YORKTOWN, NY – The Yorktown Democratic Party is once again in hot water for running afoul of state campaign finance laws. Democratic candidates Ilan Gilbert, Vishnu Patel, Alice Roker and Aviah Cohen Pierson expect to compete in the September 12th Independence Party Primary, yet neither the candidates nor the town’s Democratic committee has filed the 32-day pre-primary report required by state law, which was due on August 11th.
Yorktown GOP Chairman Matt Slater said, “The Yorktown Democratic candidates talk about transparency but their actions show they are leaving voters in the dark. The Democratic Committee has a long, undignified history of mocking Yorktown residents by skirting both the letter and the spirit of campaign finance laws. People are tired of the Democrat’s ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude. For a group of candidates who have collectively held office for nearly forty years, it’s amazing they didn’t know they had to file a standard form with the Board of Elections.”
In 2015, the-Yorktown Democratic Supervisor candidate failed Vishnu Patel to comply with New York State campaign finance law. Patel, in his 32-day pre-general election filing, reporting making a single expenditure for $40,000 to Frankin Baraff Communications of Somers, raising questions over how recent direct mail solicitations and newspaper ads stamped “Paid for by Friends of Vishnu Patel” have been funded.
A complaint filed at the Board of Elections indicated that Patel’s refusal to submit the proper paperwork prevents both the New York State and Westchester County Board of Elections from properly reviewing how Mr. Patel and spent the $40,000 he supposedly paid for certain services. Patel was later forced to amend his campaign finance filings by the Board of Elections rather than face penalties from the independent special enforcement counsel as the New York State Board of Elections.
“If the Democratic candidates are not aware of the basic campaign finance disclosure laws, they are not fit to manage a town of 37,000 people with a multi-million dollar budget,” Slater added. “Much like the 2015 controversy where they disclosed the private data and e-mail addresses of town residents for political purposes, there is a clear pattern forming where they seem to ignore, bend or loosely interpret laws to their own benefit.”
Each of the Yorktown Democratic Committee’s candidates, as well as the Committee itself, faces a $5,000 criminal penalty for failing to file the 32-day pre-primary filing.