Schenectady County

Schenectady Legislature candidates late on election filings

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Neither candidate running for a Schenectady County Legislature seat representing the city filed campaign finance paperwork on time.

Brendan Savage sent an email out Tuesday alleging that his opponent Omar Sterling McGill was not transparent with his campaign finances. 

He alleged that McGill had not filed the most recent campaign disclosure document – the 32-day pre-general report with the state Board of Elections. That report was due Oct. 1. 

He also alleged McGill had submitted reports claiming not to have raised any funds or spent any campaign funds since May 24. 

“Simply put, Mr. McGill has knowingly filed a false instrument with the New York State Board of Elections, which is a misdemeanor. Not only are voters in the dark about where his money is coming from and being spent, but he is willfully and illegally filing information to the State Board of Elections that he knows to be untrue,” Savage said in the email. 

On Wednesday McGill chalked the issue up to a clerical error and said all paperwork would be filed and updated by the end of the week. 

“My filings are being updated as we speak,” he said. “There’s nothing we’re trying to hide.” 

McGill said his campaign treasurer, like all of his staff, are volunteers who also have full-time jobs. He is trying to stay above the attacks from his opponent and focus on letting residents know what he stands for, he said. 

McGill, who held a fundraiser Wednesday night, said residents who receive mail know the campaign is spending money.

State election filings show that Savage also didn’t file his campaign finance reports on time. His 32-day pre-general report shows it was filed on Oct. 2. His July periodic filing, which was due July 15, and his 11-day pre-primary report, which was due June 11, weren’t filed until Oct. 2. 

Savage said there was a lag between when his treasurer submitted the general report and when it showed up online.  He did not respond back on the other two filings. 

“I do believe this is far different from my opponent’s campaign knowingly filing reports saying that no money had been raised or spent since May 24,” he said. “Any voter in District 1 who received communications from my opponent in the month before the primary will know this claim to the State Board of Elections to be 100% false.”

The state Board of Elections website shows the pre-general filing was posted on Oct. 2 at 11:25 p.m.

“There should be no significant lag time, but it may not be instantaneous,” said John Conklin, the director of public information for the state Board of Elections office.

He said no one will be fined for being a day late.

“But with the electronic filing system, once the treasurer submits, it should go directly to the website,” Conklin said.

State election filings also show that Savage didn’t raise any money between June 25 and Oct. 1 and that Savage’s campaign didn’t spend money between July 11 and Sept. 27, when he used 68 cents.

Savage said he plans to raise more funds and spend more money, but that he’s reused campaign signs from the primary.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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