Recently we learned of an inquiry made by the City of Kingston Republican Committee Chair and general practice attorney, Joesph Ingarra. Apparently, he took it upon himself to write to the state Attorney General’s (AG) office, requesting that they investigate KingstonCitizens.org as a Political Action Committee (PAC). He placed his request into a press release sent to several local news outlets to “investigate and report”.
Mr. Ingarra neglected to take the opportunity to reach out to us to clarify his concerns prior to his request to the AG. As a member of the legal profession, one would expect that he would understand the difference between a grass roots group and a PAC.
Here’s what is true.
What is a PAC?
According to the New York State Board of Elections, A Political Action Committee (PAC) (EL 14-100(16)) means “a political committee which makes no expenditures to aid or take part in the election or defeat of a candidate or to promote the success or defeat of a ballot proposal, other than in the form of contributions, including in-kind contributions to candidates, candidate’s authorized committees, party committees, constituted committees, or independent expenditure committees provided there is no common operational control between the political action committee and the independent expenditure committee; or in the form of communications that are not distributed to a general public audience. Common operational control means that the same individual or individuals exercise actual and strategic control over the day to day affairs of both the political action and the independent expenditure committees or the employees of the political action and the independent expenditure committees engage in communication-related to the strategic operations of either committee.”
General PAC definitions include being “a type of organization that pools campaign contributions from members and donates those funds to a campaign for or against candidates, ballot initiatives, or legislation.”
What is KingstonCitizens.org?
KingstonCitizens.org, established in 2006, is a nonpartisan community-based group, committed to improving the quality of life of Kingston residents through accountability and transparency of local government. Offering timely and factual information, our work is meant to nurture citizen participation and empowerment through projects, education, and advocacy.
We do our own research, relying on citizen volunteers.
We don’t take sides. Setting ourselves up that way from the very beginning was deliberate, as we believe that good representatives can appear from either side of the aisles. As our efforts are in engaging citizens, we work with everyone.
2017 Election Season.
We are in the midst of the 2017 election season locally, where what is true seems to matter less to some than it has ever before.
To be crystal clear:
- KingstonCitizens.org is non-partisan. It does not support or endorse candidates.
- KingstonCitizens.org is not a 501c3 or 501c4 and therefore, has no intention nor organizational infrastructure to support candidates or has a working budget of any kind.