Simon Minching called for officials to enforce finance and ethics laws against not only his Republican opponent Vickie Paladino, but also incumbent State Sen. Tony Avella (D-College Point, Whitestone, Bayside, Flushing, Jamaica Estates, Fresh Meadows, Bellerose, Floral Park, Jamaica, Douglaston, Auburndale, Briarwood).
Minching, who is running in State Senate District 11, highlighted that his opponent in the GOP primary next month ended up on the Joint Commission on Public Ethics’ Delinquency List after not providing required Statement of Financial Disclosure forms.
“Mrs. Paladino is now on the JCOPE List for failing to file a critical transparency disclosure that gauges potential conflicts of interest – something punishable by up to $40,000 in fines,” said Minching in a press release.
In response, Thomas Paladino, Vickie Paladino’s son and campaign communications director, said the campaign team filed the paperwork in question.
“Everything was filed two days ago [as of August 21]. We switched our treasurer, so there was a little bit of delay getting the paper in, but everything has been filed,” Paladino said.
Paladino believed Minching attacking his primary opponent was a desperate strategy.
“The bottom line is that Simon is losing the race, and everyone knows Simon is losing the race,” he said. “He thought he was going to buy the election…[and] that is turning out not being the case. The voters have supported us tremendously, and Simon doesn’t understand all of his money is not buying the election like he thought it would,” Paladino said.
Minching also expressed concerns with Avella’s campaign receiving contributions from the Senate Independence Campaign Committee. SICC originated from the former Independent Democratic Conference that included Avella before it dissolved earlier this year.
“State Supreme Count Justice Kimberly O’Connor ordered Senator Avella to take whatever actions are necessary to comply with election law, which Chief Enforcement Counsel Risa Sugarman defined as returning money in excess of state contributions limits. So far, he is refusing to comply,” Minching said.
A spokesperson for Avella did not respond by press time.
The Democratic and Republican primary is set for Thursday, September 13th.