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Putnam GOP asks FEC to look at Maloney's campaign spending

Oct 02, 2018 12:00 pm
Chris Bragg is reporting for the Times Union the chairman of the Putnam County Republican Party has filed a complaint accusing Democrat U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of violating federal election law by running in the Democratic primary for state attorney general and for Congress at the same time. Maloney lost the four-way Democratic primary for state attorney general in September to New York City Public Advocate Letitia James. Thereafter, he resumed his re-election bid for his Hudson Valley congressional seat against Orange County Legislator James O'Donnell. GOP party chair Anthony Scannapieco, an O'Donnell supporter, filed a complaint last week asking for a formal Federal Election Commission investigation into Maloney's campaign spending. The complaint centers on how Maloney maintained two campaign accounts in the same election year — one for his Congressional re-election campaign and the other for the attorney general primary. While the re-election campaign caps donations at $2,700, the account supporting his attorney general race was able to take unlimited donations from the same people, under the so-called LLC loophole in state election law. According to Republicans, that gives Maloney an unfair advantage over O'Donnell. Maloney's dual campaigns raised legal questions on several fronts, but he was ultimately allowed to continue after surviving court challenges. In response to the complaint, Maloney's campaign said O'Donnell is the one who actually violated campaign finance laws, noting he has been cited four time by the FEC for various reasons, including taking money beyond the allowable limit. "When you're trying to sell a candidate and a platform that nobody wants, filing bogus complaints is the only way to get media attention," said Maloney campaign spokesman Ian Lee. Maloney has denied that he ran for attorney general as a way to give himself an advantage in the congressional race. He has represented the 18th Congressional District since 2013. Read the full story in the Times Union.
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