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The Brooklyn GOP Finances: A Series – An Introduction

January 4, 2010

In my last substantive piece, I discussed with you how the Brooklyn GOP’s disclosure reports demonstrated just how ridiculously mismanaged the party’s finances were this year. You saw how the party went from having over 20k in the bank to a mere $754.09.

Based on that, I told you that what this party needs is a dedicated financial plan–nothing complex or requiring an advanced degree–just a system that ensures that the party is actually serious about supporting its candidates. Candidates will never look to the party (and often don’t) if the party is running in and out of insolvency over the course of the year. And the party rarely volunteers to give money unless it has an agenda.

While I had originally planned on a post setting rules and guidelines for the Brooklyn GOP’s spending, I opted instead to write a series of posts on the Brooklyn GOP’s finances, much like my colleague Francisco D’Anconia’s And Then There Were None series. You’ll remember I began examining the party’s expenses back in the summer of 2009, when Atlas first started. Since that time, The Duke of Bay Ridge, Chairman Eaton, was reelected under a cloud of party division and we had seriously wounding November elections.

Now, 2010 is going to be a very important year. You’re going to hear people saying things like “don’t criticize the party” or you, because you disagree with the way they handle things, are “a dissenter.”

You’re “going rogue.”

But the fact is that, based on the way the party managed itself last year, they have no credibility when it comes to dealing with money or running elections. All they’ve learned to do is make monetary use out of the Wilson Pakula (hardly a new tactic), and they’ve already spent a large portion of that amount already, it would seem, given their bloated Holiday Party a few weeks ago.

Otherwise, as you’ll see, they’ve wasted more money on other boroughs’ Republican activities, food, travel, and other petty expenses than the pittance they gave to their candidates this past fall to run. This all reflects that Shore Road groupthink that consumes the party leadership and how they cared more about propping up their local haunts than actually doing something to build this party.

But from these failures, thankfully, lessons can be learned.

That’s why I’m writing these piece. I’m not interesting in tearing into the party. I warned the party leaders months ago that their reckless spending would do them in. Now, I’m going to speak my mind and tell the party just how they should be running their finances.

What’s important and what’s trivial. What matters and what doesn’t.

So, over the course of the coming month, I will be discussing various aspects of the party’s finances, what they’ve be doing with your money, and what they should be doing with your money.

I’ll be starting with the candidates: how much they’ve received from the party and what the party should be doing for this year’s candidates.

Next, I’ll examine the overall spending of the party from last year, what expenses should not be repeated in the new year, and what they should be investing in.

Whether they choose to listen or not, frankly, I don’t care. I’m writing this for you, our readers, more than I’d ever write it for them. At the end of the day, you choose whether they have any power or not. You choose whether they have any authority or not. Your views, goals and aspirations are what really matter in this party.

You are the consumer, and, as a businessman, I know the customer is always right.

I hope you’ll come back and read.

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23 Comments
  1. Donald permalink
    January 4, 2010 1:39 am

    I’ll keep my eye out for this!

  2. Keep pressing on with Reform and Question Everything! permalink
    January 4, 2010 2:10 am

    This “blast from the past” is from the Staten Island Advance (newspaper) from May 09, 2007, relating to “The Duke of Bay Ridge.”

    http://blog.silive.com/politics/2007/05/new_king_of_kings.html

    from June 26, 2007

    http://blog.silive.com/politics/2007/06/connecting_with_brooklyn.html

    from May 15, 2009 regarding Brooklyn ‘School of Politics’

    http://blog.silive.com/politics/2009/05/brooklyn_school_of_politics.html

    Keep pressing on with Reform and Question Everything!

    • Harry O'Brien permalink
      January 4, 2010 2:33 am

      “But another Island Republican paid little mind to the switch because the Kings County GOP will remain under the control of state Sen. Marty Golden no matter who the titular chairman is.”

      http://blog.silive.com/politics/2007/05/new_king_of_kings.html

      Uh, duh…. LOL

    • Harry O'Brien permalink
      January 4, 2010 2:37 am

      From The School of Politics article:

      “If you’ve ever wondered how professional campaigns and political parties are run,” said GOP chairman Craig Eaton, “this is the one-day class you’ve been waiting for. And it’s free.”

      Some of the top experts on grassroots politics, direct mail, new media, fundraising and more will speak at the event…

      Uh…is THIS what gave us brooklyngop.com? Oh the horror…

      http://blog.silive.com/politics/2009/05/brooklyn_school_of_politics.html

      Love the comment at the bottom: “the fact that the Brooklyn Republican party is trying to pretend they are experts in anything amuses me.”

  3. Endoplasmic Reticulum permalink
    January 4, 2010 2:45 am

    http://www.urbanelephants.com/index.php/component/content/article/64/2047-make-congressman-use-the-same-healthcare-they-want-to-impose-on-us.html

    Know that the Cabana boys Jay Golub, Daniel Peterson and anyone else who falls with the Urban Elephant category of “The Editors” are shills and harlots for “The Duke of Bay Ridge.”
    The UE shills come on to Stlas Shrugs in Brooklyn pretending to be fair, balanced and neutral. The reality is that these chaps are doing – in an indirect but similar sense – what Ashley Alexandra Dupré and Rachel Uchitel did, conceptually speaking.

    The UE Editors are becoming “mere propagandists” for the autocrat “Duke of Bay Ridge.”

    Check the Kings County Republican Party’s financial books for any 2009 or 2010 disbursements to Urban Elephants or anything suspicious or questionable.

    http://www.urbanelephants.com/index.php/about-us.html

  4. January 4, 2010 12:12 pm

    “The UE shills come on to Stlas Shrugs in Brooklyn pretending to be fair, balanced and neutral.”

    Pathetic attempt, ER. The Editors of UE post Atlas stories that are very critical of Eaton and we post items the County Organization sends to us as well…

    http://www
    .urbanelephants.com/index.php/component/content/article/64/2046.html

    http://www.urbanelephants.com/index.php/component/content/article/64/2027-as-fossella-takes-to-the-airwaves-bob-grant-says-staten-island-is-looking-forward-to-welcoming-him-back-to-congress.html

    http://www.urbanelephants.com/index.php/component/content/article/64/2012-elfed-by-atlas-shrugs-in-brooklyn.html

    http://www.urbanelephants.com/index.php/component/content/article/64/1996.html

    http://www.urbanelephants.com/index.php/component/content/article/64/1955.html

    http://www.urbanelephants.com/index.php/component/content/article/64/1934-as-thousands-are-given-to-merlin-of-malice-obrien-dark-shadow-rests-over-failed-capano-campaign.html

    …that is the definition of “fair and balanced, ER. For that you call me and others on UE “shills?” We allow and promote these stories to allow a full-discussion without censoring.

    Your comment above, ER, is unfortunately emblematic of this site that constantly attempts to create controversy out of nothing. ER, you’ve just added to that list of impact-less comments. Well done…

  5. Gluteus Maximus permalink
    January 4, 2010 3:20 pm

    Gluteus Maximus here! Checking in to add my wit and wisdom to the “shills and harlot” commentators debate!

    Hello Jay G., not a big deal but the first UE item/link on your above comment is actually referring to a different Atlas Shrugs….Pamela Geller’s blog at http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/

    Atlas Shrugs in Brooklyn is not, as far as I know, affiliated with that Atlas Shrugs blog.

    It is accurate that UE’s has also has/had numerous, assorted opinion articles and various comments critical of the current chairman of the KCRP. It is not correct that the UE Editors have been one sided regarding the Brooklyn GOP “rift” or “crack.”

    Smart readers should be able to form their own opinions. Listen to all sides and views. Think for yourself. Form your own opinions after doing conscientious research and exploration.

    Cheers!

    • Surreptitious GOP Affairs permalink
      January 4, 2010 3:28 pm

      I agree that smart readers should be able to form their own opinions. I disagree that I’ve seen a variety of opinions and criticisms croming from Urban Elephants’ Editors. For many, many months, the Editors have unfortunately stayed oddly neutral in light of serious evidence of mismanagement in the Brooklyn GOP. I hope that the Editors realize that.

  6. January 4, 2010 4:41 pm

    “For many, many months, the Editors have unfortunately stayed oddly neutral in light of serious evidence of mismanagement in the Brooklyn GOP.”

    Show me “serious evidence” and I’ll agree with you. From what I see, there isn’t a serious case of “mismanagement” going on – just the inevitable difficulties facing inner-city Republican organizing.

    That is why, as I’ve suggested many times, reach out again and get involved with the Party (as the one thing we agree on completely is that they need yours and everyone elses’ help) or just organize by yourself and make a difference.

    Getting elected as a Republican in NYC is quite difficult with everyone working together. Winning elections while factions are fighting is even more difficult…

    • Surreptitious GOP Affairs permalink
      January 4, 2010 4:53 pm

      No one is denying it’s hard for GOPers in NYC. But the Kings County GOP is making it particularly difficult:

      https://atlasshrugsinbrooklyn.wordpress.com/2009/12/23/bay-ridge-cabal-bankrupting-party-disclosure-reports-detail-bank-account-empty-in-wake-of-severe-mismanagement/

      January 2009 Opening Balance: $22,684.23
      Contributions $5,000
      Expenses $11,889.25
      Total $15,794.98

      July 2009 Opening Balance: $15,794.98
      Contributions $62,343
      Expenses $73,762.48
      Total $4,375.00

      32 Day Pre-General Opening Balance: $4,375.00
      Contributions $687
      Expenses $5,684.07
      Total ($622.12)

      (This is a NEGATIVE BALANCE! of $622.12, my friends!)

      11 Day Pre-General Opening Balance: ($622.12)
      Total Contributions/Misc. $3,026
      Expenses $2,400.00
      Total $4.09

      27 Day Post-General Opening Balance: $4.09
      Total Contributions/Misc. $750
      Expenses $0.00
      Total $754.09

  7. January 4, 2010 9:59 pm

    can you elaborate more than just posting numbers that show a depleted bank account?

    Do you think ANY GOP County organization is flush right now? If so, which ones?

    Once you look at those hard numbers, maybe you’ll start to realize how a low-balance bank account has nothing to do with the direction of a County Political organization…

    • Surreptitious GOP Affairs permalink
      January 4, 2010 10:33 pm

      I’m not sure of the overall numbers. It seems Rearden will be discussing that more. I don’t know if you saw this:

      https://atlasshrugsinbrooklyn.wordpress.com/2009/09/29/review-of-brooklyn-gop%E2%80%99s-mismanagement-of-party-funds/

      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

  8. Lora permalink
    January 5, 2010 12:39 pm

    The Bay Ridge Cabal is now so at a loss for words over what’s being disclosed about them that they have a dedicated task force of one failed campaign manager and one failed democratic political consultant trying to throw any stone they can to get attention for themselves (and by doing what they are doing they’re just embarrassing themselves).

    It must be very sad, lonely and desperate working against reform and promoting thuggery, but hey, if Craig Eaton or Marty Golden’s subsidizing it, why not bring on the hate? I hope Eaton and Golden are paying, because if not, these people are even sadder than I can imagine.

  9. January 5, 2010 5:05 pm

    again, no answer to my question about who had and who doesn’t have money in their Party bank accounts.

    The point is, as you all don’t want to discuss the truth, is that Queens, even with all our success, is broke – just like Brooklyn, the Bronx and NY County.

    SO WHAT???

    this whole line of conversation demonstrates why this so-called reform movement is nothing more than a bunch of whiners mouthing off against those trying against difficult circumstances to get the job done…

    • Lora permalink
      January 5, 2010 6:22 pm

      It seems you’re just ignorant, Golub. We here in Brooklyn expect more from our elected leaders and our party. Maybe you don’t.

  10. Tommy Nast permalink
    January 5, 2010 5:20 pm

    PLEEZE jay, we are already doing more than the KCRP, even if all we supposedly do is “pound keyboards”, which they can’t even do that right from the looks of their website.

    Follow the money, Atlas, and find out where these guys are screwing everything up!

  11. TJIUA is evil permalink
    February 3, 2010 3:20 pm

    What they’ve done to Susan is uncalled for.

    Only one person can do this – that is the bulldog, evil, Political Consultant, Gerry O’Brien. Gerry O’Brien consistently turns against his clients. Gerry O’Brien consistently uses dirt, smearing and malice to accomplish whatever evil goals he has.

    Craig Eaton and Marty Golden – be afraid, be very afraid . . . not of the folks on Atlas, but of Gerry O’Brien. You, the Kings County GOP, and many others have paid Gerry O’Brien for his evil services. In the process, he has learned your Achilles heel. He will use it against you . . . or is he doing so already? Are you beholden to Gerry O’Brien because he already has you where he wants you? Are you trapped in his evil lair?

    Beware! Beware! The evil one O’Brien will get you, too!

Trackbacks

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