A New York City-based good-government group has filed a formal complaint with state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, calling on his office to investigate a Virginia-based group that poured money into battleground state Senate districts.
Citizens Union filed the complaint today, arguing that Common Sense Principles should be registerred with the state Charities Bureau, which is run out of the attorney general’s office. The group—a 501©4—commissioned dozens of mailers in at least three key Senate districts, targeting Democratic candidates including Monroe County Legislator Ted O’Brien and Assemblyman George Latimer, D-Rye, Westchester County.
“New Yorkers should be informed about who is behind the campaign communications they receive,” Citizens Union Executive Director Dick Dadey said in a statement. “Registration with the Charities Bureau is one existing mechanism that can help shed light on 501c4 organizations engaging in this political activity, though campaign communications and expenditures by veiled third-party entities and individuals should be disclosed in a manner similar to candidate campaign committees.”
Senate Republicans have repeatedly denied that they had any connection to the outside group, which lists a mailing address in Virginia. Some reports have traced back IRS information to a political consultant that has done work for members of the conference.
The three Democrats targeted by the group—O’Brien, Latimer and Sen. Joseph Addabbo of Queens—all won their elections yesterday.
Here’s Citizens Union’s letter, which was sent to Schneiderman’s office today: