Following the Bloomberg Campaign Money Trail

News // Only in NY

The NYTimes and NY POST both reports on a recent investigation opened up by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office regarding $ 1.2 million given to the State Independence Party by the Bloomberg campaign that later went to pay John Haggerty, a Republican party operative, $750,000 for his work to secure between 200 to 300 workers for poll watching activities on Election day last November.

There would be no problem with the contribution going to the Independence Party solely for operational costs. But if the funds were directed to Haggerty for services he provided specifically to Bloomberg’s campaign, such services would then be considered a campaign expenditure. If it was left omitted from their disclosure filings it could put Bloomberg’s campaign in violation of campaign finance laws.

Here’s the tricky part though. Since it was paid directly to Haggerty’s company, Special Election Operations LLC, the lack of a transparent paper trail might prove to be an obstacle

If the money was paid to a political committee, that committee would be required to disclose, in campaign finance filings, how the money was distributed. But a company might only have to reveal how its money was disbursed when it files its taxes.

He goes on to say:

So the campaign finance filings do not indicate whether the company paid poll watchers, consultants, Mr. Haggerty alone or anyone else. And that unknown information could be at the heart of the district attorney’s investigation