IDC Challengers Blast 8 Trump Democrats for Refusing to Return Illegal IDC Funds

August 8th deadline passes for former-IDC challengers to refund over $1.4 million of illegal campaign contributions

State Senate Candidates Alessandra Biaggi, Robert Jackson, Zellnor Myrie, and Jessica Ramos today blasted the 8 IDC senators for refusing to return over $1.4 million in illegal campaign contributions. On July 20, Chief Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman demanded that these candidates refund all illegal contributions within 20 days. The August 8th deadline for that refund has now passed. By continuing to use these contributions to fuel their campaigns, all 8 candidates are flagrantly breaking New York election law.

“The core of the IDC from the beginning was collecting campaign donations from special interests and lobbyists and working with Republicans to do their bidding. They cooked up this scheme to use the corrupt Independence Party to get even more special interest money. Showing there is no honor among traitors, Klein has much more campaign cash than his IDC collaborators, but still grabbed the most Independence Party funds. They should follow the law and return the money,” said Alessandra Biaggi, NY-34 State Senate Candidate. “And while they are at it, they should drop the Independence Party line, since being on that line will help elect Republicans when we need to retake Congress. Klein and the other IDC members should do the right thing for a change—return the dirty money, drop the dirty Party line.”

"Two years ago, my opponent Marisol Alcantara won by just one percent after taking $538,000 in SICC money through this fundraising scheme that the State Supreme Court ruled was illegal. This year, instead of complying with State laws and returning the money, she has doubled down and continues to take more and more of this dirty money. It’s time she plays by the rules and gives the money back,” said Robert Jackson, NY-31 State Senate Candidate. “It's not enough to talk the talk. Voters need a new Senator who will walk the walk. I will fight for campaign finance reform, a real Democratic progressive majority and to create a New York that works for all of us." 

"Campaign finance laws aren't suggestions - they designed to keep our democracy healthy and honest. The 'former' IDC members have shown their blatant disregard for our democratic safeguards by keeping these campaign contributions. This is not only wrong, it is illegal,” said NY-20 State Senate Candidate Zellnor Myrie. "By refusing to return this money, the IDC is showing us yet again that their real interests lie with their donors instead of their constituents."

"From its inception, the IDC has been morally bankrupt,” said NY-11 State Senate Candidate John Liu. "Therefore, it should be no surprise that Tony Avella is not giving the money back, as he's been ordered to do by the top cop of the State Board of Elections. Thanks to fierce grassroots activism and this slate of worthy challengers, the IDC will be voted out in September." 

"New Yorkers have a right to free and fair elections. The traitor IDC Democrats block that right by failing to return illegal campaign funds. Jose Peralta and the IDC are more interested in winning by breaking election law than they are invested in representing their communities," said State Senate Candidate for NY-13 Jessica Ramos."The courts said this money is illegal. The Board of Election said this money is illegal. Enough is enough—it's time to vote Peralta out."

"The former IDC members have not done what is right for almost a decade. They had an alliance with Republicans which granted them access to power and money. Instead of returning the illegal contributions, the former IDC members decided to keep it," said NY-23 Democratic State Senate Candidate Jasi Robinson. "I am asking the voters to do what is right and support us on September 13, 2018."

In Past 6 Months Alone, IDC Members Funneled $749,950 In Illegal Senate Independence Campaign Committee Donations

The Senate Independence Campaign Committee allows the IDC to rake in hundreds of thousands from Republicans and special interests, from real estate developers and hedge fund billions who support charter schools. In early June, the arrangement was deemed illegal by the NY State Supreme Court. Nevertheless, a significant portion of each IDC members’ funds comes from the SICC. 

Recent SICC funders include $25,000 from the Real Estate Board PAC, $25,000 from real estate developer Gary Barnett, and $25,000 from New Yorkers for Students First. In total, the IDC funneled $749,950 in illegal SICC donations into their accounts during the last six months alone:

NY-34: Jeff Klein: $200,000 from SICC

NY-13: Jose Peralta: $113,500 from SICC

NY-31: Marisol Alcantara: $160,750 from SICC

NY-53: David Valesky: $36,000 from SICC

NY-38: David Carlucci: $62,000 from SICC

NY-20: Jesse Hamilton: $109,700 from SICC

NY-11: Tony Avella: $68,000 from SICC

IDC Challengers Are Building Strong Grassroots Support

Excluding SICC donations, the eight IDC members received just 948 individual donations combined, while their challengers brought in over 11,000 donations during the last six months. These progressive challengers brought in more than ten times as many donations as the IDC members:

NY-53: Rachel May: $76,709.85 from 1,219 donations
David Valesky: $16,125 from 17 donations

NY-34: Alessandra Biaggi: $221,000 from 3,100 donations
Jeff Klein: $95,740.00 from 123 donations

NY-20: Zellnor Myrie: $153,357.83 from 3,744 donations
Jesse Hamilton: $55,138.00 from 209 donations

NY-13: Jessica Ramos: $129,137.83 from 1,431 donations
Jose Peralta: $69,734.00 from 238 donations

NY 31: Robert Jackson: $141,058 from 4,431 donations
Marisol Alcantara: $37,582.00 from 246 donations

NY-38: Julie Goldberg: $12,812 from 133 donations*
David Carlucci: $52,515.00 from 73 donations

NY-23: Jasi Robinson: $4,000 from 67 donations
Diane Savino: $31,600 from 31 donations

NY-11: Tony Avella: $17,645.00 from 11 donations

*Julie Goldberg declared her candidacy in June.

Alessandra Biaggi