The Independent Democratic Conference is once again in legal trouble after using a legal loophole to try to get more money.
As a reminder, the group of Democratic State Senators (including Brooklyn Sen. Jesse Hamilton) helps Republicans maintain control of the Senate, even though there are more Democrats in the body. Since there’s no Independent Democratic Party, the IDC couldn’t raise extra money through a party committee the way Republicans and regular Democrats can.
To overcome those financial limitations, Bronx Sen. Jeff Klein made an alliance with the Independence Party to create a party committee. Only problem: Jeff Klein and the other members of the IDC aren’t members of the Independence Party; they’re Democrats. And the Board of Elections says that’s not legal.
The IDC has raised over $2 million through this party committee. Now, the BOE is suing the IDC and its members, including Upper Manhattan’s Marisol Alcantara who almost certainly would not have won her primary in 2014 without the committee’s financial help. Risa Sugarman, the top enforcement officer for the Board of Elections, has asked a judge to freeze the committee’s bank accounts and the nearly $1.5 million in them.
That’s a lot of cash.