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Conservative Party Did Not File Campaign Finances, Appears to Violate State Law

Written By Editor on 11/20/13 | 11/20/13

The Conservative Party of Schoharie County has played a major role in local politics over the last decade under the tenure of current Chair William Hanson. From 2007 to the present it has staked out an independent tack, endorsing multiple candidates across the County for races from Supervisor to Sheriff to County Clerk.

However, as the third largest party in the County it is required to disclose financial transactions so long as they are above $1,000 total. Since 2007, there has not been a single filing.

There is every reason to believe that the Conservative Party has been involved financially in multiple races across the County. Direct evidence came this year in a mailer attacking County Treasurer Bill Cherry and Supervisors Carl Barbic, Gene Milone, and Phil Skowfoe. On the bottom of the mailer, it stated that it was paid for by the Conservative Party. Considering that 4,000 placards were printed and mailed-- it is inconceivable that the total cost was under $1,000.

When researched, there is no filing for the party at all. Not even a basic statement or a quarterly election summary. Not a mention of the mailer or its cost, as required by law.

State law is clear on the issue. On the NYS Board of Elections website there is no room for error.
Committees are required to file either an itemized campaign financial disclosure report, an In-Lieu-Of Statement (if qualified), or a No-Activity Report, as described, for each filing period: 
Itemized Campaign Financial Disclosure Report 
An itemized campaign financial disclosure report is a report disclosing the financial activity for a specific reporting period, detailed on applicable schedule(s), and where at the close of the reporting period, the aggregate of receipts or expenditures of the campaign have exceeded $1,000.
If there is no political activity or fundraising of over $1,000 the committee can report this instead and there would be no money figure attached. Still, with the creation and distribution of the infamous mailer, this does not seem plausible. Since this is the case, how could election law not be followed by a large party in Schoharie County?

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Chris 10452 said...

You're not guilty unless you're caught, are you?

Anonymous said...

William Hanson: "Stick with me, Conservative Party of Schoharie County. I'll take you places"

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