War of words ensues over FEC reports in 24th Congressional Race

By By MIKE LAFAVE

(WKTV) - Basic election procedures are getting some attention in the 24th Congressional District because of complaints from the campaigns. Staffers for Congressman Michael Arcuri are complaining that his opponent Richard Hanna's report to the Federal Election Commission is incomplete.

They say the report was missing information like donor occupations for many contributors. Even Hanna's own sister did not have an occupation listed in the report. The Arcuri Campaign also says Hanna did not report all of his campaign travel expenses.

Hanna spokesperson Renee Gamela said, "We make the best effort to get any missing information from donors and sometimes that takes time." As for the travel expenses Gamela said, "We pay bills as we receive them."

But Arcuri Campaigner Carolyn Ehrlich says, "If the way Hanna prepares his official FEC reports is any indication of how he'll conduct himself as a member of congress, Upstate New Yorkers should cringe at the thought."

Gamela said she is not phased by the complaints. She said, "This is a sadly pathetic attack from a career politician who has failed his constituents by flip-flopping on health care. Mr. Arcuri should focus on his own bookkeeping instead of these petty non-issues. It's clear that even his donors are disappointed in him."

Specifically, the Hanna Camp is pointing to one contribution on March 12. On that day, the Arcuri Campaign received a $1,000 donation from Humana Inc., a health insurance company. Just five days later, Arcuri made up his mind and confirmed to the media he would vote "no" on the health care reform bill.

Ehrlich responded by saying quote, "We expect noting less from a politician like Richard Hanna than to use smoke and mirrors rather than addressing the inconsistencies in his own official FEC report."

Meanwhile, Stu Rothenberg, a well known political analyst has switched the race from "lean Democrat" to "toss up". Rothenberg joins the Real Clear Politics blog and Charlie Cook considering the contest a "toss up".

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