The Sudden $50,000

30 Oct

Leonard Roberto, the founder of Primary Challenge who is challenging Brian Higgins for the US Congress in NY-27 has run for other offices before, notably the State Assembly and State Senate.

In 2006, Roberto ran for the State Senate and collected a total $6400 from all sources, including $2000 from his own company.

In 2008, Roberto ran for the State Assembly from A-142, and collected    Oddly, the Board of Elections shows the “Friends of Roberto” account to be “inactive”, having been “terminated” in 2008:

So why is there a 2010 report for an account that was terminated two years earlier?  That “Friends of Roberto” account raised about $8,800, almost all of it in 2010.  Of that, Roberto and his wife contributed only $670 – $150 of it from the candidate himself in 2010.  $5600 of contributions were refunded in 2010.

Roberto established his run for congress in June 2010.  At that time, Roberto gave his campaign $150.  Carl Paladino personally donated $2400.  His campaign treasurer, and the treasurer’s wife, loaned the campaign $4300. (Repaid in August).   The state campaign “Friends of Roberto” transferred in about $7200.  The candidate is not shy about reimbursing himself for campaign expenses.

Until this year, and this congressional race, Roberto has run essentially shoestring operations with minimal financial input from the candidate himself (he had reimbursed himself more out of his campaign funds than he had put in).

Yet on October 21, 2010, Lenny Roberto donated almost $50,000 to his campaign.  Not a loan – just a straight $50k donation all at once.  That seems unexpectedly generous, given that the only reported donation Roberto ever made in a state race was $150 to himself, and another $150 in this federal campaign.

I have emailed the campaign treasurer to inquire.

10 Responses to “The Sudden $50,000”

  1. BuffaloGirl October 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    hmmmmm, weird…

  2. Christopher Smith October 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm #

    I’m guessing the donation came from “Friends of crazy insane people who like to piss away money on quixotic campaigns”

  3. BobbyCat October 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    Lenny, So far your campaign has been recycling paperclips and rubber bands, using tin-can telephones and lunching on ramen. Suddenly there’s 50 large in the till. Who’s your Daddy?

  4. Sean C. October 29, 2010 at 3:28 pm #

    quixotic… nice!

  5. Jeff October 29, 2010 at 4:35 pm #

    I don’t believe you are legally allowed to transfer money from a state account to a federal account unless that money is below contribution limits.

  6. Eddie October 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    You’re correct Jeff. And unlike state election law, the FEC has some teeth. He’ll be paying some fines for that.

  7. Brian Wood October 30, 2010 at 5:30 am #

    Talk of campaign financing always makes me want to rent a howitzer, stick my head in the business end and fire away to get rid of the headache in my eye.

  8. Hapklein October 30, 2010 at 5:38 am #

    I watch the incredible flow of money with a feeling that it is such a flood all restraints and regulation will be just washed away.
    Wall Street, the Insurance Empire and the Karl Rove cornucopia have turned the so called political process on its head.
    There is not a race in this nation that is not being part of the enterprise of returning the nation back to Reaganomics and the protection of wealth.
    By the time they are done there will be a larger price than merely extending the Bush tax cuts.
    In September there was some discussion of a constitutional amendment to reverse the Roberts opening of the faucets. If the RNC succeeds you can be sure its a dead issue.
    Politicians are generally pretty stupid but they never bite the hand that feeds.

  9. Ward October 30, 2010 at 10:55 am #

    Kind of makes you pine for John Huang, Pauline Kanchanalak, Algore’s Buddhist temple nuns, and the days when the Democrats loved Mystery Money, eh?

  10. big B November 2, 2010 at 8:17 am #

    BobbyCat is right, it’s been paperclips and lunching on Raman, but what does that have anything to do with a jump in campaign contributions.  I don’t understand the attempts to slander someone obviously fed up and trying to make a difference.  Let’s look at the numbers.  During this race, Higgins had campaign finances to the tune of $1,036,950.  Lenny had $39,185 to work with.  Higgins obtained these from Law Firms and Transportation Unions, Lenny obtained his from Veterans and the retired community.  After looking at the incredible disparity between financing during this race, focusing on one $50,000 contribution to a candidate who has competed in this race on a shoestring budget is just idiotic.  What kills me is how someone can put so much effort into identifying the source of funding, (totaling less than 10% of Higgins campaign fund) and care so little about the actual issues around the candidate.   I think a congratulations is in order for running such a compelling race with such little resources.  
    Just a thought.

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