by Ted Carroll, Guest Columnist
Our local media outlets rarely look back on contributions and disbursements even though public records in NY are easy to find online. I was wondering why they didn’t. Let’s take advice from a certain noted Watergate figure and use them to – follow the money. All amounts & percentages are rounded.
Democrats raised almost twice as much as Republicans ($26,354 vs. $14,505) and from 73 separate donors v. 13 for Republicans.
- The Democratic Party contributed $7000 which accounted for 27% of the total amount they raised.
- The Republic Party apparently contributed zero dollars for 0% of the total amount they raised.
- Democrats started raising the earliest with several contributions recorded as early as July.
- Republicans apparently raised nothing until the day after the final contribution reporting cutoff date before the election. Then essentially 100% of their funds arrived the next day (October 20th) with 90% of it from interests all apparently linked to a single Rye industry.
Raising & Spending – The Democrats:
In both the raising and spending of funds Democrats outstripped Republicans and did it earlier. Democrats raised $26,354 from 73 separate donors and spent 40.6 % of it or $10,697. Almost all of the funds raised arrived before the final reporting Cut-Off Date prior to the election of October 19th. Democrat spending items were dominated by printing which totaled $5,153 or 48% followed by ad production and postage of $3,720 or 31%. Democrats favored The Rye Record for their printing needs. Two of the three Democratic candidates apparently gave funds by name to the campaign accounting for $2,620 or 10% of overall contributions. One of the candidates was reimbursed $1,704 for expenses incurred on behalf of the effort.
Raising & Spending – The Republicans:
In both the raising and spending of funds Republicans did it late. Very late. Republicans raised $14,505 or little more than half of what Democrats raised, and spent 42.62% of it or $6,124. All of the funds raised arrived the day after the final reporting Cut-Off Date prior to the election of October 19th. Republican spending items were dominated by printing which totaled $4,450 or 73% followed by ad production of $1,174 or 19%. Republican’s apparently utilized one of their three candidates for paying for or providing printing services. One of the three Republican candidates who is a sitting Councilmember apparently gave funds by name to the campaign accounting for $1,000 or 7% of overall contributions. That same candidate was reimbursed $300 for expenses incurred on behalf of the effort.
Fat Cats – The Democrats:
Excluding the Democratic Party contribution of $7,000, the top percentage donors to the Democrats in this election included:
- 22% ($4,330) from a politically active Rye household that recently secured a substantial property assessment reduction.
- 11% ($2,050) from one of the three Democratic Party candidates.
- 10% ($2,000) from a Rye household of prolific political donors exceptionally lucky over the years in matters of permits, permissions and assessments issued by Rye City Hall.
- 5% (1,000) from a Rye donor and seasonal resident of our “magical” Hen Island, which he describes further as “A perfect way to rough it, right here in Rye.”
(And, while not qualified as a top tier ‘Fat Cat,’ the Democrats also booked a contribution of $250 from a donor who was previously a Republican District Leader, Councilman and acted as Campaign Manager for a previous Republican Mayor.)
Fat Cats – The Republicans:
Excluding the Republican Party contribution of $0, the top percentage donors to the Republicans in this election included:
- 90% ($13,000) combined from five local residential builders (70%) and (20%) from one recent custom home client of one of the builder contributors.
- 7% ($1,000) from one of the three Republican candidates.
- 3% ($505) from all 6 other non-builder related contributors combined.
- No other current or prior GOP councilmember or GOP mayor apparently gave a dime of reported financial support to their Republican ticket.
And, regarding this apparently coordinated ‘midnight hour’ delivery of a Republican ‘money bomb,’ NYS campaign contribution disclosure laws exist for a reason. City residents can draw their own conclusions concerning these activities, but it’s fairly obvious this party has serious transparency issues, among others.
Lastly, your humble commentator here – contributed $0 to either campaign – was recently awarded a property assessment reduction by one court, then had it taken away by another – worked behind the scenes in this election to educate and promote those he thought would help bring transparency and accountability back to Rye – and split his votes over both parties.
Ted Carroll is a lifelong Rye resident, a Certified Public Accountant, and a partner at Noson Lawen Partners, a media industry private equity firm.
Want more? Enjoy reading Carroll's source documents and do some sleuthing yourself: