Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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Green Party claims shady contributions

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Green Party claims shady contributions
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A Green Party candidate for Congress said she's hoping to send a message to some Republican contributors she claims were using her campaign to try to cut into Democratic votes. YNN's Bill Carey said Ursula Rozum said she's also hoping the general public gets the message too.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Hobe Sound, Florida is one of those places people go to live when they have plenty of resources. It is a wealthy community. The people involved in the Green Party campaign for Congress in Central New York were perplexed when checks began arriving from Hobe Sound, donating more than $4,000 to the third party congressional hopeful, Ursula Rozum.

The money cane from the family of Oliver Grace Jr. It was a total of $4,250, and the Green Party investigated. A review of federal reports showed the Graces have donated millions in the past to Republican and Conservative causes, and to the campaign of Ann Marie Buerkle.

"This really underscores the serious need we have in our electoral system for reforms that will actually allow democracy to be exercised and allow people to vote for who they want to," said Rozum.

The Green Party says what was going on became clear very quickly. Supporters of Ann Marie Buerkle, who had maxed out on their allowable contributions to the republican, were now helping out the Green Party candidate, Ursula Rozum in hopes of siphoning off some votes from democrat Dan Maffei.

"People are just going nuts. We have republicans giving money to me. We have democrats saying, a vote for Ursula is a vote for Ann Marie Buerkle," said Rozum.

Local Republican Party leaders were quick to deny any concerted effort to send campaign money Rozum's way.

"I would encourage our donors, if they want to do something between now and Election Day, to make contributions to our candidates," said Tom Dadey, Onondaga County Republican Chairman.

And the Buerkle campaign distanced itself from the Grace contributions. A spokesman said it is not something they would encourage.

At Green Party Headquarters, rather than seek to return the moneys, Rozum began writing checks.

"We've decided that, instead of using these donations for the campaign, we're going to be donating them to local community service organizations and to organizations working on fair elections and electoral reform," Rozum said.

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