiy received from the woman was stolen, the Small Business Coalition claimed that the accused scam artist used some of his ill-gotten gains to pay his mother’s debts.
“The fact is that John Lisyanskiy has accepted some questionable contributions, including from those who benefitted from an alleged multi-million dollar scam,” said Coalition spokesman John Eddy.
Lisyanskiy also sent us images of a mailer he claims were sent out by the Real Estate Board of New York — through its electoral arm, the Jobs 4 New York Political Action Committee. The flyer’s title is “John Lisyanskiy’s Campaign Depends. On Tax Dodgers,” and alleges that the candidate took money from a donor who owes more than $5 million in back taxes.
“If John Lisyanskiy associates with tax dodgers, can we trust him to manage taxpayer dollars in the City Council?” the mailer reads. “The answer is clear: We can’t trust him.”
A Real Estate Board spokesman said that the shadowy figure on the mailer represents Evgeny Freidman, head of Taxi Club Management, one of the largest yellow cab operations in the city. Freidman gave Lisyanskiy’s campaign $2,750 — the maximum allowable amount. New York State issued a $790,000 lien against Freidman in 2009, and an $8,000,000 one in 2010. State records show both have since been paid. Freidman could not be reached for comment.
Lisyanskiy dismissed the attack as absurd.
“Gene’s a friend, he’s a supporter, and I did not ask him if he paid his taxes,” the candidate said.
Lisyanskiy demanded that Treyger condemn the twin ad campaigns.
“What kind of progressive Democrat is he if he doesn’t denounce this?” Lisyanskiy said.
But Treyger’s team said they had no involvement in the attack pieces, could not stop them.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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