By Alex Robinson
John Liu’s campaign has filed a complaint with the city Board of Elections, claiming glossy mailers sent out by the Independent Democratic Conference’s PAC in support of his opponent, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Avella), were illegal campaign contributions.
Liu’s camp said the fliers would put the IDC Initiative over the legal $16,800 limit any committee could contribute to a single candidate for an election since it had already donated $10,000 to Avella.
“This illegal campaign donation is another example of Tony Avella cashing in on his betrayal of the Democratic Party, and this time he got caught,” Liu’s spokesman, Austin Shafran, said.
Avella’s campaign said the fliers were sent out independently of the incumbent and his staff.
“(Neither) Sen. Avella nor his campaign have any knowledge or role in any outside or independent activities,” Avella’s campaign spokesman, Jason Elan, said.
Martin Connor, an attorney representing the IDC Initiative, said the purchase and distribution of fliers was legal as they were an independent expenditure and not a contribution.
“It’s not a contribution,” Connor said. “It was an independent expenditure with no coordination or consultation with the candidate’s campaign or the candidate.”
Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.