Left-leaning NY-19 political action committee raises nearly $32,000

A Kingston-based political action committee called “NY19Votes” has raised nearly $32,000 in its push to turn the 19th Congressional District blue.

According to its website, NY19Votes is a grassroots group that “grew from the #Resistance and Indivisible movement after the November election.” They said they’ve already brought together nearly 400 volunteers at 12 launch sites across the 19th Congressional District and organized more than 1,000 volunteers to knock on doors.

The district, represented by freshman Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, includes part or all of 11 counties, including all of Ulster and Sullivan.

“NY19Votes is uniting #Resistance, Indivisible, SwingLeft and long standing activist groups, Democratic and Working Families Party members and concerned citizens across the district. We know if we are going to turn back Trump, defeat Faso in 2018 and win our country back we have to get out and talk to voters now through election day 2018. NY19Votes (is) coordinating, training and deploying volunteers to do just that,” the PAC said in a release.

In its mid-year campaign report filed with the Federal Election Commission, the group said it raised $31,712.62, spent $6,149.90 and had $25,562.72 on hand. The group registered with the FEC in April. The group said it had 164 donors in all.

FEC records show that about 63 percent of the money raised, $20,000, came from just two sources in Manhattan. Eric Marcus, an author, gave $10,000 and Barney Karpfinger, a founder of a literary agency, also gave $10,000. Karpfinger has also contributed this year to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and the campaigns of Democrats Jon Ossoff and Rob Quist, House candidates who lost tight races in Republican stronghold districts.

The PAC also received $1,000 from Brian Flynn, one of eight Democratic contenders looking to take on Faso in the election next year.

Dustin Reidy, campaign director for NY19Votes,  said funding will go towards staff, logistics for putting together canvassing and maintaining its website and social media presence.

“If we’re able to fundraise well, we’re hoping to build our staff out after November and help maintain pressure on Faso as the Democratic primary heats up,” Reidy said.

Reidy said NY19Votes won’t support or endorse any primary candidate, but the infrastructure they’re building will go into the campaign of whoever does win.

The fundraising comes as the 19th Congressional District has become a prime national target for Democrats to win back Congress, and for Republicans to defend. Two of the eight Democratic candidates outraised Faso from May to June and nearly $2.5 million has poured into campaign coffers so far this year.

But Faso’s fundraising is expected to pick up as the November 2018 general election approaches, and other outside groups have already jumped into the race.

On Tuesday, a progressive group called Save My Care announced it was launching digital advertisements in 10 states against Republicans who voted for the GOP’s health care repeal plan, including Faso. You can find their digital ad here.

Chris Martin, spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee, defended Faso’s vote.

“Only in Washington is it considered a bad thing to actually keep your promises. Congressman Faso took action because the Obamacare death spiral continues to dramatically increase premiums and restrict healthcare choices for millions of Americans,” Martin said.

The  five-figure advertisement buy will also target senators Jeff Flake of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and House members Dave Brat of Virginia, Darrell Issa of California, Tom MacArthur of New Jersey, Peter Roskam of Illinois, Pete Sessions of Texas and David Valadao of California.

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    Chris McKenna covers Orange County government and politics for the Times Herald-Record. He has been a reporter at the newspaper since 1999. Read Full
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