DiPietro’s Campaign Finance Disclosure: Incomplete?

In late April, Assemblyman David DiPietro held a fundraiser where a bunch of guns were raffled off. Because NY SAFE Act, and it was held in North Java in Wyoming County, where gun is the only issue that seems to matter, if WNY pols are to be believed. 

One commenter at the Buffalo News’ site said it was “great” and “standing room only”. They seemed to have a lot of fun unter dem Totenkopf

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Here’s the fundraiser’s flyer: 

 

So, where did the money go? How much was raised? How much did he spend?

DiPietro’s campaign committee filed its July campaign finance disclosure with the New York State Board of Elections, and it shows $14,000 individual donations through March – nothing in April or May. There’s a payment of $400 to the North Java Fire Company in February, but nothing in April or May. How much was raised and how much was spent? Where did the raffled-off firearms come from? Were they in-kind donations? If so, why aren’t they disclosed? Did the campaign pay for them? Not according to any disclosure. 

I’d love to hear a lot more from this guy about how Obama and Cuomo are totally lawless – right after he explains why he hasn’t disclosed campaign fundraising and expenditures after mid-March in his July report. 

 

Sacha Testifies

As you already know from this week’s print edition of Artvoice, former Erie County D.A. Mark Sacha gave testimony before the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption which is charged with, among other things, investigating chronic and widespread violations of the election law and corruption in political campaigns. Sacha is speaking truth to power, and if anyone should be paying close attention, it’s this particular commission with respect to this particular problem. 

I am here to advise the public and the voting citizens of New York of the “elephant in the room”, the hypocrisy which has not yet been addressed before this Commission. Election fraud and public corruption are not prosecuted properly, not because of a lack of laws in this State, but by a lack of will. The sad reality is that District Attorneys are political. Many have horrible conflicts of interest, which affect their ability to act. In order to reach their position, they make alliances, accept money and cut political deals with other politicians. They reach their goals through these people.

The public has the right to know the truth based on my own personal experience. In 2008, I conducted an investigation that uncovered widespread criminal election law violations by a number of individuals, including Steven Pigeon, a person who has close political ties to Pedro Espada, Governor Cuomo, former Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark, and present District Attorney Frank Sedita, who is also a member of this panel. I personally handed Mr. Sedita a 53 page memo outlining the facts surrounding my 2008 investigation.

As a result of my attempt to do the right thing and hold Mr. Pigeon accountable, I was retaliated against by his friend, Frank Sedita. When I informed the public of Mr. Sedita’s hypocrisy and misconduct, I was fired.

Now four years later, the same pattern of misconduct is occurring in Erie County. The September 22, 2013 edition of the Buffalo News contained a lengthy article detailing new allegations of illegal conduct by Pigeon. Current election campaigns are wrought with allegations of false filings, straw donors and donations which exceed contribution limits. This Commission has received a complaint about Mr. Pigeon. These allegations of corruption in Erie County have gone on for years.

Prosecuting the powerless is easy. The real test is when you are asked to investigate the powerful. District Attorney Sedita has failed the test.

Chronic, widespread illegality that no one investigates or prosecutes. Ever. This is the stuff of banana republics. The only things missing are the gold cars and epaulets. 

Campaign Disclosure: 10 Day Post Primary

If you were a candidate for election involved in a primary earlier this month, your campaign finance disclosure should include a 32 day pre-primary report, an 11 day pre-primary report, and a 10 day post-primary report. For instance, here is Lynn Dearmyer’s list of reports: 

Rick Zydel: 

But the victor of that three-way battle, Pat Burke, is late. As of this morning, his pre-primary reports have shown up. 

They weren’t there yesterday – the pre-primary report was 6 weeks late, and the 11 day was a month late. That’s either the negligence of a crap treasurer or something intentional. I asked him on Twitter:

The last question wasn’t answered. 

Looking at the newly appearing disclosures, in the 32-day, Burke reports $625 in unitemized proceeds from a mid-July fundraiser, which cost about $100 for pizza and beverages. Burke’s campaign bought him $113 pair of shoes for walking door to door, and $213 for “campaign attire” at JC Penney’s – those are new ones on me. He ended the period with $2660 on hand. 

Burke raised another $823 in unitemized contributions at an August fundraiser, and got $50 from Mark Schroeder’s campaign fund, and $250 from Savarino. Robert Sroda donated $1,000 in mid-August.  He pulled in about $3,000 in that period, and spent $3551 on direct mail with Zenger Group, which does tons of work for all sorts of candidates

But we don’t have the 10 day post-primary report, which will show everything that Burke spent in the days leading up to the election. There’s nothing controversial in Burke’s disclosures – no one’s going to make a stink about the suit and shoes, funny as it might be – but the lateness is troubling. 

Turning to this year’s breakaway nominal Democrat shit-stirring, the WNY Progressive PAC finished this year’s primary election cycle with -$18,000. Negative eighteen thousand. 

Steve Pigeon donated a little over $6,000 for stamps and Robocalls – (remember the pro-Fruscione, anti-Hamister mailers in the Falls had stamps on them?) Tim Kennedy ally and cancer peddlers AJ Wholesale gave another $10,000.  Tim Kennedy’s own Senate account ponied up another $40,000 – that makes a total of $125,000 from various open and closed Tim Kennedy campaign accounts.

On the expenditure side, $25,000 was paid to “Landon LLC”, which sounds a lot like Pigeon’s own Landen Associates.  Robocalls were done for $600 by “Van” in “Summerville [sic] MA”. Gia Marketing was paid, as was a Michael Darby, who was paid about $20,000 for a month’s worth of “consulting”. 

Pigeon himself “loaned” the committee another $70,000, leaving total liabilities of $90,000. Forget for a fact that these are the people who brought us the good government activism of Pedro Espada, here’s how they ended up the cycle: 

 

They have Dick Dobson and Barbara Miller-Williams to show for it. One could credibly fund at least 20 successful county legislative races for that kind of money. 

 

 

Fact-Checking McCarthy’s Story About Grisanti’s Money

Courtesy Tom Dolina at Tommunisms.com

Bob McCarthy reports in Thursday’s Buffalo News that State Senator Mark Grisanti (SD-60) reported receiving “nearly $247,000” and that, of the 85 reported donors, only one was from western New York.

The insinuation here is that Grisanti’s local support is slipping, and that he’s dependent on money from outside the region to mount next year’s re-election bid.  It’s an insinuation that is false, and McCarthy is deliberately ignoring or confused by the fact that Grisanti has chosen voluntarily to follow an unnecessarily stringent financial disclosure pattern for a State Senator in a non-election year.

1. All of the checks from outside the area arose from a fundraiser that New York Mayor Bloomberg held in October for Republican Senators who voted in favor of the same sex marriage bill last summer. At that fundraiser, most donors pledged money, and the pledges were fulfilled in early December, and reported in January.

2. When Grisanti files, he itemizes every single donation – even if it’s under the $100 threshold – in order to maximize transparency.  He files to make sure everything is out there, because he has nothing to hide.

3. Grisanti held several local fundraisers during previous reporting periods, but none during the time covered by the January periodic, which would have started in mid-December.

4. If you look at Grisanti’s disclosure (and compare it to that of Maziarz, Kennedy, and Ranzenhofer), he filed pursuant to the tighter election year schedule despite the fact that 2011 was not an election year for him.  In his unnecessary 32 day pre-primary filing, most of his individual donations came from within WNY.  All of the individual donations in the 11 day pre-primary disclosure were from WNY.  In the 32 day pre-general filing, only one individual donation came from outside WNY.

5. Had Grisanti, like his colleagues, opted not to follow that tighter election-year cycle during the last half of 2011, all of those pre-primary and pre- and post-general election disclosures would have been contained in the January filing that McCarthy wrote about.

6. The shorter version is, Grisanti’s January disclosure only covers December 2011. The other Senators’ disclosures covers July – December 2011.

So, McCarthy’s insinuation about Grisanti’s support coming almost exclusively from outside the area, and that this is somehow out of the ordinary for a State Senator, is not a fair representation of the facts in this particular instance.

 

Fact-Checking McCarthy's Story About Grisanti's Money

Courtesy Tom Dolina at Tommunisms.com

Bob McCarthy reports in Thursday’s Buffalo News that State Senator Mark Grisanti (SD-60) reported receiving “nearly $247,000” and that, of the 85 reported donors, only one was from western New York.

The insinuation here is that Grisanti’s local support is slipping, and that he’s dependent on money from outside the region to mount next year’s re-election bid.  It’s an insinuation that is false, and McCarthy is deliberately ignoring or confused by the fact that Grisanti has chosen voluntarily to follow an unnecessarily stringent financial disclosure pattern for a State Senator in a non-election year.

1. All of the checks from outside the area arose from a fundraiser that New York Mayor Bloomberg held in October for Republican Senators who voted in favor of the same sex marriage bill last summer. At that fundraiser, most donors pledged money, and the pledges were fulfilled in early December, and reported in January.

2. When Grisanti files, he itemizes every single donation – even if it’s under the $100 threshold – in order to maximize transparency.  He files to make sure everything is out there, because he has nothing to hide.

3. Grisanti held several local fundraisers during previous reporting periods, but none during the time covered by the January periodic, which would have started in mid-December.

4. If you look at Grisanti’s disclosure (and compare it to that of Maziarz, Kennedy, and Ranzenhofer), he filed pursuant to the tighter election year schedule despite the fact that 2011 was not an election year for him.  In his unnecessary 32 day pre-primary filing, most of his individual donations came from within WNY.  All of the individual donations in the 11 day pre-primary disclosure were from WNY.  In the 32 day pre-general filing, only one individual donation came from outside WNY.

5. Had Grisanti, like his colleagues, opted not to follow that tighter election-year cycle during the last half of 2011, all of those pre-primary and pre- and post-general election disclosures would have been contained in the January filing that McCarthy wrote about.

6. The shorter version is, Grisanti’s January disclosure only covers December 2011. The other Senators’ disclosures covers July – December 2011.

So, McCarthy’s insinuation about Grisanti’s support coming almost exclusively from outside the area, and that this is somehow out of the ordinary for a State Senator, is not a fair representation of the facts in this particular instance.