April 22, 2024

⚡️Campaign Finance 🧵: Letitia James New York AG living very large on campaign funds coast to coast

These are receipts for everything from $18 at Dunkin Donuts to $60 at Dave & Busters to $165 at an oyster bar in Massachusetts and then $700 at a steakhouse in Brooklyn. 

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@Villgecrazylady: ⚡️Campaign Finance 🧵: Letitia James When I got asked to look into Letitia James’ financials last week, I really wasn’t expecting to find much. As you probably know, James is the Attorney General of……

When I got asked to look into Letitia James’ financials last week, I really wasn’t expecting to find much. As you probably know, James is the Attorney General of New York who just secured a $454 million judgement against Donald Trump. 

James was elected as the NY AG in 2018 and re-elected in 2022. Prior to that James was the NYC “public advocate” for 4 years and a NYC city council member for 8 years prior to that. Prior to elected office she was a public defender for Legal Aid. 

IOW Letitia James is a lifelong public servant and other than a mishap in the 2010s where she neglected to list the Brooklyn brownstone she owns & rents out on her financial disclosure forms, she hasn’t had any public scandals. 

With that being said, I’m not quite sure what I was expecting to find but I do know I wasn’t expecting what I found. 

The first thing you’ll notice when you download and sort the expenditures of any politician running for reelection in a safe seat is how they use their campaign funds to supplement their lifestyles to a degree middle America could never dream of. 

What do I mean? Well, in 2023 alone, James spent over $28,500 on hotels. Over $15,000 of that was spent on luxury hotels in Puerto Rico.

Then there’s the airfare. In the 5 years she’s been the New York State AG, James’ has spent over $84,000 on airfare to fly herself all over the country.

This includes private jet rentals.

She’s billed her campaign over $20,000/year for meals. And no, these aren’t large catering events.

These are receipts for everything from $18 at Dunkin Donuts to $60 at Dave & Busters to $165 at an oyster bar in Massachusetts and then $700 at a steakhouse in Brooklyn. 

Then there’s thousands spent on Ubers and Lyfts.

Tens of thousands spent on “office” at everywhere from Target to BJ’s wholesale.

Over $7,000 dropped at a nightclub in NYC and billed as “office.”

I could go on… the multiple stays at the Beverly Hills Wilshire, the $65,000 in “reimbursements” to “campaign consultants” which could literally be anything. 

Speaking of campaign consultants, can anyone tell me why a state Attorney General would need to spend over $300,000 in a single year on campaign consultants when they *just* won re-election the previous November? What could she possibly be consulting on? 

Furthermore, why do these million dollar “campaign consultancy firms” always seem to be ran out of random 2 bedroom apartments?

TBC I’m not accusing Ms. James of breaking the law w her expenditures.

But considering the high bar she set for Trump in his civil fraud case, I find it more than a little galling that she plays so fast and loose w what she deems to be “legitimate campaign expenses.” 

$4,335 at “Nathan’s Luxlifestyle” on Martha’s Vineyard last August? Mmm hmm.

$5,122 dropped at the “48 Lounge” in NYC last September under expense code “office.”

Righhhtttt….

So you might be wondering, where does all this money come from?

Well here’s where things get interesting.

Because it appears our holier than thou Attorney General, Ms. James, has gotten herself wrapped up in the ghost donor scam. 

Now I knew the ghost donor bots weren’t just operating at the federal level but I had no clue how big it was at the state level.

Here’s a list of Ms. James’ total donations and their corresponding receipts by year… anything jump out at you?

Obviously 2022 is off the charts. Over 32,500 receipts and over 62% are from out of state. Who the heck donates to an Attorney General, running in a totally safe seat, in a whole other state?!

Answer: Ghost donors. 

Take for instance this woman named Suzanne, from Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Ms. Suzanne has to be one of the most faithful Democrat donors on the planet. Not only did she make 3,232 individual donations to ActBlue in just one year (2022) totaling more than $46,193

But she also found the time and money to also make 25 separate donations (for $266) to Letitia James’ campaign and another 9 (for $305) to Kathy Hochul!

And she didn’t stop there! I found Suzanne’s name on the donor rolls in Nevada, Idaho and Virginia!

Or how about this lovely old lady Barbara from Silver Springs, Maryland. Ms. Barbara, a retired 71 year old widow living in a modest townhouse, not only made 1547 donations to ActBlue at the federal level totaling more than $37,000

She also gave Letitia James $610 total in 34 separate transactions and then she sprinkled some money in Nevada, Massachusetts and Wisconsin!

I could go on but yall get the point. Almost every name I grabbed from James’ 2022 donor list had AT LEAST 200+ donations at the fed level for 2022 and tons of them had over 2,000.

It turns out ghost donors are just as big of a problem at the state level as they are at the federal. 

So to recap: we’ve got unknown entities funding our state and federal elections and everywhere you turn there’s a sleazy politician using this tainted campaign money to fund their extravagant lifestyles. 

If you enjoy my threads on campaign finance be sure to share them and if you’re feeling generous buy me a coffee to help support independent journalism!

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Who is Letitia James?

Who is Letitia James?

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The New York AG has investigated President Donald Trump, but who is investigating Letitia James?


Tips on Preparing and Reporting Campaign Financial Disclosure Reports in New York State

Personal Use

How do I determine if an expenditure was for Personal Use?

Section 14-130 of the Election Law states that contributions received by a candidate or a political committee may be expended for any lawful purpose. Expenses need to be related to the seeking and/or holding of office. Such funds shall not be converted by any person to a personal use which is unrelated to a political campaign or the holding of a public office or party position.

  • Unitemized expenses that are or that total significant amounts, or that are reported on several reports could appear as campaign funds being used for personal use.
  • It is important to detail all the expenditures which encompass a reimbursement. When the reimbursement and related expenses are disclosed properly, it can easily be ascertained which expenses correspond to a particular reimbursement. If the reimbursement detail is not provided or reported properly, it could appear campaign funds are being used for personal use.

After the Election

  • File all required reports;
  • Have a $0 cash balance in the account – no negative balance;
  • Have no outstanding loans/liabilities;
  • Submit any applicable evidence of indebtedness/forgiveness;
  • Request termination with a CF-18 form mailed to NYSBOE;
  • Continue to file until termination is approved.
  • File all required reports;
  • Have a $0 cash balance in the account – no negative balance;
  • Have no outstanding loans/liabilities;
  • Submit any applicable evidence of indebtedness/forgiveness;
  • Request termination with a CF-18 form mailed to NYSBOE;
  • Continue to file until termination is approved.

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