By MAGGIE HABERMAN, Politico
Staten Island Rep. Mike McMahon (D-NY) moved into damage-control mode Thursday, firing the communications director for his re-election bid Thursday night after she gave a reporter a breakdown of a Republican rival’s “Jewish money” contributions.
McMahon announced he was firing spokeswoman Jennifer Nelson after she provided a New York Observer reporter with a breakdown of Republican rival Michael Grimm’s second-quarter financial haul donations from Jewish donors, in an apparent effort to show the former FBI agent has little financial support within the district.
In an astonishing move – putting such a statement on paper – the file the reporter was given was titled “Grimm Jewish Money Q2.”
“Where is Grimm’s money coming from,” Nelson was quoted saying to the Observer. “There is a lot of Jewish money, a lot of money from people in Florida and Manhattan, retirees.”
She added that the campaign’s finance director had compiled the list, and, by way of explaining how she managed to pick out donors by their religion from filings, said, “She herself is Jewish so she knows a lot of people in that community.”
Nelson also insisted the purpose wasn’t to show “ethnicity” in terms of who was outside the district, but that was the only list the Observer said it was given â€“ and it came at a time when McMahon has reportedly been ramping up his outreach to Jewish donors.
“This is a United States congressman that’s segregating people out by their religion. I’m outraged. Even an apology isn’t going to make it right,” Grimm told POLITICO. “This goes to his thought process and his feelings.”
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