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Oct 4, 2011 11:29 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Republicans Winning Money Race In East Hampton

Oct 4, 2011 3:05 PM

Republicans are out-raising and out-spending Democrats so far in this year’s East Hampton Town election campaign.

The East Hampton Town Republican Committee raised about $110,000 from the start of the year until September 19, which was the date of the most recent financial disclosure filing, according to State Board of Elections campaign finance records. The East Hampton Town Democratic Committee raised about $80,000 during the same period.

Republicans have outspent Democrats more than 3-to-1 so far. The Republican committee has spent $78,000 this campaign cycle on lawn signs, radio advertisements, flyers, and other supplies, while the Democratic committee has spent $25,000.

Democrats, who are trying to hold on to their two seats on the Town Board and wrest the supervisor seat from Republican Bill Wilkinson, are raising more than they did in the last election cycle by far. At this point in 2009, the party had raised only $44,000.

By this time in 2009, Republicans had raised $120,000, a bit more than they’ve come up with so far this year, as they try to hold onto the supervisor seat and clinch an all-Republican Town Board.

But local Democrats are bolstered by the East Hampton Conservators, a political action committee that advocates for the environment and has attacked Mr. Wilkinson in advertisements this year. The Conservators have raised $59,000 so far this year, and had spent $34,000 as of July 11, which was the last time the group filed a disclosure report.

Trace Duryea, chairwoman of the Republican Committee, said the Conservators’ support gives Democrats a massive financial advantage.

The biggest donors to the Republicans this election season were Peter and Mary Kalikow of Manhattan, who donated $10,000; East Hampton Point, the restaurant owned by developer Ben Krupinski, which donated $6,000; and Stanley and Barbara Arkin of Amagansett, who donated $5,000.

The biggest contributors to the Democrats so far were actor Alec Baldwin, who gave $7,500, and David Gruber of East Hampton, who gave $7,000. The Democrats also had a large infusion of cash—about $14,000—from the Suffolk County Democratic Committee in September.

The Republicans received 333 individual contributions so far, while the Democrats got 190. For both parties, about half were small donations of $100 or less.

Jeanne Frankl, chairwoman of the Democratic Committee, said her party received many of its contributions—about $35,000 worth—at a large gala at the home of a supporter, Linda James, on September 2. She said supporters have responded well to supervisor candidate Zachary Cohen and Town Board candidates Sylvia Overby and Peter Van Scoyoc, whom she called “a very experienced team.”

“We’re winning back the confidence of our constituents,” Ms. Frankl said. “And people are very, very upset about what’s going in Montauk, what’s going in Springs, about the leaf pickup issue. I think the support is based on issues.”

Ms. Duryea said the poor economy has put a damper on fundraising this year, so she was surprised that her party is just about keeping pace with fundraising in 2009. She also said a perception among Republicans that Mr. Wilkinson has put the town on the right track and will easily win reelection is hurting fundraising efforts. She said the party still has to fight, because Democrats are exploiting “emotional issues.”

Politically charged letters and emails were flying last week, in a sign that the race is heating up.

Despite the Republicans’ apparent fundraising advantage, the party leaders sent a letter to supporters last week urging them to donate because the Democrats were outspending them “7-to-1 because they have the funding of second-home owners and the Conservators.” It’s unclear how much the Conservators have spent since July.

The letter also urged supporters to vote and write letters to local newspapers.

“We need your voice to be heard,” Republican officials wrote. “Dozens of letters appear each week in our local newspapers from supporters of the opposition or big names from Hollywood. Your voice needs to be heard also.”

Last Thursday, Debra Foster, a former Democratic Town Board member, and Jennifer Mulligan sent an e-mail to subscribers of their service, East Hampton Financial Report, urging voters to oppose Mr. Wilkinson and other Republicans because they are “pushing for more commercialization and suburbanization of East Hampton.” “Your property values are in danger,” the email read.

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I would think that $80,000 plus the Conservators $59,000 (let's not kid ourselves as to where that money is coming from and going to!) = $139,000 - and that so far the Dems have actually raised more than the Republicans - for whatever it's worth..... basic math and truthfulness - something the "Conservotors", Alec Baldwin, David Gruber, Sylvia Overby, Peter Van Scoyac, Deb Foster and Zach Cohen - their new puppet - lack.
By Board Watcher (533), East Hampton on Oct 6, 11 9:57 AM
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