Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Anthony Como Must Pay $13,000 Back to NYC CFB by Chris Bragg - City Hall News


The recent Campaign Finance Board decision fining Anthony Como $12,484 for violating campaign finance law is yet another example of this career politician's utter disregard for the law and New York' s overburdened taxpayers. Anthony Como only announced his candidacy for the State Senate after losing out on two patronage jobs; one with the Board of Elections and one as a commissioner of NYC Housing Authority.

The people of Queens deserve better than an opportunistic, unemployed politician as their State Senator. New Yorkers need a State Senator who cares about them, abides by the law and is truly interested in improving our schools, lowering taxes and creating jobs. Anthony Como has shown once again that he does not meet those criteria.

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Former New York City Council Member Anthony Como, a Republican who is running for State Senate in Queens against Joe Addabbo, must return nearly $13,000 in unspent and misspent funds to the New York City Campaign Finance Board, according to a July 22 audit released by the CFB.

The charges stem from his losing 2008 general election Council loss to Elizabeth Crowley. The repayment includes $6,800 that was spent impermissibly on phone and copy machine contracts for his campaign office that spanned well beyond Election Day, repayments of unspent campaign funds, and $100 spent on a newspaper ad for the Holy Child Jesus Team Drama Club that the CFB deemed not campaign related. The campaign was also assessed $500 in penalties.

Como, an attorney, and his Council campaign treasurer, Laura Schreiner, are personally liable to pay off the nearly $13,000 balance, which the Board must receive by August 25, according to the audit.

Como’s Council re-election campaign’s most recent CFB disclosure, filed in January 2010, showed only $5,200 in his account. After an inquiry from City Hall, Como said he would double check whether he had enough money in the account to pay the $13,000 balance.

“I’ve been busy with the State Senate campaign, but I’m going to find out,” he said. “I believe the money should be in the account.”

Eric Friedman, a spokesman for the New York City Campaign Finance Board, said that Como would likely be allowed to pay off his remaining debt through his State Senate campaign’s account.

But there is not yet enough money there to pay off the balance either: according his July 15 filing, Como had raised $17,600, had spent $13,700, and had only $3,900 on hand.

Update 4:44 p.m.

John Conklin, a spokesman for the State Board of Elections, confirmed that Como could transfer money, if he so desires, from his State Senate account to pay off debt from his Council campaign.