New York City’s elections just keep getting weirder: As a state assemblyman in 1996, Scott Stringer, Eliot Spitzer’s main opponent in the race for New York City comptroller, voted against removing the tax exemption held by a North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) front group.
Zymurgy, a group which won its tax-exempt status in 1994, billed itself as a group that sought to “foster, promote and advance greater knowledge and understanding of human sexuality,” when it was actually a front group for NAMBLA, a pedophilia advocacy organization.
In 1995, Governor George Pataki attempted to revoke the group’s tax-exempt status but was blocked by a court; the New York state assembly passed legislation the next year to strip Zymurgy of its status.
Stringer was one of 19 assemblymen to vote against the bill. A Stringer spokesman said he finds groups such as NAMBLA “abhorrent and disgusting,” and said he voted against the bill because of concerns it might create a “slippery slope that could lead to targeting of group [sic] based on their political views.”
The episode comes only a few days after a poll found Stringer tied with Eliot Spitzer, the former New York governor who resigned in disgrace after it was discovered he was patronizing prostitutes (Stringer had been down in earlier polls by a substantial margin).
The Spitzer campaign took the opportunity to criticize Stringer, who has often tried to make Spitzer’s judgment an issue in the campaign. “Scott Stringer has tried to make this race about judgment and the voters of New York will decide what this says about his,” a spokesman for the Spitzer campaign said.