Bermudez-Hallstrom's Allegations Are Baseless

By Trustee Leon Potok

During a Democratic debate on August 31, 2014, Andres Bermudez-Hallstrom alleged that I had failed to disclose a financial relationship with a member of the Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission. That is a serious charge, but completely without merit. I'm presenting some pertinent documents here to make sure there is no confusion about the matter.

The Village of Mamaroneck Democratic Committee uses an online service called NationBuilder to run this website, send out email blasts, and manage its social media communications. NationBuilder charges a monthly fee that can only be paid for by credit card. Since the Village Democratic Committee does not have a credit card, I volunteered to use my own personal credit card to pay these monthly charges, with the understanding that I would be reimbursed.

During the part of the year when there is no campaign underway, I have been reimbursed by the Democratic Committee. During campaign season, I am reimbursed by the campaign committee specifically set up for that year's candidates. Since last year's Democratic mayoral candidate is a member of the HCZMC, Andres used the public record of my reimbursements in 2013 as "evidence" for his accusation.

Here are the facts:

From June 2013 through November 2013 I was charged by NationBuilder $346 for monthly service and $150 for one-time data update, for a total of $496. You can see these invoices for yourself here.

Over the course of the same time I was reimbursed by Village Campaign 2013 three times — in July for $150, in October for $173, and again in December for $173, for a total of $496. You can review the campaign financial reports here.

Really, I'm not sure how that could be any more clear.

Bermudez-Hallstrom points out that the reimbursements appear on the campaign reports as "consulting fees", but that's just a catch-all classification — at worst, a mistake by the campaign's treasurer — not a smoking gun. (And since it wasn't my campaign, I had nothing to do with preparing their financial reports.)

Bermudez-Hallstrom knows that the Village Democratic Committee uses NationBuilder, he knows that their service was being charged to my personal credit card, and since he uses NationBuilder in his own campaign he even knows how much it costs. But he wasn't interested in letting facts get in the way of a political charge one week before the primary.

If he believed his allegations had merit, he would have filed charges with the Village Board of Ethics. He hasn’t done so, which tells you all you need to know about their validity.

That kind of cynical campaigning shouldn't be tolerated in the Village of Mamaroneck — you deserve better.

Do you like this page?
Village of Mamaroneck Democrats