The Putnam Examiner

Campaigns in DA’s Race Filled with Heavy Spending

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Money has been in politics for as long as campaigns have been run in the United States, and in Putnam County the amount of dollars thrown around in this year’s District Attorney’s race is no exception.

In a Republican primary battle between incumbent District Attorney Adam Levy and challenger and Putnam Valley Supervisor Bob Tendy, plenty of dollars have been tossed around, with much of it coming from Levy’s end, who’s self- funding his campaign.

Levy has spent a massive sum of money leading up to the primary, his total expenses adding up to $303,625, according to his expenditures report. His largest payments have been to Jamestown Associates–a well-known political consulting firm used by Republican candidates–equaling a grant total of nearly $142,000. After that, Elias Kemp Consulting located in Bronxville has been paid a nifty sum of $52,500.

Additionally, Levy has paid McLaughlin and Associates, a poll research company, $36,000, and Cold Spring-based Marketing Works Now $21,000, which does public relations and marketing for the campaign. He paid $16,548 to Investigative Alliance Group, a security and investigative consulting firm.

While not directly related to his campaign, Levy also hired a former newspaper editor to perform public relations for the district attorney’s office starting last year, with that money coming out of his pockets.

Levy, whose mother is Judge Judith Sheindlin or better known as television star Judge Judy, has paid for all campaign expenses on his own, not taking donations. By comparison, last year’s county executive candidate Sam Oliverio, who also self-funds his campaigns, spent a mere $23,000. County Executive MaryEllen Odell, who beat Oliverio en route to reelection and does accept donations (like most people running for office), spent 225,596, with expenditures dated from 2011 to 2015.

Tendy, who is on a tighter budget, said he has spent between $25,000-$35,000 so far. A July expenditure report showed he spent $18,319 between January and July.

According to his July disclosure reports, Tendy has received much of his donations from individuals outside of Putnam, with less than ten individuals with a county address contributing to his campaign. Many of the donations come from New York City and Long Island. Tendy was a former Manhattan assistant district attorney before becoming a criminal defense attorney. Overall, Tendy has garnered $47,328, according to his January and July filings, more than 20,000 coming from his pockets.

Much of Tendy’s expenditures have gone to a consulting firm located in Amityville to the tune of $8,000. Other expenses have generally been to a Excel Printing in Carmel, various Republican committees in Putnam and other organizations like the Sheriff Department’s PBA.

While Tendy has submitted his required January and July filings, he has yet to submit a pre-primary filing, according to a state Board of Elections worker. While Tendy has a Committee to Elect Bob Tendy, the board of elections worker said information must be updated to reflect Tendy running for DA and not supervisor again.

Tendy said he informed the state Board of Elections back in 2014 when he announced he was running for DA in the change of office, and that he would follow up with them this week.

Tendy, who called the amount of money spent by Levy “unprecedented,” said Levy is pouring large sums of money into his campaign because of his lack of performance as DA.

“A sitting two-term DA has found it necessary to spend all this money against a total unknown,” Tendy said. “And the reason is because he’s never had to run against anybody before. He’s always bought and paid for the election.”

Throwing out the indictment against former sheriff’s investigator Pat Castaldo (which Tendy claimed was politically motivated connected to the beef between Levy and Sheriff Don Smith), having a Cold Spring murder conviction overturned that is now set for retrial, and a mistrial in the Lani “Ariano” Zaimi, are all examples Tendy points to.

“It’s absurd,” Tendy said. “If any other DA’s office had these problems, heads would be rolling all over the place,” Tendy said.

Levy has stated time and time again Putnam is the safest county in New York because of how his office has contributed to fighting crime, with overall crime down 40 percent since he took office eight years ago.

“I am in a unique position to prosecute without fear or favor in Putnam County because I don’t depend on donations and favors from wealthy donors and special interest groups,” Levy stated. “This allows me to devote my full attention on being a hands-on District Attorney who is never far from the courtroom.”

The campaign panned Tendy for not filing all the appropriate paperwork to the state Board of Elections.

“Yet again, Bob Tendy attempts to circumvent rules and avoids taking personal responsibility as he continues his campaign of deception and deceit, trying to fool the citizens of Putnam County,” campaign spokesman Marc Sabin said. “Tendy is in clear violation of campaign finance rules: an essential part of making sure campaigns are run honestly and with transparency.”







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