The Orange County Republican Committee’s new digs on the lower level of the Comfort Inn and Suites in Goshen are on the house, so to speak.
Until March or so, GOP headquarters — a one-person operation staffed by director Katie Bonelli, who’s also a county legislator – was located on Main Street in Goshen, in office space that cost the party $925 in rent each month, according to a financial disclosure report the Republican Committee filed last month.
According to that same report, the party got a much better deal by moving to the Comfort Inn, where it pays no rent. The form lists the office as a $100-a-month, in-kind contribution from “D. McMann, Goshen Comfort Inn.” Daniel McMann is general manager of the hotel and a vice president of the business that owns and operates the franchise on Hatfield Lane. He is also active in Republican politics and says he’s a member of the Republican state committee.
The report indicates the party also got free use of a Comfort Inn meeting room five times, each occasion recorded as an additional, $100 contribution from McMann and the Comfort Inn.
In a phone conversation, McMann said the hotel has allowed other groups, including Democrats, free use of its meeting space. Sonia Ayala, a Democratic activist he mentioned as a beneficiary, confirmed afterward that the hotel didn’t charge a group of Obama supporters for use of its conference room last year, but said it has billed the Latino Democratic Committee of Orange County for past meetings there.