Mayor candidate hit with campaign finance complaint in F. Hill

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Incumbent Flower Hill Trustee Randall Rosenbaum has filed a campaign finance complaint against mayor candidate and Trustee Kate Hirsch. (Photos courtesy of the candidates)

A trustee candidate in Flower Hill has filed a campaign finance complaint against a fellow trustee, who is running for mayor.

Randall Rosenbaum, a trustee in the village running for re-election under the Flower Hill Party, said Thursday that he filed a complaint with the Enforcement Division of the Campaign Finance Department of the New York State Board of Elections against Kate Hirsch, a three-year trustee running for mayor under the Liberty Party.

In addition to Rosenbaum, the Flower Hill Party slate includes incumbent Trustee Gary Lewandowski running to retain his seat, Mayor Robert McNamara for a trustee position, and Deputy Mayor Brian Herrington for mayor.

Hirsch’s Liberty Party slate includes residents Jay Silverman, Jeffrey Greilsheimer and Diane Turner.

Hirsch had previously filed a petition objection against the Flower Hill Party that was struck down by the Nassau County Board of Elections. She then filed an ethics complaint with the village, claiming that Village Administrator Ronnie Shatzkamer was assisting the Flower Hill Party in its campaign. An ethics complaint was then filed against Hirsch by two unnamed village staff members.

In his complaint, emailed Thursday morning, Rosenbaum says Hirsch’s campaign finance report filed March 6, which he obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request, “is devoid of any of the lawful reporting requirements for the required report.”

“There is no information as to donations to her campaign or expenses paid,” Rosenbaum wrote.

Rosenbaum lists expenditures such as campaign signs, ads in local newspapers, a website created for the Liberty Party, leaflets handed out door to door, advertisements on Facebook and a $1,850 check for a FOIL in the complaint.

“I have listed the expenses that I am aware of, I am sure that there are more,” Rosenbaum said in an email to Blank Slate Media.
Hirsch said in a statement that her campaign for mayor was “100% self-funded.”
“I filed the required campaign finance forms on the required date,” Hirsch wrote. “I am not sure what investigation Mr. Rosenbaum would like [the Board of Elections] to undertake but as I have nothing to hide I am not concerned…As opposed to my self-financed campaign, my opponents have received thousands of dollars in donations from across Long Island, including PACs. I challenge Mr. Rosenbaum, Mr. Herrington and the rest of the Flower Hill Party to shed some light on these donations so that Flower Hill residents will know what the PACs expect in return for their donations if Mr. Herrington is elected.”
The candidate also said that the $1,850 check was “the most significant charge to date” in her campaign.
“I will note that I was charged $1,850.00 to see emails between Village officials, which I am certain was part of a continuing effort by my opponents and the Village Administrator to derail my campaign,” Hirsch wrote. “That has been the most significant charge to date, and following my complaint to the Village that the charge violated the FOIL law, I was refunded the entire amount less $47.00.”
Herrington commented on the complaint in a statement sent to Blank Slate Media.
“While my opponent chose to run a smear campaign based on lies rather than her vision for our village, it comes as no surprise that she herself has been violating the law and accused of unethical conduct; and if she can’t even manage to obey the law, how can anyone expect her to manage our village?” Herrington wrote.
In response to Hirsch’s statements on campaign contributions, Herrington said, “The donations and support I have received come form my friends in the community, family, and people who I have worked with over the years because they believe in me, know my character and expect nothing in return.”
The Village of Flower Hill’s election was originally set to take place on March 18. Following an order by Gov. Andrew Cuomo due to concerns over the coronavirus, the election, as will many others, is now scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 28.
The Flower Hill Party said in a statement late Monday night that they would be suspending their campaign in light of the public health emergency. Efforts to reach the Liberty Party were unavailing.

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