On Monday, an unprecedented and unexplained campaign contribution of $60,000 to my opponent Yadira Ramos-Herbert’s campaign sparked controversy. The donation was funneled through the Westchester County Democratic Committee and at the time the Committee illegally refused to disclose the source before the primary.
This incident raised concerns about transparency, accountability, and the influence of undisclosed campaign funds. The method of funneling money through the Westchester County Democratic Committee appeared to have been used to circumvent campaign contribution limits and illegally hide the source of the large donation.
As media coverage and investigations unfolded, the focus remained on the need for transparency and the public’s right to know the sources of campaign funding in the New Rochelle mayoral race. A summary of the story is available at Talk of the Sound.
In a Friday news dump, the party finally revealed that the source of the massive donation was real estate developer Louis Cappelli and four executives associated with his various development companies.
I have excerpted sections below from the Journal News article by David McKay Wilson for those who do not have a subscription, but please consider subscribing to support local journalism.
Three days ago, the Westchester County Democratic Committee had no plans to disclose the source of its $60,000 donation to New Rochelle mayoral candidate Yadira Ramos-Herbert before the June 27 primary, even though state law required it.
On Friday, the party relented, disclosing it had raised $133,583 during the reporting period that ended May 26, which included $100,000 from real estate developer Louis Cappelli and four executives from his development companies.
Maher said the Cappelli donations raise questions about the developer’s attempts to curry favor with Ramos-Herbert, the candidate endorsed by the New Rochelle Democratic Committee and county Democrats for mayor.
Cappelli, who is Westchester County’s premier developer, has a long history of development in New Rochelle, beginning with New Roc City at the site of the city’s struggling mall in the mid-1990s, and the 40-story Trump Plaza that opened in 2007. He recently completed high-rise projects at 251 North Ave. and 333 Huguenot St., and has two more high-rises under construction at 327 Huguenot St. and 247 North Ave.
“I’m saddened to hear of this perversion of the democratic process, but unfortunately I’m not completely surprised,” Maher said. “The question now is who decides the future of New Rochelle — the people or one mega-millionaire developer.”Source: https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/2023/06/09/cappelli-donation-new-rochelle-ny-mayoral-election-westchester-democrats-disclosure/70307755007/