commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

Switching parties to run for Governor may cost Steve Levy some Campaign money….

[ Steve Levy, a candidate for New York governor, is being pressed to return contributions given before he became a Republican. ]

Steve Levy…..The Suffolk Country Executive that switched from a Democrat to a Republican to run for New York State Governor has $4.1 Million in his campaign chest……

Rick Lazio the other Republican has $610,000 in his…..

But things aren’t what you think…..

Levy accumulated almost all the money when he was a Democrat….

And some people are starting to ask for their money back…..

What’s a politician to do?

Democratic groups are arguing that Mr. Levy should not be able to hold on to the money because he recently abandoned the Democratic Party and decided to run as a Republican.

A spokesman for Mr. Levy said that the campaign had received very few calls from donors seeking refunds, and that it would evaluate the requests individually. Still, Mr. Levy’s case is prompting an interesting question in political circles: What is the etiquette for party-switchers on giving back donations?

When Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida announced last week that he was leaving the Republican Party to run for the United States Senate as an independent, top Republicans immediately demanded that he refund party contributions.

Neither federal campaign finance law nor similar state laws require candidates who defect to a rival party to return money they collected before their switch.

“It’s really a case-by-case situation,” said David Levinthal of the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group in Washington that tracks political contributions. “Each candidate has to decide whether sensitivities to donor outrage trump pocketing the cash.”

But Hank Sheinkopf, a prominent Democratic consultant in New York, said he would advise any candidate who switches parties to just return the money. Otherwise, he said, the candidate risks looking bad.

“These are cases of consumer fraud,” he offered playfully. “The label said ‘Democrat’ or it said ‘Republican.’ But when you opened up the package, you got the exact opposite.”

Sometimes, politicians give up the money without a lot of prodding, as did Senator Arlen Specterof Pennsylvania, who has refunded at least $850,000 since he quit the Republican Party last year to become a Democrat.

But other times, the situation can get messy……



May 7, 2010 - Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , ,


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by James Finley. James Finley said: Switching parties to run for Governor may cost Steve Levy some Campaign money….: http://wp.me/pAL4p-2J1 […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Switching parties to run for Governor may cost Steve Levy some Campaign money…. « PoliticalDog101.com -- Topsy.com | May 7, 2010 | Reply

  2. That’s ridiculous – anyone who lives in Suffolk County knows that Levy has ALWAYS BEEN a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Big freaking deal. The dems want their money back?? Why? They don’t support him anymore because of his party label? Cause they were certainly spending the cash when he was reducing govt. spending for 20 years before that…

    Comment by Linda | May 10, 2010 | Reply

    • Linda……

      Was he a democrat or a Republican when they gave him the money?

      I don’t expect him to give the money back…

      Do you?

      Comment by jamesb101 | May 10, 2010 | Reply

  3. […] Switching parties to run for Governor may cost Steve Levy some … […]

    Pingback by GOP divided on gov race as polls favor Democrat | Suffolk County NY Real Estate | May 13, 2010 | Reply

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