Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren’s re-election campaign apologized Tuesday night for what they are calling an error in their campaign paperwork submitted earlier this month.
According to the expenditures of Warren’s political action committee, Warren for a Stronger Rochester PAC, $30,000 was transferred from the PAC to her committee, Friends of Lovely Warren.
New York State has strict rules forbidding PACs and committees from coordinating.
Warren’s campaign claims the money was earmarked for Friends of Lovely Warren, but was accidentally placed in the PAC account through a “PayPal error.”
Tuesday night, the campaign released the names of the donors that together handed over that pot of money.
The campaign also said that pot actually totaled only $25,000 and will, therefore, reimburse the PAC $5,000.
In addition, the campaign emphasized “the PAC and Friends account are completely separate” and apologized “for any confusion and all reports will be amended forthright to reflect these changes.”
Other PAC activity like its possible involvement in the Mayor’s Ball have prompted one of Warren’s Democratic opponents James Sheppard to file a complaint with the New York State Board of Elections’ Division of Election Enforcement claiming her PAC and committee “maintain common operational control with the same individuals exercising actual and strategic control over the day to day activities of both organizations.”
Susan Lerner of Common Cause NY also expressed concern.
“This is very problematic,” Lerner said. “New York law has the most expansive definition of coordination between the candidates and an independent expenditure committee and therefore I think it’s very important there be a very detailed look into how the Warren PAC is behaving.”
Through the recent filings, News 8 also learned the campaign committees for both Warren and Sheppard have raised well over $200,000 each since the start of the year.
Friends of Lovely Warren took in $241,275 between its January report and July’s, while Sheppard collected $223,082.
Spending for each committee jumped the $100,000 mark with Warren’s expenditures at $167,298 and Sheppard’s reaching $122,921.
Another Democrat in the race, Rachel Barnhart has raised almost $31,000 and has spent nearly $9,000.
The primary for Rochester mayor will take place on September 12.