Jesse McKinley looks at the allegations of campaign contribution violations by Mayor deBlasio’s office in today’s New York Times. He also interviews New York State Board of Elections Commissioner Doug Kellner who explains the election law questions involved:
“Mr. Kellner said the key to determining if a crime occurred was whether the act of transferring the money to the campaign committees of individual candidates was separate from the act of transferring the money to the individual candidates. Doing both transactions as part of a single transaction, Mr. Kellner said, would be a violation of state election law and a felony if it was done “knowingly and willfully,” arguing that Mr. Laufer did not delve into that topic.
“It would have been perfectly legal to make the contribution to the party committee and for the party committee to spend the money in support of the candidate,” he said, “and it would have been perfectly legal for the party committee to transfer funds to the candidates campaign committee. But if it was a single transaction, then that’s a violation.”