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Home Government 2017 RYE CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS – FOLLOW THE MONEY. GUEST COLUMN FROM...

2017 RYE CITY COUNCIL ELECTIONS – FOLLOW THE MONEY. GUEST COLUMN FROM TED CARROLL

by Ted Carroll, Guest Columnist

Ballot Cash

Goodbye ‘All Rye,’ another Joe Sack/Tony Piscionere GOP vessel hauling in big money late on the sly, but their builder fan-boys this time deserted, so they died.  High-bench-gavel-banging couldn’t save them from their landslide loss, inevitable when our residential property rights they tried first secretly – then overtly – to toss.

Welcome ‘Moving Rye Forward,’ grass roots resistance with a pure veneer, advised first privately and now openly by some of Rye’s worst offending public profiteers. Their past crimes, sadly yet unpunished, have adorned these pages; let’s hope our new enlistees – Josh, Sara, Julie & Ben – are perceptive, honest sages.

A recent national survey found 78% of American voters now believe most politicians break the rules to help people who give them a lot of money with 59% of voters believing a contribution of $10,000 or less will buy influence with a local elected official while 25% of voters believe a local pol can be bought for only $1000 or less. Our local print media outlets rarely look back and summarize local election contributions and disbursements even though public records in NY are easy to access online. So this month let’s once again take the advice of that famous Watergate shadow figure and use public records to – follow the money. All amounts & percentages are rounded.

Overview:

Rye Democrats raised more than twice as much in outright political contributions as Rye Republicans ($53,844 vs. $24,820) and from 162 separate donors v. 55 for Republicans. The Rye GOP however made up some of the gap in late disclosed campaign loans, totaling $17,735, ostensibly from 3 local lenders, including $16,936 apparently from former Mayor Joe Sack and $375 from former councilman Terrance McCartney, the two leaders of the ‘All Rye’ GOP ticket. This brought the GOP war chest up to $42,556, still more than $10k less than the 2017 Democrats “Moving Rye Forward” ticket and a whopping $20,439 less than the $62,994 that the GOP’s Joe Sack helmed ‘Rye United’ ticket raised just 4 years prior.

Raising & Spending – The Democrats:

  • Fat Cats: The Rye Democratic Party contributed $3000 and the Dem Chair and her husband gave another $2000, which combined accounted for 9% of the total amount Democrats raised. The 4 candidates and their relatives contributed an impressive aggregate of $8020 or 15% of all Democratic contributions.
  • The rest of the $53,844 came in increments between $1 and $1000 from another approximately 150 individual donors, including a $200 contribution from a previously institutionalized Ex Rye City GOP Councilwoman.
  • Democrats started raising the earliest with several thousand dollars of contributions recorded in early July.
  • Democrats spent heavily – $53,407 of their $53,844 raised or almost 100% of their pot. Big recipients of Democratic spending largess included AlCHAR Printing Group at $14,421 or 27% of spend, The Rye Record (who’s publisher publicly campaigned on behalf of them) at $8640 or 16% of spend, Postage of $7480 or 14% of spend, Kelly Designs at $6400 or 12% of spend, and Hometown Media Group (the bankrupt publisher of The Rye City Review) received $3375 or 6% of their total spend.

Raising & Spending – The Republicans:

  • Fat Cats: The Rye Republican Party contributed $7000 and the wife of the GOP party boss added another $1000, which combined accounted for 32% of contributions. Local builder industry interests contributed a shockingly minuscule $3500 or 14% combined vs. the $19,250 or 31% combined that Rye United had raised just 4 years prior. A local car dealer also contributed $2000 or 8% of the total 2017 contribution amounts the GOP raised.
  • The rest of their $42,556, excluding the campaign loans, came in increments of between $1 and $1000 from another approximately 48 individual donors. Perhaps tellingly, ‘All Rye’ candidate running mates Susan Watson and Elizabeth Parks apparently gave not even one thin dime, combined, to their own campaign.
  • Republicans apparently raised nothing until the first week of September when their $17K+ of campaign loan funding was apparently secured. Those loans would not be publicly reported until 13 days prior to Election Day and it is unclear if the large amount Mr. Sack advanced came from his own pocket or the pockets or others unnamed. As many here recall, a GOP ‘All Rye’ election flyer received in June was the first of all 2017 election mailbox gifts arriving for campaign season. How the printer/mailer of this scholarly literature was incentivized to advance its charges could be cause for yet another Rye investigation.
  • Republicans also spent heavily – $41,322 of their $42,556 total of raised and loaned. Big recipients of GOP spending largess included Executive Star Services (Westchester GOP Party Chair Doug Coltey’s printing & mailing firm) at $30,348 or 71% of spend, $2880 to The Rye Record or 7% of spend, $1370 to Signs Plus or 3% of spend, and $1125 to Hometown Media Group (owner of the bankrupt Rye City Review) or another 3% of spend. To my knowledge, the publishers of both of these papers did not actively publicly campaign for the GOP ticket.

Lastly, your humble commentator here, contributed a total of $0 to either Rye campaign, didn’t publicly campaign for or endorse any Rye candidate or party, used this monthly column throughout 2017 to educate voters on the bi-partisan issues of public corruption and wrongdoing in Rye – then went out in November of 2017 and voted for all Rye Democrats.

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:

Rye Democrats – 2017 Contributions

Rye Democrats – 2017 Disbursements

Rye GOP – 2017 Contributions & Loans

Rye GOP – 2017 Disbursements

National Survey Results – Politician Trust & How Much Money Buy’s a Pol

See other recent MyRye columns from Carroll here –

HOSED. RYE TAXPAYERS SLAMMED BY APPARENT UNDERREPORTING FRAUD

SERIES PART 8 – A TALE OF TWO CITIES: RYE OFFICIALS HIDE EMPLOYEE WRONGDOING, RECORDS TAMPERING IN MUNICIPAL GOLF GREEN’S FIASCO.

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