The retired police captain running a pointed City Council bid against a popular incumbent says the city’s Campaign Finance Board should have accommodated his late entrance into the race.
Joe Concannon, who is taking on Councilmember Mark Weprin in a general election next month, said he was a “victim” of the CFB’s “incompetence and fraud” when his profile did not appear in the board’s widely distributed voter guide.
“I am running for public office to ensure that New York City government is more transparent and to alleviate the corruption, fraud and mismanagement,” said Concannon, who is on the Reform and Independent line. “The CFB seems to have succumbed to all three.”
About 4 million copies of the nonpartisan newsletter were mailed out throughout the city this week, a CFB spokesperson said. The guide contains voting information and detailed profiles submitted by candidates.
CFB spokesperson Matt Sollars said the hopefuls have until early July, at the latest, to submit their profiles, which then go through a timely process of getting translated into five languages in Queens.
“These are reasonable deadlines that are necessary for us to collect and produce a voter guide that is printed and mailed to every registered voter in New York City,” he said.
Concannon did not register with the CFB until September, Sollars said, months after the submission deadline.
But Phil Orenstein, the candidate’s campaign manager, said there should have been an exception, or at least an addendum.
“Accommodations should be made for his independent line candidacy, but nothing of the sort was done,” he said. “To us, this smacks of voter fraud and we hold the CFB culpable. They have failed in their responsibilities to properly inform the voters.”
Concannon leaped into the race August 8 because Weprin voted in support of two controversial police oversight bills in the Community Safety Act.
Concannon said the bills would increase crime and handcuff police, a belief numerous police unions shared when they endorsed him.
The Bellerose candidate unsuccessfully tried to unseat State Senator Tony Avella last year.
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