News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.
State Senate Republicans said Wednesday that Democratic Senate candidate Adam Haber accepted “anonymous” in-kind contributions above legal limit, an allegation Haber denied.
The Senate Republican Campaign Committee cited Haber’s most recent filing with the State Board of Elections, covering the first six months of the year. They show two “in-kind” contributions totaling $18,000 from an unidentified limited liability company (or LLC) with a Glen Rock, New Jersey, address. The maximum Senate candidates can receive from an individual in a year is $10,300.
Haber’s filing does not name the LLC or state the purpose of the two contributions, as is required by state election law. The Board of Elections treats limited liability companies as individuals, not companies.
Haber, an East Hills businessman and Roslyn school board member, is challenging Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola) in the State Senate’s 7th District.
“At minimum, there are serious unanswered questions about who is giving to Adam Haber’s campaign and why he feels the need to hide it from the public,” said Senate Republican spokesman Scott Reif.
Haber campaign spokesman Jacob Tugendrajch attributed the missing information to “a software glitch,” but said the contributions were legal because they came from two separate LLCs sharing the New Jersey address. Tugendrajch said the campaign will correct the filings in the coming days.
The Haber campaign provided Newsday with receipts showing a July 12, 2014, in-kind contribution for $9,900 from Tethys Natural for 20-ounce water bottles with “Adam Haber Democrat for State Senate” labels. The water bottles were distributed to campaign volunteers, Tugendrajch said.
A second contribution of $8,100 came from Tradewise Venture Capital, also on July 12, for water bottles, the documents show.
Both companies are owned by Matthew Trattner, records show. Tethys Natural did not respond to a request for comment, and there is no phone number listed for Tradewise Venture Capital.
Tugendrajch pointed to similar LLC contributions to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee in their most recent campaign filing. The committee received a total of 18 contributions of $25,000 each from real estate LLCs, all with the same address on Union Turnpike in New Hyde Park.
“The Senate Republicans must be joking,” he said. “It takes some nerve to level this false attack when the Senate Republicans themselves accepted $450,000 in a single day from 18 different LLCs located at the same address.”
Reif countered that there are no limits on how much can be contributed to their committee, “only what we can use it for.”
Corporations can contribute up to $5,000 in a calendar year to political candidates, and limits for individuals vary based on the office. For example, individuals can contribute up to $10,300 per year to State Senate candidates during the general election, and each partner in an LLC can contribute that amount.
Martins campaign spokesman Chris Schneider said “this yet again proves how hypocritical Adam Haber is. He cries for greater transparency and campaign reform but hides the source and purpose of $18,000 in donations to his own campaign.”
Tugendrajch said Martins wants to “distract” voters from his record.
Haber ran unsuccessfully for Nassau County executive last year.
The 7th Senate district has 86,965 registered Democrats, 67,470 enrolled Republicans and 53,342 individuals not affiliated with a major political party, according to State Board of Election records.