Home>>Finance>>Fossella’s campaign spending jumps to $66K
Fossella’s campaign spending jumps to $66K

Fossella’s campaign spending jumps to $66K

Vito Fossella has filed a recent city Campaign Finance Board (CFB), answering some of the questions about “where’s my money?” that were raised following his previous filings which showed only $113 in expenditures for a strong primary campaign.

Fossella won the Republican nomination to be Staten Island’s borough president, defeating his closest rival, Steven Matteo by approximately 400 votes.

Fossella’s CFB filings revealed that he spent $113 on credit card processing fees in the weeks leading up to the primary election. He also received $1,500 in kind contributions from a fundraiser. This despite the presence of hundreds of maroon signs across the borough lawns and a billboard at the Outerbridge Crossing. Fossella was also endorsed by James Molinaro, the former Borough President.

CFB laws require that all information be reported, regardless of whether it was paid for personally, used donated money, or donated services. These are known as In-Kind Contributions.

Fossella’s campaign strategist Dave Catalfamo claimed that the campaign was run from the basement of the candidate and was entirely volunteer. He promised that more disclosures would be forthcoming.

Catalfamo stated that the campaign was still waiting for invoices. The subsequent filings would reflect expenditures in accordance with CFB guidance.

Online records indicate that Fossella filed $65,701.69 worth of expenditures and in kind contributions to the CFB.

Nearly $14,000 of the $65,701.69 was spent on automated phone and text calls.

On June 21 and 22, 2016, registered Republican Staten Island received automated phone calls from Donald Trump. He endorsed Fossella as borough president, and encouraged voters to vote for him on primary election day.

The CITY reported that a last-minute Facebook advertisement by Newsmax Media Inc., the conservative news outlet, which promoted a story about Trump’s endorsement, cost $25,000 online. The ad is not a donation in kind and should not be reported to Campaign Finance Board because it’s a news outlet.

Matt Sollars, spokesperson for CFB, stated that “our rules protect the rights organizations that produce news reports or commentary and don’t cover expenditures to promote their work,” THE CITY.

Fossella disclosed that mailers accounted to $31,435.29; $523.21 was added for credit card processing fees, and $6964.95 for email.

Advance/SILive.com was informed by a source that the Molinaro letter, which was sent to Staten Islanders, was spent on campaign mailer accounts.

Data display cost the Fossella campaign $6,135.13.

The fundraisers at Italianissmo and The Roadhouse are still missing from the report on in-kind and expenditure.

Three fundraisers were held in total — April 29 at The Roadhouse and June 1 at Joyce’s Tavern, and June 2 at Italianissimo — which were all promoted as being paid by “Vito Folsella for BP.” The Joyce’s Tavern fundraiser can be listed as an in kind contribution.

According to a source, The Roadhouse and Italianissimo are yet to provide the documentation required to report the expenditures to the CFB.

CFB rules stipulate that candidates must keep a written record of each in-kind contribution. This includes the date of contribution, the name and address of the contributor, detailed descriptions of goods and services, fair market value, and any additional documentation required to prove how fair market value was determined.

A maximum in-kind contribution of $1,500 per individual or business is allowed

CFB states that contributions and expenditures must be disclosed in the disclosure statement. This disclosure statement must be submitted within one hour of receipt/incident in C-SMART’s financial disclosure web-based software. Contributions that are not disclosed for the time they were received will not be eligible to receive matching funds.

Fossella didn’t meet the requirements for matching funds during this disclosure period. Next disclosure period runs from July 12 through Aug. 23, with a deadline of August 27.

According to the source, the billboard was not associated in any way with Fossella’s campaign. They said that the billboard was an spontaneous gesture of support much like a lawn sign or social media post.

Catalfamo stated that Vito was humbled by the support he received from Staten Islanders. He also reflected this in his CFB filings. These filings will be continued to be updated as needed.

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