Monday, September 12, 2016

NYS BOE Urged to Probe Firm Over Illegal Link

A new complaint seeks a formal New York State Board of Elections (BOE) probe into a political consulting firm that did work in 2014 for not only two Senate Democratic candidates, but the Super PACs that supported them, but they were not legally allowed to coordinate their activities.

The complaint, recently filed by Hudson Valley resident Lindsay Fitzgerald with BOE Chief Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman, contends there was illegal coordination by Millennial Strategies.

By law, Super PACs, also known as Independent Expenditure Committees, can raise and spend unlimited amounts as long as there is no coordination with the Campaigns they are supporting.

Millennial Strategies in 2014 was paid $292,119 in consulting by the ultimately failed Senate Campaign of Adrienne Esposito, a Suffolk County Democrat, and $36,200 by Justin Wagner, a Hudson Valley Dem who also lost his Senate bid.

At the same time, Millennial Strategies was also doing work for the New York League of Conservation Voters PAC, which was an Independent Expenditure Committee backing the Esposito and Wagner races, and New Yorkers for A Brighter Future, a Super PAC focused on the Esposito race on Long Island.

"I respectfully request that your office investigate and then refer for prosecution the matter of Millennial Strategies having illegal coordination with their 2014 state senate candidate clients…and their 2014 independent expenditure clients…," Fitzgerald wrote to Sugarman.

But the firm provided a copy of a 2014 memo staffers had to sign indicating the firm built a "wall" between those working on candidate campaigns and those representing independent expenditures to ensure there was no illegal cross-over or coordination.

Millennial Strategies represents a number of Democratic candidates. Some insiders dismissed the Fitzgerald complaint, which was filed two years later, as political in nature and designed to try and hurt current Democratic Campaigns in the fight over control of the New York State Senate.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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