[NOTE: Printed below is an article that appears in today’s Staten Island Advance about the Congressional race in CD 11 which also includes Hank. While we’re pleased that Hank is mentioned, as is usual with the mainstream press, when mentioning the Green Party, it’s only as an “also running.” But a little bit more troubling is the way in which it’s mentioned that Hank’s campaign hasn’t submitted filings to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). It’s a factual statement – we haven’t – but it may give the impression that the campaign is not being forthcoming about contributions. The fact is, until the campaign raises $5,000.00 in contributions, FEC filings are not required. In order to avoid any appearance of impropriety, and for the sake of transparency, we will be filing with the FEC shortly. We realize now that aside from transparency, by filing with the FEC, the campaign will be taken more seriously, and give debate and forum organizers one less reason to not extend an invitation to participate. Now, send us contributions so there will be something to report. ]
Donovan, Reichard race for Congress yet to heat up
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The race for Congress is off to a slow start, as Rep. Daniel Donovan seeks his first full term in Washington, D.C. and faces a challenge from a longtime political activist but first-time candidate.
Donovan (R-Staten Island/Brooklyn) was chosen in a special election last May to fill the remainder of Michael Grimm’s term after Grimm pleaded guilty to tax fraud and resigned.
Donovan, running in November for a full, two-year term, will face Democrat Richard Reichard, former president of the Staten Island Democratic Association and a retired member of the city Department of Finance.
Henry “Hank” Bardel will run on the Green Party line for the third time, after running against Grimm and Democrat Mark Murphy in 2012, and against Grimm and Democrat Domenic Recchia in 2014.
All three candidates filed their designating petitions with the city Board of Elections recently, Donovan for the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform Party lines; Reichard for the Democratic Party line and Bardel for the Green Party line.
Only one general objection was filed against Reichard’s petitions, but no specification followed, so the petitions will stand.
No objections were filed against Donovan’s or Bardel’s petitions.
The Donovan and Reichard campaigns recently filed with the Federal Election Commission reports of their respective fundraising activities for the first quarter of this year.
Reichard was selected as the Democratic nominee in the beginning of March, and with the campaign filing period running from Jan. 1 to March 31, Reichard had little to show for the first filing.
Reichard raised $2,675 from four individuals who donated to the campaign.
“The numbers are low because we had to file right after we announced the campaign, there was no chance to even raise money,” said Reichard campaign spokesman Roy Moskowitz, a Staten Island-based political consultant.
Moskowitz said the candidate’s first fundraiser was last weekend at a private home in St. George.
He said he expects a more honest assessment by the end of the summer, two quarterly filings away from now.
Bardel has no reports filed with the FEC.
Donovan, on the other hand, began the quarter with $339,657. He raised $130,165 and spent $101,432, leaving his campaign with $368,390 on hand.
Thirteen thousand dollars of the funds came from eight political action committees set up by sugar cooperatives.
Campaign spokeswoman Jessica Proud said the donations came after Donovan met with the groups, not for any specific bill or policy stance.
Proud said after raising $900,000 during a little more than a two-month period for the special election, Donovan has focused on working in D.C.
“His focus was on policy and making sure that he was fulfilling the campaign promises,” Proud said. “It hasn’t been the highest priority in terms of establishing himself in Congress,” she said of fundraising.
Never a prolific fundraiser, Donovan raised the $900,000 and shortly after, there was a contentious district attorney’s race to replace him, something that Staten Islanders put a lot into as well.
“We wanted to give people a break,” Proud said. “It was a lot that we asked from people in a short amount of time.”
Like Reichard’s campaign, Proud said Donovan’s will ramp up fundraising in the summer months.