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Plenty Left in the Bank for Town Board, Supervisor Candidates

Campaign contribution reports filed last Friday show candidates holding $4,300 to nearly $20,000.

After political campaign contribution and expense reports were filed last week, numbers show that candidates on both sides of the aisle have plenty left in the bank to wage battle with a month left to go until Election Day.

Despite no major-party opposition, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst is still working hard to get the word out and raise funds in her first re-election bid. She started the filing period with $28,000 in the bank.

Campaign contribution documents filed last Friday show that the Independence Party member running on the Democratic line spent nearly $30,000 between mid-July and Oct. 7, while raising more than $23,000. Numbers show that over half of her expenses went to a New York City-based video production company and another $2,200 went to conduct a polling survey.

While Throne-Holst reported only 11 individual contributors since mid-July, six of them donated more than $1,250. Other contributions include $5,000 each from Smith and Wollensky Operating Corp. and Stonebrook Fund Management, both based out of New York City. She retained a balance of nearly $15,000 as of last Friday.

Write-in candidate and former supervisor Linda Kabot has just over $4,300 to spend in the final stretch. Southampton resident Susan Allen was listed as Kabot's largest contributor, donating $1,000. Kabot loaned her campaign $250 and spent more than $50 filing for voter records and absentee ballot records with the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

Democrat Bridget Fleming is the only incumbent candidate running for town council, as Republican Nancy Graboski's seat opens up due to term limits. Fleming reports a balance of almost $20,000 after receiving nearly $25,000 in donations and spending roughly $12,000 since mid-July.

The Suffolk County Democratic Committee transferred more than $13,000 to Fleming's campaign in September, and the campaign transferred $8,000 to the town's Democratic committee. Her largest individual contributor was Audrey Fleming of Virginia, with a $1,000 donation, while Fleming's largest expense was $740 for signs.

Northampton resident Brad Bender, an Independence Party member with the Democratic endorsement and a first-time candidate for town board, spent $17,620 from July to early October, taking more than $15,000 in donations and leaving him with a balance of roughly $9,000.

Bender's long list of contributors from mid-July through October — more than 100 — indicate a more grassroots campaign than his Democratic colleagues. Bender had only two contributions totaling $1,000 or more: $1,800 from Riverhead resident Jesse Goodale, and $1,000 from in Hampton Bays. He spent $3,000 on a fund raiser at and paid $7,000 to the town Democratic Committee.

Republican town board candidates Bill Hughes and Christine Scalera boasted more than 150 individual donors between the two of them.

Scalera rung in more than $24,000 in donations from mid-July through early October and paid out nearly $12,000, with $7,700 going toward a fundraiser at Dockers Waterside Restaurant in East Quogue. With 32 days to go from the filling date to Election Day, she held a balance of roughly $15,000.

Scalera earned the most corporate campaign contributions during this recent cycle, with 23 donations totaling just under $9,000. Her largest corporate donors were and Lawrence III Corp. of Westhampton, each donating $1,250.

Hughes has $13,000 in the bank for the home stretch. He raised $11,500 during the most recent cycle and spent $8,300.

Hughes lists a dozen charity expenses, including Friends of the Big Duck, East Quogue Fire Department, and Hampton Bays Rotary Club. His largest expense is $1,786 for advertising with .

He lists nearly 90 individual donors, the biggest of which came from East Quogue resident Richard Kissane at $500. Hughes' largest contribution came in the form of $1,000 from the Friends of Chris Nuzzi.                                                                 

Correction: An erlier version of this story reported that Bill Hughes' largest expense was over $17,000 in ads. That number was mistakenly reported; the correct number is $1,786.                                                                                                                          

Linda Kabot October 13, 2011 at 10:04 AM
Thank you to Patch.com for reporting on campaign contributions because elections are really about determining who can you TRUST to best represent you. It is important to note that Anna Throne-Holst ("ATH") has been accepting donations well in excess of NYS legal limit from corporations, individuals, & the Police Benevolent Association (PBA). The max. contribution that such entities can donate to a candidate's individual campaign in the aggregate per election cycle is $1880 for Southampton Town public offices . ATH has accepted several thousands of dollars in excess of that State Election Law limit for her 2011 campaign and she also violated these thresholds for her 2009 campaign. Moreover, in 2009, ATH repeatedly missed state-mandated filing deadlines for campaign finance disclosure. To date, she has not cured these over-the-limit contributions by refunding the difference back to the corporate, individual, and PBA contributors. In my opinion, it is dishonest to continue to act as if you are above the law by not refunding over-the-limit donations. Instead, her campaign committee is expending these funds as if nothing is wrong! There is an apparent lack of enforcement on this issue from the State & County Board of Elections, so unfortunately treasurers & candidates like ATH keep on violating max. limits prescribe by state law, do not aggregate contributions by donor to ensure conformity and do not cure the over-the-limit "oversights" by duly refunding the difference.
Linda Kabot October 13, 2011 at 12:24 PM
Just to follow-up on this first comment, Corporations are limited in New York State to making political donations to no more than $5000 TOTAL in a given year for all candidates or parties cumulatively. That means if a corporation wants to send $1000 to five different candidates, that equals $5000 and that corporation is "maxed-out" in terms of political contributions for the year (not the 2-yr or 4-yr election cycle, that particular year). State Board of Elections does do some enforcement of this regulation, and also the State Attorney General does do some enforcement of the prohibition on charities donating to political campaigns. However, it is incumbent on a candidate and his/her treasurer to comply with Election Law to keep within prescribed contribution limits for the particular elected position being sought and to make timely and transparent disclosures with respect to donors and expenses. Patch.com reporters should contact SC BOE Campaign Finance Unit to get the copy of the 2011 Contribution Limitations Index which clearly notes the max. aggregate a candidate can receive in the Town of Southampton local races is $1880.05 from individuals, corporations, LLC, and special interest groups. (The 2007 and 2009 limit was $1896.90.) ATH's campaign fund, by my calculation on what she has disclosed to date from 2008 through 10/3/11, has in excess of $11,800 in over-the-limit contributions that have not been cured through corrective refunds and amended disclosure reports.
Hazel Wilkonson the First October 13, 2011 at 01:05 PM
More vindictive sniping? Please give us a break, Ms. Kabot. Is Southampton Patch going to be your official campaign site?
Linda Kabot October 13, 2011 at 01:35 PM
No, Ms. Wilkonson - I have an official campaign site -- www.LINDAKABOT.com. And, it's not vindictive sniping - it's about the facts, the truth, and first amendment rights of free speech for opposing views. It's about CHOICE and TRUST. I note that in your other post you depicted me in a Darth Vader costume - just because I spoke out on the lack of a bonafide public hearing on the 2012 budget before Election Day. The taxpayers deserve to have an opportunity to speak ON THE RECORD before Election Day and after Election Day on the 2012 Budget proposals under discussion by their elected officials - not just one official hearing before the state deadline of Nov. 15, and to be scheduled for Wed. Nov 9, the day after Election Day. I apologize if you took offense to my viewpoint - so much so, that you created a Darth Vader image for me as your likely partisan response, but I will continue to stand up for the taxpayers of this town ...
Hazel Wilkonson the First October 13, 2011 at 01:47 PM
Ms. Kabot, the portrayal of you as Darth Vader (created by someone else and sent to me as entirely appropriate political satire) has nothing to do with partisanship - I simply don't like you as a candidate. Instead of giving credit where credit is due, you take it for your own while at the same time not taking responsibility for your own actions. Your posts, like your time sent in politics, are defensive and vindictive.

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