The leadership of the Republican State Committee plans to give back the $51,000 they received from Solomon Dwek between 2004 and 2005, but probably not all at once.
That’s because it would almost break the bank. As of their July 15 filing with the Election Law Enforcement Commission, the committee had barely over $58,832 on hand.
The Record’s Herb Jackson today outlined the political donations of Dwek – who was charged with bank fraud in 2006 and became the government’s cooperating witness in the money laundering and corruption bust that took down dozens of politicians, officials, operatives and rabbis last week – totaled close to $200,000 to both Republicans and Democrats.
Republican State Committee spokesman Kevin Roberts said the committee's new leadership did not know about the Dwek donations until Jackson asked them about it.
“Just because the matter was recently brought to our attention, we’re obviously going to be looking at a time frame for giving that money back, and it’s unlikely to be in a single check,” he said.
Roberts said that the committee has raised some money in the two weeks since filing the report. He criticized the Democratic State Committee (DSC) for not donating to charity the comparatively paltry $6,500 it received from Dwek between 2000 and 2003.
But that money is history, said DSC spokeswoman Alescia Marie Teel.
“Our position has been that the Democratic State Committee will not be returning the funds simply because the most recent donations happened to be over 25 election cycles ago,” she said. “They were long allocated and spent, and I think the earliest of these donations was about 34 election cycles ago. We’re talking about money that came out of the state committee quite some time ago.”
Roberts said it was not hypocritical to go after the DSC but not Assembly Republican Victory, which will not return the $21,000 it received from Dwek, because “they’re an entity that exists basically on a two-year election cycle,” raising and spending money specifically for the two-year election cycle.
The Democratic State Committee would probably miss the money less than their Republican counterparts. As of the July 15 ELEC report, they had $929,695 on hand.