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Despite claims to the New York Post and Poughkeepsie Journal that he is closing down a Super PAC he operates, Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor(R-105th) is now also being tied to a second Super PAC.
Lalor recently told the press that he was shutting down his Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC due to time constraints and family obligations. He stated, "There's 24 hours in a day, I have family, I have friends, there is only so much I can do." Meanwhile, according to the Federal Election Committee website, the assemblyman applied to organize a second PAC, Warriors for Liberty, in May of 2013. The statement of organization listed Lalor's personal email address and Fishkill home address as the contact information, and initially named himself as the custodian of records. His wife, Mary Jo Lalor, was originally listed as treasurer, though she may not have ever served in that position.
The assemblyman has been questioned by the media for the last few years about the Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC and its operating expenses, as only five percent of the 1.8 million dollars raised had actually been given directly to the veterans it was donated for. Asssemblyman Lalor's current chief of staff, Christopher Covucci, was the treasurer of this PAC. He was replaced by Scott Mackenzie, whom Lalor told the press he does not know.
Mackenzie is a nationally known campaign finance consultant who uses seemingly predatory direct mail tactics to secure campaign donations, often in the name of veterans. Mackenzie is linked to direct market firms, Base Connect and Legacy List Marketing, both of whom Lalor employed for his own direct mail operations. Both Base Connect and Legacy List made $1,000 campaign contributions to Lalor's 2012 assembly campaign. Several other PACs, overseen by Mackenzie, also made sizeable contributions to the same campaign. Both the Black Republican PAC and Conservative Strike Force PAC gave $2,500 each to Lalor in 2012.
Scott Mackenzie is now listed as the treasurer for the Warriors for Liberty PAC, though Lalor said he only brought Mackenzie in to shut down his original PAC. The FEC 2014 report says that the PAC raised $324,000.
The Warriors for Liberty PAC also transferred approximately $14,000 in funds to the Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC in 2013. Interestingly enough, the Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress ended 2013 with a deficit of slightly over $14,000, more than it contributed to the veterans seeking office.
While Lawlor’s political opponents do not allege any unlawful activities with regard to these PACs, they do believe Lalor has been less than transparent with donors and the media. One such person told the Hudson Valley Newsthat they doubted contributors would have been as generous if told up front that only five percent of the funds raised would go directly to veteran candidates.
See the Hudson Valley News Wednesday in print for more.