Harlem Democratic Boss Still Owes $200K From Failed 2016 Congressional Bid

April 20, 2017

New documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show Manhattan Democratic Party chairman Keith Wright still $202,337.72 in the hole from his unsuccessful campaign to replace retired Harlem Congressman Charles Rangel last year—with cash owed to an array of consultants, staffers and contributors, including GOP power players like former Sen. Al D’Amato and supermarket billionaire John Catsimatidis.

More than half the red ink in the ex-assemblyman’s ledger marks money donors handed him to spend in last November’s general election—a round Wright never reached, having gotten knocked out in the June primary by then-state senator and now- Congressman Adriano Espaillat. This includes cash from individual givers like Catsimatidis and D’Amato, from political action committees like the Teamsters’ DRIVE Committee and the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s Zuffa PAC, from real estate interests like Lemor Development Group and WG & Associates Management and Development, from law firms like Harter Secrest & Emery and Donaldson & Chilliest, and from the campaign accounts of fellow pols like Brooklyn State Senator Kevin Parker and New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne.

Candidates are supposed to keep general election funds separate from donations for the primary, but FEC records show the Wright 2016 committee has just $53,735.05 of the $830,542.88 it raised last year left on hand.

The filing also counts a number of outstanding bills among the campaign’s debts and obligations. These include $5,000 still unpaid to his former chief of staff—and longtime Manhattan Democratic Party law chair—Jeanine Johnson for legal services, as well as $6,250 in fees owed to powerhouse law firm Perkins Coie.

But the biggest open tabs are for literature and field work by the Brown Miller Group, amounting to almost $20,000, and for $42,000-worth of “fundraising consulting services” by Mercury Public Affairs. Mercury’s New York co-chairman Charles King is close to Wright, to the Manhattan Democratic Party, to the New York State Democratic Committee, to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and to the Rev. Al Sharpton, all of whom he has worked for in some capacity.

Via source

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