Thursday, May 09, 2013


NYPIRG issued a report indicating that my campaign failed to file dates of contributions with the Board of Elections over $100. I spoke to my brother in law who maintains my records. We checked the reports. And, the campaign contributions were filed in a timely manner--with all the information that is required by law.  I also contacted the NYS Board of Elections, It seems like there was a computer software problem--my brother in law thinks the problem lies with the NYS Board of Elections.
My brother in law re-filed the paperwork with the state last night (see below). We sent them the names, addresses, dates contributions obtained.  See the following e mail from NYPIRG and my brother in laws e mail to me.
From: Bill Mahoney

Date: Thursday, May 9, 2013 9:34 AM

To: Paul Feiner

Subject: Re: FW: NY State Board of Elections Financial Disclosure Report - July 2012

The claim that we “haphazardly rush[ed] to judgment against you” is belied by the facts that your form was indeed left with missing information and that we made clear to point out that this was a minor error that the Board should have quickly alerted you to. We said in the report that this can be seen as an “extraordinarily unimportant violation of Election Law,” and is evidence that the Board isn’t doing what they should to notify filers of problems. The real issue with this is that they cannot audit donors who may have given over the legal limit, and don’t care enough to make basic follow-ups with candidates such as e-mails mentioning that information is missing. This point was highlighted during our news conference and during every follow-up interview I have had this week.

An inset with highlighted text in the Board’s handbook does specifically tell candidates that “For each report filed with NYSBOE, please check the Campaign Finance section of NYSBOE’s website. . . to ensure the correct financial disclosure report was received. . . and that the information you provided is complete.” This quick double-check would take no more time than a tax filer needs to make sure the information they are submitting to the IRS wasn’t sent with errors. Since yours was the only committee to have missed anywhere near this number of dates – 112, with only one other filer among the 7,000 or so missing more than 6 – it seems clear that this wasn’t a widespread problem on the Board’s end, and if other candidates did encounter it, they double-checked to make sure everything was uploaded accurately.

All of this being said, I will certainly point out that you have made more of an effort than any of the other candidates named in this report to quickly correct the problem, and will reiterate that the fault for the missing information lies more with the Board, both due to their technical problems and their failure to notify you, then with your committee.

I received this e mail from my brother in law. I would be very grateful if NYPIRG would issue a correction. When people google my name they will associate me with sleezy politicians who did not comply with NYS election law. I would also be most appreciative if Newsday would publish a clarification. I have always filed campaign disclosures in a timely manner. PAUL FEINER

-----Original Message-----

From: Michael
To: feiner98

Sent: Wed, May 8, 2013 11:31 pm

Subject: NY State Board of Elections Financial Disclosure Report - July 2012


File is attached. On behalf of your campaign, I submitted reports for July 2012 and all other due dates on time and with all required information, including the dates of all contributions and expenses.

The lack of dates in the Board of Elections Report was caused by faulty software in Albany, NOT by you or your campaign.

You should forward this file to any organizations or news media that accused you of wrongdoing or associated you with any unsavory politicians.

NYPIRG should retract their statement, apologize to you and, in future cases, agree to give you the courtesy of advance notification and a chance to respond before haphazardly rushing to judgment against you.



Bill Mahoney

Legislative Operations and Research Coordinator

New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)

107 Washington Avenue

Albany, NY 12210