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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Candidates File Campaign Disclosure Forms

Candidates running for elections this fall were required to file their disclosure forms with the State Board of Elections by last Tuesday, Sept. 3, and the BOE website posted the figures this week. They shed light on how much each candidate is spending, and on what, and how much they've racked in in campaign contributions so far. You can go here to search by candidate name, contributor name or by office.

According to the reports, Sen. Pedro Espada has raised a whopping $484,855.51 in contributions since January 2009. Espada, who serves as the chair of the Senate's Housing Committee, gets a large portion of his contributions from landlords. By the Bronx News Network's calculation, he received nearly $200,000 from groups or individuals associated with building management and real estate (he's also been criticized by pro-tenant groups who say progressive housing legislation has stalled since Espada took over as committee head).

Espada also got a recent donation from Hank Sheinkopf, a political consultant whose expertise on the race has been quoted in media outlets like the Daily News, the New York Times, and this one.

"So what?" Sheinkopf said when asked about his $500 contribution. "My analysis has nothing to do with who I give money to.”

As for what Espada's spent, it's not even half of what he's raised: he listed $191,068.76 in campaign expenditures this year. A lot of that was on printing and mailing campaign literature, and a little over $36,000 went to Gil Rentas, a video production company (maybe for this TV spot?). Other expenses include a few thousand on school supplies, which he handed out in his district a few weeks ago, $14,000 in contributions to other political campaigns, and $3,243 to the State Board of Elections for violation fees (Espada has a history of failing to file his campaign disclosure reports.)

Rival candidate Gustavo Rivera--now the only remaining challenger, since lawyer Dan Padernacht dropped out this weekend--pulled in $187,883.80 in contributions since he launched his campaign in May. Much of that came in the form of smaller donations from individuals, as well as bigger funds from the many unions and organizations that have endorsed Rivera over the last month or so (like 1199 SEIU, the Committee of Interns and Residents, and a number of other labor groups.)

Rivera has in turn spent $114,667.84, much of it going to consulting costs, campaign literature, paying staff, and to "technical services" at ActBlue, a fundraising website for Democratic candidates.

Both Rivera and Espada will have to file a final disclosure report for the primary by Sept. 24.


  1. I disagree with Sheinkopf. It almost like Pete Rose betting on baseball. For some reason Sheinkopf wants to see Espada re-elected. He is not an unbiased analyst. At the very least he should not have let the NYTs publish this without correction:

    “They think he’s a vulnerable giant, and what better way to make your bones and become powerful than by killing the giant,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a veteran political consultant who is not involved in the campaign.

    "not involved in the campaign"? $500 says otherwise.

  2. Is Hank Sheinkopf kidding?

  3. And let me just add that now that this info is out the Times, the News, and other media outlets should immediately stop reporting his analysis on this race... if not others, too.

    You can be sure I won't be calling him.

  4. Not a penny for staff?

    Espada for State Senate - your tax money at work.

  5. To Anon at 9/7 5:08:

    You don't know he's paying them tax money. They could be paid by Soundview.

    Or maybe he's giving them a "certificate" when they're done working!

  6. I was also intrigued by the contribution from Knickerbocker Communications of Port Washington. According to Manta.com, the principal of that outfit is David Keisman, co-publisher of the Bronx Free Press with Luis Miranda.

  7. Sheinkopf got $50,000 from the DSCC as a consultant.


    Was this $500 a way for the DSCC to funnel money to Espada indirectly?

    Why exactly are your supporting Pedro, Mr. Sheinkopf? A very strange thing for anyone other than a landlord to do.

    BTW -- about $25,000 from this current disclosure appears to be from one landlord -- Larry Gluck and his (MUCH LESS THAN) Stellar Management. Read just one example of the horror this landlord has brought to the Bronx:


    If anyone doubted that Pedro is a tool of landlords this report wipes away all doubt. His so-called "Rent Freeze Bill" is written by and for landlords. He systematically blocked all the most progressive, pro-tenant bills passed by the NYS Assembly for the last two years.

  8. Besides the fact that there is no indication that anyone is being paid to do campaign work, the NY Post points out another interesting inconsistency in Espada's most recent campaign finance filing. The report alleges that he paid $17,000 to Hunts Point Terminal Market (pretty round figure -- Mr. Espada didn't pay tax?). As the Post points out, you don't buy "Fruits and Veggies" from the Market -- you buy from particular vendors in the market. Additionally -- where did he buy the other food he gave out? I definitely saw cereal (generic corn flakes) and I think pasta at the giveaway on Saturday. The state campaign finance web site is down at the moment -- but I don't recall any line about other food purchases when I looked at it yesterday. What about all those trucks and vans he had to bring the food to the various distribution sites? Where did the vehicles come from? Was there anything in the report? I honestly don't recall at the moment but it is something to look for in the report. Let's not forget he's had this operation in place for quite some time --months before August 25th when he allegedly paid someone at Hunts Point market. If this report is accurate then someone at Hunts Point gave him credit, aka, a loan. That would have been required to be reported in his previous filings. It was not.

    Link to NY Post story:


  9. Campaign Finance site is back up. I saw nothing that tells us where he bought food other than "Fruits and Veggies". Nothing that indicates he rented trucks or vans either.

    The school supplies numbers look very low -- a little over $1300? He clearly has given out more supplies than he could purchase for that amount. And there is no indication where he bought these supplies.

    Something else that hasn't been mentioned -- his old amigo, Carl Kruger gave him $8500. From what I've read Carl's opponent has dropped out of the race. Too bad. To our good government friends in Brooklyn -- let's get moving on finding someone to oust Kruger in 2012!

    Any friend of Espada is an enemy of reform. I've got my eye on Mr. Sampson today too -- as he appears with Mr. Espada at Bronx Community College for what is billed as an Immigration Forum but is clearly a campaign stunt. If it really were just a community forum to help immigrants it could have been scheduled next Wednesday -- after the primary.

  10. My apologies for a mistake in the last post --the Espada/Sampson Immigration Forum is Thursday the 9th, not today.

  11. Just ran into another quote from Sheinkopf about the race. Jeanmarie --it's another one of your articles on the campaign. This is from April 2010 when candidates were still emerging:


    But some say a race against incumbent Espada could be an uphill battle.
    “She’s gonna be outspent and outgunned,” said veteran Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who said Pilgrim-Hunter will need major funds—at least $1.5 million—and a lot of campaign work to compete.

    “Espada knows how to campaign,” said former Bronx councilman Israel Ruiz, Jr. “He’s been around for 30 years, he’s worked his areas, he’s raised a lot of money.”

    Others echoed these sentiments, reiterating that Espada has money, experience, a well-known name and friends in high places—all factors that make an incumbent difficult to beat.
    “No incumbent is [defeated] without a negative argument,” Sheinkopf said. “What’s the argument?”

    Was Sheinkopf an undercover flack for Espada all along? Clearly this quote was meant to convince potential candidates to take a pass, telling them they will need to raise "at least $1.5 million dollars" That's an absurd amount and the only reason I can imagine for him to throw that out would be because he was trying to keep candidates out of the race.

  12. In the "Politics/Strange Bedfellows" department.

    Hank Sheinkopf is working for Andrew Cuomo but giving money to Pedro Espada.

    See NY Observer article from July:


    Does Cuomo care that he has retained an Espada supporter? Can a reporter please ask Mr. Cuomo?

  13. Sheinkopf still being quoted on this race:


    "Gustavo Rivera has not won a race. Pedro Espada has in that district, don't underestimate him. Can Espada win? Sure. Can he lose? Sure. We don't know because it will all depend on turnouts," said Democratic Strategist (AND FINANCIAL SUPPORTER OF PEDRO ESPADA) Hank Sheinkopf.

    Of course the words in the parentheses are mine. A responsible and diligent news outlet should have told its viewers. NY 1 failed.

  14. I'm having so much fun reading what is being said here about Espada that I couldn't help but comment and let you all know that on Tuesday, Espada will win re-election. Want to know why? Simple - the voters go by who they know and Gustavo is a complete stranger to the voters of the 33rd. You CAN'T argue that. Remember, better a known devil than one to know so at the end of the day, the voters will overwhelmingly re-elect Espada (the one that is hated so much by this blog)

    Oh and by the way, the mayority of the voters are not us (Whites), they're Latinos so they don't even know that this blog (and its paper) even exists. Point? what we say here, stays here :)

  15. An Espada supporter playing the race card -- is anyone surprised?

    Some facts they don't like to consider:

    Latinos are rejecting Espada (see El Diario -- and just talk to Latino voters!) For all his talk of being a the highest ranking Latino in NYS, many Latinos are embarrassed by him. Listen to BP Diaz in the community -- he is making this point over and over again and people are listening.

    Latinos historically have voted at a much lower rate than whites and blacks in the district. I hope this pattern changes. But it is a fact.

    No matter who you are -- get out and vote. Dispel the myths about us in the 33rd.


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