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Oct 18, 2011 5:12 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Campaign Diary: Throne-Holst Raises Most In Contributions

Oct 19, 2011 12:35 PM

Election season heated up a bit on Friday as former Southampton Town Supervisor Linda Kabot, who has waged a write-in campaign to get her old seat back, alleged that current Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst accepted campaign contributions that exceeded legal limits dictated by state election law, both this year and in 2009.

In a letter addressed to Ms. Throne-Holst, Ms. Kabot, a Republican, charged that the supervisor’s campaign fund, Anna Throne-Holst for Supervisor, appears to be in violation of the election law for accepting “over-the-limit” contributions from a number of entities. The total overages amount to $10,118.

“I urge you to immediately take corrective action so as to comply with the law,” Ms. Kabot said in the letter. “I strongly feel it is dishonest to retain this overage in your campaign fund and expend such unlawful monies to further your reelection.”

The maximum a corporation or individual can donate this year in the race, according to the Suffolk County Board of Elections Contribution Limit Index, is $1,880.05. Some of Ms. Throne-Holst’s top contributions this year are $5,000, $2,000 and $1,890. So far, Ms. Throne-Holst has raised $49,610 in campaign contributions since the beginning of this year. She has spent $37,633, leaving a balance of about $11,977.

On Friday afternoon, Ms. Throne-Holst said she hadn’t had the opportunity to look over the letter. She also said that if there’s a mistake, she would correct it.

“I’ll look it over,” she said. “Obviously, if there’s an error, I’ll correct it right away.”

Debbie Keller, a town official in Ms. Throne-Holst’s office, said on Wednesday that the supervisor has corrected the error and returned approximately $10,000 in donations to a handful of donors on Tuesday.

Ms. Throne-Holst has built a war chest that towers over those of the four Town Board candidates. The supervisor, an Independence Party member, amassed a total of about $44,287, according to a recent campaign finance filing with the New York State Board of Elections on October 7.

Democratic Town Councilwoman Bridget Fleming’s campaign totaled about $31,584 in contributions in the last filing period, from July 15 to October 7, with an opening balance of about $6,684. Her running mate, Independence Party member Brad Bender, reported a total of $26,700, which included an opening balance of $11,252.

Republican Town Board candidate Christine Preston Scalera had an opening balance of about $3,000 and brought in an additional $27,100 in the same filing period. Town Board candidate Bill Hughes, a Republican, received about $21,641, which was added to an opening balance of about $10,000.

Ms. Kabot has so far raised $4,699 this season. All of the figures were obtained from the State Board of Elections website.

“I was both encouraged and complimented by the number of supporters who came forward and wanted to support me monetarily,” Ms. Throne-Holst said earlier this month.

Contributions to the candidates came from all over, according to the data. Some of Ms. Throne-Holst’s top donors were from outside Southampton Town—about $5,000 came from Edelene Management Co. Inc. of Riverhead, a $5,000 contribution from Smith & Wollensky Operating Corp. of New York, and another $5,000 from Stonebrook Fund Managment LLC of New York.

About 49 out of approximately 125 contributors to Ms. Scalera’s campaign hailed from west of Southampton Town. Ms. Fleming received about $14,000 in support from the Suffolk County Democratic Committee.

Mr. Bender noted earlier this month that many of Ms. Scalera’s contributions came from “up-island.” “She’s part of that Republican machine, and there’s money involved in that, and that’s where it comes from,” he said.

Ms. Scalera, a former Oyster Bay Town councilwoman and currently employed as an attorney at Brookhaven Town Hall, dismissed Mr. Bender’s remarks. “I’ve been working for 20 years,” she said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to meet a lot of people across the island, and I’m honored that they thought enough of me to support me.”

Ms. Throne-Holst also outspent all of her running mates and their opponents. So far, she has spent about $29,812, with the largest expenditure, $15,000, going to GoShow Entertainment, a New York-based film, television, web and mobile content production company. Expenses also included radio ads, marketing and polls.

Mr. Bender spent about $17,620, mostly on campaign literature, office supplies and fundraising. Ms. Scalera spent $12,893, Mr. Hughes spent around $8,353, and Ms. Fleming spent about $12,200.

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Maybe SH Press should read Newsday and report that ATH has to return $10k in illegal contributions.....
By southfork11960 (14), Southampton on Oct 19, 11 4:51 PM
from above article...."Debbie Keller, a town official in Ms. Throne-Holst’s office, said on Wednesday that the supervisor has corrected the error and returned approximately $10,000 in donations to a handful of donors on Tuesday."

By Times Review Newsgroup (2), Mattituck on Oct 20, 11 5:12 PM
A "town official" should not be commenting about a candidates political campaign finance reports. If this "town official" did so on taxpayers' time she should be disciplined, docked pay, dismissed and/or reported to the District Attorney. Town taxpayer time should be devoted to the work of the taxpayers, not political re-election campaign finance or campaigning in any facet. Guess for some its just really hard to keep the hand out of the cookie jar. Some might even suggest it smells of arrogance. ...more
By NTiger (543), Southampton on Oct 20, 11 6:02 PM
A town offical? It would be better to say that she is a clerical worker. Anna has failed to make sure her staff know's what to do when a call is received regarding the election. Never, never respond, very naive on Ms. Keller's part.
By reg rep (408), Southampton on Oct 21, 11 11:32 AM