Rep. Anthony D'Esposito (R-Island Park) raised $675,000 in contributions in...

Rep. Anthony D'Esposito (R-Island Park) raised $675,000 in contributions in the first quarter of 2023. Credit: Howard Schnapp

WASHINGTON — Freshman Long Island Rep. Anthony D’Esposito reported a big haul in campaign cash during the first three months of this year, thanks to his active fundraising and contributions from Republican politicians and donors across the nation.

D’Esposito, an Island Park Republican who flipped a reliably Democratic seat in the 2022 election, raised $674,520 during the first quarter. It included a donation of $138,650 from a joint fundraising committee set up by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

House Republican leaders also contributed to Long Island Republican congressmen Nick LaLota of Amityville, who in the quarter raised $459,883, and Andrew Garbarino of Bayport, who collected a total of $387,340, filings with the Federal Election Commission show.

But Rep. George Santos (R-Nassau-Queens) — who faces state and federal investigations for ethical, financial and congressional fundraising issues — received no contributions from Republican funds or officials. He reported a net loss for the first quarter after he refunded more donations than he raised. 


  • First-term Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-Island Park) raised $674,520 during the first quarter of this year, including $138,650 from a joint fundraising committee set up by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
  • House GOP leaders also contributed to new Rep. Nick LaLota (R-Amityville), who in the quarter raised $459,883, and Andrew Garbarino of Bayport, who collected a total of $387,340.
  • Rep. George Santos (R-Nassau-Queens), who faces investigations involving financial and congressional fundraising issues, received no money from GOP committees or officials.

D’Esposito, one of the top targets for Democrats in next year’s election, raised in this year's first quarter nearly half the $1.4 million he collected last year. His fundraising in 2022 drew several FEC questions and a complaint with the FEC by a liberal advocacy group. The FEC also raised multiple questions about LaLota's filings.

D’Esposito and LaLota are among six first-term New York Republican congressmen included on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s list of 31 Republicans nationally it aims to defeat in 2024 using a $45 million war chest.

More money from special interests than individuals

The Long Islanders have raised much more from special interest and political action committees than from individual donors so far this year compared with the 2022 election cycle, records show.

LaLota last month told Politico the attention stirred by the lies and actions of Santos has “scared off” Republican donors. 

But LaLota spokesman Will Kiley said the campaign's individual contribution percentage is on par with that of other first-year House members of both parties.

D’Esposito’s spokesman Matt Capp did not address the drop in individual contributions.

“D’Esposito’s record of fighting for safe streets and affordable communities has attracted significant interest from a vast array of supporters, and we are currently seeing this base of support rapidly expand,” Capp said in a statement. 

FEC questions

D’Esposito's fundraising last year prompted FEC questions on five of the seven campaign finance reports he filed last year. The FEC asked about excessive contributions, funds from unregistered state and local committees and possibly illegal donations from corporations.

D’Esposito’s campaign finance committee responded with amendments that redesignated funds from primary to general election purposes or refunded contributions the FEC had questioned. The committee also certified that the contributions from unregistered committees included no federally prohibited sources, such as corporations.

“This is a normal process and every contribution to D’Esposito’s congressional campaign fully complies with all federal laws and regulations,” Capp said in a statement.

Campaign finance attorney Brett Kappel said it is not uncommon for first-year officeholders to draw several FEC questions, although the numbers for D'Esposito and LaLota are on the high end. 

New complaint against D'Esposito

Last week, the liberal advocacy group End Citizens United filed FEC complaints against D’Esposito and LaLota for each transferring $1,000 from their state campaign funds to their federal campaign funds, which federal election law prohibits.

“The law is intended to prevent corruption and undue influence over our leaders. These aren’t one-off mistakes; they appear to be calculated moves,” End Citizens United’s president, Tiffany Muller, said in a statement.

Kappel and other campaign finance experts agreed federal law prohibits that transfer of funds.

The End Citizens United complaint also alleged D’Esposito broke federal election law as a Hempstead Town Council member after declaring his candidacy for Congress in March 2022 by spending his local campaign funds to help his federal campaign.

With three years to go before the next town election, the complaint said, D'Esposito's local fund spent nearly $100,000 for a golf fundraiser to raise his public profile, opened a P.O. box in Washington, and paid for ads, cellphones, office rent and volunteer expenses.

Capp denied D'Esposito violated any federal election laws and called the complaint "a blatantly misleading and baseless partisan attack."

Kappel said it was one of the most common complaints to the FEC, and the interplay between local and federal campaign spending ranks as one of the most complicated issues.

"Some people have gotten fines for doing that. Others have been told it's legitimate," Kappel said. "It depends on the facts."


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