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Review of Brooklyn GOP’s Mismanagement of Party Funds

September 29, 2009

As I’ve previously reported, according to the by-laws of the Kings County Republican Party, Article II, Section 7, the Chairman, with little or no accountability to anyone except his second-in-command (and rubber-stamper the Executive Committee Chair), has the sole discretionary power to distribute and dispense the funds of our party.

Upon review of the financial disclosures of the Kings County Republican Party, we now know that Chairman Craig “The Duke” Eaton has treated County funds as his own personal piggy bank.

I wanted to post for those that did not get to see my prior “How to Squander Money You Didn’t Earn” series what exactly the Chairman has been doing with your party’s money. For those of you deciding who you will be supporting tomorrow, I hope this informs your decision:

PARKING/TAXIS/GAS: $460.00

Most of the parking charges occur in the borough of Manhattan, in and around various locations. While no one denies the Chairman and his “Board” ought to be able to move around, and the opportunity to meet with anyone that can benefit the party, a strong suggestion is that the Chairman et al., take advantage of NYC’s public transportation system by investing a fraction of this money to purchase a MetroCard.  Riding the subways and buses, like our esteemed Mayor, will give the Kings County Republican Party Chairman the experience of what it is like to travel with the masses, and be able to relate to what real people experience every day.

RESTAURANTS: $2,423.00

One can question if these are truly necessary expenses. There are many entries listed as “County Meetings.” Meetings, especially with small groups of people, are usually held in an office.  If these are truly “Meetings,” then minutes should have been taken and made available to everyone that is part of the KCRP. But perhaps this Chairman likes to impress others with fancy lunches and dinners. Doesn’t anyone on the Executive Committee have an office in which “Meetings” can be held? Maybe the Chairman should let someone else pick up the tab once in a while.

COMMUNICATIONS – $1,120.00

This heading includes telephone, equipment, and websites. In the Housekeeping account, $442.00 was reported as an expense for Verizon telephone. It seems that the Chairman purchased new mobile phones, with the average monthly charges reflecting the market price for two phones per month. There is also an additional $341.00 dollars for wireless equipment. Perhaps internet services or more phones. These charges need to be itemized in further detail. If these funds were spent on phones, or internet services, everyone on the Executive Committee should have access to them.

There are also two charges totaling $337.45 from Network Solutions listed as “Draft Rudy”.  The website is currently blank.  While one can argue that some initiative was being taken here, there is, to date, no follow through. The question remains as to who on the KCRP Executive Committee approved this initiative, and to what avail? It is very presumptuous of this Chairman to assume that Giuliani even wants to run for Governor, and why waste over $300.00 on a possibility? If Rudy is thinking about running, then his camp and not the KCRP should foot the bill!

MEETING EXPENSES – $1,870.00

The KCRP lists two meeting areas. One is the Brooklyn Bar Association for $250.00, and the other is the Bay Ridge Manor for $1650.00. The question remains as to how many meetings did the KCRP have at these locations?  If the KCRP had met once a month for the past six months, the cost averages out to be $312.00 per meeting! Note two things, the Chairman also uses dining establishments for meetings and both of these sites are at opposite ends in Brooklyn!  With so many meetings all over the city and in Brooklyn, more accomplishments and Republican Party growth should be evident at this point. Alas, that is not the case. There must be many other diverse and centrally located meeting areas throughout Brooklyn that will charge much less rent, and make travel times more equitable for all members of the KCRP.

OFFICE SUPPLIES/POSTAGE – $714.00

One suggestion is that the KCRP needs to invest in a postal meter and send out mailings with bulk rate mail rate, if they have not already done so. Postage expenses are listed as $501.50. When this number is divided by .44 {the cost of a first class stamp}, that is equivalent to approximately 1,140 pieces of first class mail. This is not much considering the number of registered Republican voters in Brooklyn! Another $200.00 or so was spent on office supplies. Again another low figure, but not surprising as previously discussed, since the Chairman chooses to conduct the bulk of County business in restaurants, diners, and catering halls!

POLITICAL DONATIONS – $6450.00

Only one person that received a political donation from the KCRP was from Kings County. The Chairman has clearly chosen his favorites, regardless of the fact that there are many good Republican candidates from Brooklyn that can put up a competitive race in the upcoming elections. The Bronx County Republican Party received a $1600.00 donation. It is no secret that Jay Savino, the Bronx County Chair and Craig Eaton (a.k.a. the Duke of Bay Ridge) are good buddies. Look who flew together to St. Paul, Minnesota to the Republican National Convention!  As an aside, it is interesting to note that $342.00 is listed as “gifts” from the Convention.

The NYS Republican Senate Committee received $2500.00, at this point questionable at best. Two Staten Island politicians received funds, $200.00 for Andrew Lanza, and $250.00 for James Oddo, neither one in the past has shown any interest in Brooklyn or their constituency where applicable. A Robert Hornack received $250.00 for his candidacy for Queens Borough President: why? These Republican candidates are outside of Kings County, and in the past have done nothing to grow the KCRP. There is obviously no need for the Chairman to support candidates outside the borough, when it is quite obvious that the KCRP cannot take care of its own, or does the Chairman feel that many Brooklyn candidates, aside from one, are not worthy enough of any support? The creampuff of political donations goes to State Senator Martin J. Golden for $1650.00. Factor in the $1600.00 that went for renting space at the Bay Ridge Manor–a business that the Senator has a vested interest in–and the grand total is $3250.00 for the Senator.

CHARITABLE DONATIONS – $5,750.00

While any type of charitable donations can normally be considered a good thing, it seems the Chairman likes to do too much of a good thing, especially with such a tight budget to work with. The Chairman has clearly overstepped his bounds on deciding who the KCRP should donate to and to what purpose.

Over $1400.00 was donated to a Catholic organization known as the Cathedral Club, of which the Chairman and many other members of the KCRP are members. Please view http://www.thetablet.org. It is also very coincidental that this money was donated around the time of this organization’s annual dinner.

Another $1,150.00 was donated to St. Mark’s R.C. Church, as well as $300.00 to Xaverian H.S, and $2000.00 to Heartshare Human Services, and other Catholic groups.  Only two organizations that received funds from the KCRP are non-denominational: $700.00 to the Bay Ridge Community Council, and $200.00 to Bridge to Youth. All of these organizations do very good work and are deserving of much more. The question that can be raised is everyone that is part of the KCRP of the same religious affiliation? Probably not.  The KCRP is made up of people from many different backgrounds and religious denominations. It does not seem fair that the Chairman favors one religious affiliation over another.

A good point to consider is that perhaps these funds were dispersed from the KCRP in order to make up for shortfalls in budgetary reductions from certain elected Republican officials that are no longer in the majority.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES – $15,133.15

It appears the purposes for which the Chairman (aka “The Duke of Bay Ridge”) pays for professional services are very vague. Only one business—Alatsas & Taub ($7296.00)—was listed for a purpose, namely petitioning services. Listed are those individuals and businesses that received funds from the KCRP:

Oleg Atbashian – $300.00

Upstream Communications – $254.00

Gerry O’Brien – $1600.00

Prime NY – $3874.00

Executive Star Services – $559.00

Lisa Chappman – $750.00

Daniel Rodriguez – $500.00

The question still remains: what are these services for and what did they provide?

THE SCHOOL OF POLITICS – $792.00

It is common knowledge that this event was poorly advertised and attended, and it lacked any informative value. To date there has been little return on this investment, due to the lack of Republican candidates for the upcoming elections and the distribution of Wilson-Pakulas like hall passes. So what was the point? What was really gained from this event?

LINCOLN DINNER

On the one hand, this function garnered the KCRP $5400.00 in profit.

Here’s the kicker: that’s less than a 15% return on their investment. That’s terrible considering the scope, size and magnitude expected of this event. This is the main fundraising event for the KCRP.

Some cost-saving solutions? Trimming expenses, such as decreasing flower expenditures and increasing ticket sales, journal ads, and donations, need to be a top priority for future events.

INCOME – $44,218.00: Ticket sales – $36,675.00; Donations – $1415.00; Journal Ads – $6127.00

EXPENSES – $38,797.00: Catering Hall – $26,671.00; Flowers – $2,575.00; Invitations – $1899.00; Journal Printing – $4915.00; Music – $325.00; Awards – $413.00; Photo/Video – $2000.00

It’s quite obvious that there is a lack of transparency in these financial disclosures and that the Chairman has too much control over KCRP funds. It’s apparent that this is being run like a personal and private club, rather that a political organization. Over $73,000 was spent in six months, and there is little or nothing to show for it. The KCRP is in very dire financial straits because of this lack of due diligence. All those that have donated to the KCRP deserve to know where their money really went.

The current Chairman has spent this money like he’s earned it, and that is obviously not the case. The KCRP had an opening balance of $15,795.00 and contributions of $62,343.00 totaling $78,138.00. The total expenses listed are $73,763.00 with a CLOSING BALANCE OF $4375.00. This is equal to $11,420.00 less than what the KCRP started with!

Something is seriously wrong with this picture. It makes you wonder if perhaps The Duke knows he’s on his way out and doesn’t want to leave any cookies in the jar after he’s gone for the next Chairman…

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15 Comments
  1. Spyros, Gyro Maker Extraordinaire permalink
    September 29, 2009 4:38 pm

    In response to some things written about in “Review of Brooklyn GOP’s Mismanagement of Party Funds” >

    For Your Information,

    Mr. Craig Eaton and his good friend, Jay Savino (current Bronx County Chairman) are SHYSTERS! A lot can be reported about Mr. Savino’s mismanagement and negligence but this particular web site is not the appropriate place, time or forum to divulge that. The proposed Atlas Shrugs in The Bronx will have to take up that cause! Hopefully Atlas Shruggers in Brooklyn will inspire our counterparts in the four other boroughs to perform better checks and balances – and oversight.

    A shyster a slang word for someone who acts in a disreputable, unethical, or unscrupulous way, especially in the practice of law and politics.

    Robert Hornak is currently running for Queens Borough President as a Republican. His campaign info is

    http://www.hornakfornyc.com/

    Mr. Hornak is the Publisher and one of the Editors at UrbanElephants.com, a well known center-right political blog with a Republican slant.

    Mr. Eaton has probably violated his fiduciary and monetary responsibilities as Brooklyn GOP chair. During his disgraceful and appalling tenure Mr. Eaton has been irresponsible with the KCRP’s mon

  2. Frank "Frankie Five Angels" Pentangeli permalink
    September 29, 2009 5:34 pm

    Wow!

    This is worth repeating!

    “A Robert Hornack received $250.00 for his candidacy for Queens Borough President: why? These Republican candidates are outside of Kings County, and in the past have done nothing to grow the KCRP. There is obviously no need for the Chairman to support candidates outside the borough, when it is quite obvious that the KCRP cannot take care of its own, or does the Chairman feel that many Brooklyn candidates, aside from one, are not worthy enough of any support? The creampuff of political donations goes to State Senator Martin J. Golden for $1,650.00. Factor in the $1600.00 that went for renting space at the Bay Ridge Manor – a business that the Senator has a vested interest in–and the grand total is $3,250.00 for the Senator.”

    Amazing how Craig Eaton and Marty Golden manipulate ways for the money to come back to their wallets.

  3. Sally Sunshine permalink
    September 29, 2009 6:07 pm

    Gerry O’Brien is a thug. That they pay him astounds me. You guys were so right: Merlin of MALICE! lol

  4. Martin from Bay Ridge permalink
    September 29, 2009 6:19 pm

    I can’t eat dinner now. I’m physically ill from reading this post.

  5. Michael Corleone permalink
    September 30, 2009 9:06 am

    “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in”

Trackbacks

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