Controversy is mounting in the Mount Vernon community after a political insider told Mount Vernon Exposed a complaint was filed with federal authorities asking them to probe the campaign finances and donors of Mayor-elect Richard Thomas.
According to the New York State Board of Elections, campaign finance reports were not filed by the Thomas campaign for the past two filing periods. In a campaign where Thomas heavily outspent his opponents, the public has the right to know who is trying to and who has brought influence into City Hall.
A fundraiser held on Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at the Leewood Golf Club in Eastchester violated New York State election. The funds raised were illegal and in excess of campaign contribution limits set by law.
According to New York State election law, the following formula is applied to how much money a candidate can receive that is running for public office:
The Non-Family Limit for the Primary and the General election is Total number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.05, but at least $1,000, and no more than $50,000.
The Family Limit for the Primary and General Election is Total number of enrolled voters in the candidate's party in the district, excluding voters in inactive status, multiplied by $0.25, but at least $1,250, and no more than $100,000.
These limits are for the entire election cycle. Generally, the Election Cycle is either two or four years. Where the limit exceeds $5,000, a corporation is still restricted to its limit of $5,000 in a calendar year. But, it may give during each year of the election up to the lesser of its or the candidate's limit. The person making a contribution, as well as the person receiving it, is responsible to ensure that the limits are not exceeded.
There are 27,224 registered Democrats in the City of Mount Vernon. If the Non-Family limit formula was applied, the maximum allowed under law is $1,361.20. If the Family-Limit formula was applied, the maximum allowed under law is $6,806.00.
The contribution limit for family members is an aggregate limit from all the candidate's family members (defined as a child, parent, grandparent, brother and sister and the spouse's of those persons.)
The illegal fundraiser held by Thomas on October 7, 2015 called for donors to shell out a hefty $2,500.00 per person. This fundraiser was for the elite contractors and developers that do business and that are looking to do business with the City of Mount Vernon. In other words, the fundraiser is a fancy way of saying one must pay to play in the City of Mount Vernon.
|ILLEGAL RICHARD THOMAS FUNDRAISER FLIER|
The political insider told Mount Vernon Exposed that Thomas was previously questioned about the $2,500 per person fundraiser and that Thomas had the following explanation. Thomas said that since he was running on four lines (Democratic, Republican, Independence, and Reform) he was allowed to raise the legal amount times four. For example, Thomas said that instead of the $1,361.20 maximum allowed by law, he could collect $5,444.80 from each person. Thomas, a young upstart, is sadly mistaken.
It is disturbing that voters have entrusted 33 year old Mayor-elect Thomas with a $100M budget while Thomas seems to have difficulty getting his own campaign finances in order. Mayor-elect Thomas ran on a campaign of transparency and promised to put an end to the "clubhouse politics", however by Thomas failing to disclose how he paid for his elaborate campaign full of glitz and glamour, a cloud of suspicion will remain over City Hall. Sources say Thomas' Primary Night election bill was over $40K alone for just that one night. Mayor-elect Thomas must file his campaign financial disclosures at once.