Campaign disclosure reports for mid-July through early October from the East Hampton Independence Party and the East Hampton Conservators, both of which were not posted to the New York State Board of Elections Web site last week, showed modest fund-raising for both groups during the period.
The East Hampton Conservators, a political action committee that raised nearly $60,000 in the first half of 2011, reported only $300 in contributions since then.
“We don’t fund-raise continually throughout the year,” said David Doty, the Conservators’ treasurer. “We only fund-raise when it’s most effective or as we view the need. In this particular filing period, we did not fund-raise.”
The Conservators also reported $16,254 in expenses during that period, including a $5,000 donation to Campaign 2011, the Democrats’ campaign committee, as well as $6,000 to Mullen and McCaffrey Communications, a marketing and public relations company in East Hampton. More than $2,600 was spent on print advertising, which Mr. Doty said was designed to educate the public about protecting East Hampton beaches.
“We are making a statement on what we believe should be happening in the town beyond any particular election cycle,” he said. “These are issues that have risen to the top of the heap for our mission.”
There was also $1,700 spent on postage for mailings sent out to the Conservators’ supporters, offering information on local environmental issues. The PAC also sent out a letter encouraging second-home owners to register to vote to protect their property and their interests.
“We are now in the fund-raising mode. We have begun since the end of this reporting period, and you will see some results from that in the next round of submissions,” Mr. Doty said. “The motivating factor in the next part of the year will be the upcoming elections.”
The Conservators, who have endorsed the Democratic slate in East Hampton Town, closed the period with $24,657 in the bank.
The East Hampton Independence Party, which is running two of its own candidates for town board, Marilyn Behan and Bill Mott, had $1,300 in the bank at the beginning of October.
Although Supervisor Bill Wilkinson is also running on the Independence Party line, he was not the local party’s choice.
‘We don’t fund-raise continually throughout the year.’
— David Doty
The party raised $4,200 since mid-July with its largest individual donation, $1,000 coming from Sag Harbor Mayor Brian Gilbride. Eugene and Lucille Garypie, also from Sag Harbor, each gave $500, and Pat Mansir of East Hampton donated $460.
The Independence Party reported $2,836 in spending, with more than $2,200 spent on print ads.
“The Independence Party doesn’t get as many big donations,” said Elaine Jones, its chairwoman. “But we get a lot of little donations from people and it all adds up.”
Ms. Jones said that while the donations to the party have been modest, she believes that this aligns with how the candidates wanted to structure their campaigns.
“We decided from the beginning that we weren’t going to have big, hundred-dollar parties where we couldn’t involve everybody. We wanted to have events where anyone could come like the ice cream social or the ‘have-a-slice-on-us’ event at Felix’s.”
Ms. Jones believes that despite having a significantly smaller budget than the Republicans and Democrats, the Independence Party has achieved a fair amount of visibility in the local political sphere, especially in regards to advertising, and that the momentum only continues to grow as the election draws closer every day.
“It’s one thing about campaigning, you’re going every single day. You’re constantly on the go,” she said. “But I have to say, it’s been a nice campaign with good people.”
Ms. Jones echoed Mr. Doty’s sentiments that the next filing period will reveal additional monetary support streaming in from future fund-raisers, including a “Clam, Cocktails, and Candidates” party at Ashawagh Hall next Thursday.