Felder’s just-released pre-election campaign finance report shows upwards of $30,000 in campaign spending related to invalidating the petitions of Republican State Sen. David Storobin.
But yesterday, Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Larry Martin ruled that Storobin had not committed intentional petition fraud and that Storobin would remain on the ballot. Felder’s campaign says it will appeal the decision.
Felder’s spending included:
-$17,000 to election lawyer Lawrence Mandelker and his firm. Mandelker represented Felder in his ballot fraud trial against Storobin.
-$13,700 to forensic handwriting expert Jeffrey Luber, who testified to the faultiness over a handful of signatures personally gathered by Storobin. But Justice Martin in his opinion termed Luber’s work judging whether Storobin’s signatures were valid to be “unconvincing and questionable, at best.”
Felder also spent $4,306 on the law firm of Stoll, Glickman and Bellina, which is also listed in court documents as representing Felder in petition-related proceedings. But Felder’s campaign says the firm was merely handling petitioning and compliance work, and was not involved in the fraud trial.
On the other hand, Felder didn’t have much to lose, since he retains a large cash advantage of $443,000 on hand, compared to $82,000 for Storobin. Of course, Storobin had to burn through a significant amount of cash in his narrow special election victory this spring against Democratic Councilman Lew Fidler.
“When a public official claims to have witnessed a dead woman sign a petition, it had to be brought before the courts,” said campaign manager O.B. Murray, who, by the way, himself pulled in a nice $20,000 in “wages” four days before his retention by Felder’s campaign was announced. “The system is broken and David Storobin’s actions demanded we bring the case forward.”
Storobin did pay $7,500 (at least) to the law firm of attorney Ezra Glaser, who represented him in the trial, according to Storobin’s own campaign finance report.
A statement released by Storobin last night notes his opponents’ spending on the ballot fraud trial:
“…My Democratic challenger, Simcha Felder, is so afraid that he is spending tens of thousands of dollars to disenfranchise voters. Felder spent $13,000 on a ‘handwriting expert’ whose findings were, according to the Court, ‘insufficient, unconvincing and questionable at best.’ That’s because Felder is afraid to talk about all the taxes he raised. Afraid to discuss his non-support for school vouchers. Afraid to talk about being a yes man for the radical Obama agenda. Felder is afraid to discuss his endorsements of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Afraid to talk about why he rubber-stamped Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan…”
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