For Immediate Release: October 30, 2018
New York, New York -- U.S. Senate candidate Chele Farley (R,C, Reform) today called on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to do the right thing and reimburse the taxpayers for the cost of her campaign town halls. Gillibrand has the second most cash-on-hand among the Democratic Senators running for President in 2020. Despite Gillibrand’s claims, it is clear by her own actions and backtracking that she intends to run for President in 2020.
“Kirsten Gillibrand is saving every penny she has to run for President which is why she is taking money from taxpayers to underwrite her re-election campaign. It’s not right, and she should pay it back,” said Farley.
Farley issued her call in the wake of a complaint filed by the New York State Republican Party with the Senate Ethics Committee stating that 16 town halls held across the state by Gillibrand were nothing more than publicly-funded campaign rallies.
The complaint cites Gillibrand’s own words in the New York Times: “We’re trying to do it a little differently,” Ms. Gillibrand explained. “What that looks like is I’ve done 16 town halls; I’ve been to all 62 counties; I’m trying to really create grassroots-oriented campaign and a modern campaign.”
Gillibrand’s spokesperson called the accusation that the town halls were campaign events “ludicrous.” The truth is Gillibrand herself called them campaign events, and she clearly used them to promote her campaign and encourage attendees to support Democratic candidates – well beyond what is acceptable for an official government event. Below are six clips from six of the town halls where Gillibrand engages in political activity.
July 20: Monroe County
July 22: Staten Island
August 8: Manhattan
August 9: Brooklyn
September 23: Queens
October 5: Long Island
With over $10 million on hand, Gillibrand has one of the largest campaign war chests in America and has used it to lift candidates across the country as she builds a national network to support her 2020 bid.
Last week in a debate with Farley, Gillibrand attempted to put the issue of her Presidential ambitions to rest telling by ABC 7 moderator Bill Ritter, “I will serve my six-year term.” Yet, less than a half-hour later in a post-debate scrum with reporters, Gillibrand immediately attempted to walk back that commitment, talking about her “intent” to serve a full six-year term.
And just one day later Gillibrand told the Buffalo News she isn't prepared to make a decision now on whether to run for President: “But, aspiring to a higher office is a very big decision. That’s why I’m not prepared to make it right now. ... I can think about it later."
Concluded Farley, “Kirsten Gillibrand has no shame. She looked right into the camera and lied to New Yorkers -- that’s outrageous. With a week before the election, it’s time for Kirsten Gillibrand to pay taxpayers back for her campaign activities and level with the voters about her plans to run for President in 2020.