Last month Bloomberg commissioned a telephone survey that took aim at potential rival Representative Anthony D. Weiner, the article says. The March survey calls resemble a campaign technique called push polling where phone calls disguised as polling are used to spread negative information about an adversary.
“By the time I was through the entire poll, I thought it was ridiculous,” said Jeff Goldsmith, a lawyer who took the survey and was contacted by the newspaper.
At the time of the calls Weiner said he wasn’t sure that he would even run for the office.
Some of those who took part in the surveys told The Times that the questions started innocently but devolved into “asking whether the person’s views of Mr. Weiner would be altered if he or she knew of certain problems involving Mr. Weiner, from missing votes in Congress to having difficulty keeping staff to accepting campaign donations from foreign fashion models,” the article stated.
The Congressman did introduce a bill that would make it easier for foreign fashion models to get United States work visas.
“At first I thought it was a market research thing,” Sandra Kane, a 67-year-old registered Democrat from Forest Hills, Queens, told The Times. “As the questions got more mud-slinging, I said to myself: ‘I’m not hanging up now; I want to see where this is going.’ ”
It was Weiner’s office that alerted The Times to the surveys.
Bloomberg has already stoked ire with his decision to run for a third term, a decision that relied on changing New York City term limits laws. Also, the mayor has decided to eschew campaign finance rules and fund his run with up to $80 million dollars from his own personal fortune.