Under pressure from her opponent’s campaign, Democratic Socialist candidate for the 18th State Senate District Julia Salazar decided to disclose the $70,000 in unitemized donations from the past two filing periods.
The donations, which include all donations in the July and the 32-day pre-primary filings, were refiled over the past week after the campaign of State Sen. Martin Dilan (D-Bushwick, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Cypress Hills, City-Line, East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville) suggested the Salazar campaign might be hiding something in the undisclosed donations.
The Salazar campaign quickly refuted these claims, and immediately decided to make the individual donations public. The campaign disclosed over 1600 individual donations that were less than $99 over the past two filing periods. Now, there is less than $200 left in unitemized donations.
It should be noted that not disclosing the individual donations was completely legal for the Salazar campaign to do. According to New York Campaign Finance laws, there is no requirement that the donations have to be disclosed.
As long as the donations do not exceed $99, the name, the address and the total amount donated do not need to be disclosed, anything above that disclosure would be required. The only reason a candidate would disclose the donations would be for transparency reasons.
The Salazar campaign said that the Dilan campaign hinting at wrongdoing in their campaign was just an attempt to deflect from the fact that the majority of the donations to Dilan come from corporate interests and political action committees.
“We chose to itemize our donations because we’re proud of the grassroots support we’ve earned in this election. The contrast between Julia’s campaign and Senator Dilan’s is crystal clear: Over 90% of his donations come from PACs, lobbyists and big real estate, while the overwhelming majority of our donations come from individual small-dollar supporters,” Salazar deputy campaign manager Michael Kinnucan wrote in an email.
According to the disclosure report on the New York Board of Elections website, Salazar has still yet to receive a donation that is classified as a corporate donation.
The majority of Salazar’s donations are from individuals in Brooklyn and the surrounding boroughs. She has received out of state donations from Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and New Jersey, among others.
The largest individual donations came the Paul Egerman, the treasure of Democracy Alliance and his wife Joanne, who each donated $1,000 on separate occasions.
Salazar has also received $2,000 donations from the committee to re-elect Nydia Velazquez to Congress and The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America.
The primary is Sept. 13.