For Immediate Release Contact: Jim Doumas
Brooklyn, NY- Jason Otaño, the former General Counsel to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz challenging Sen. Martin Dilan in this September's Democratic Primary is pointing to Monday's campaign finance disclosures as a defining measure of who will be accountable to voters.
Candidates running in September 13th's Democratic Primary were required to file a 32-day pre-primary report on Monday. Otaño's filing revealed that for the period, more than 70% of his total donations came from individuals while Senator Dilan's filing revealed that more than 70% of his donations came from corporations, lobbying organizations, and PACs.
Otaño said of the filings, "Today we see what this campaign is about. Over 70 percent of my donations come from working people. Over 70 percent of my opponents come from corporations, lobbyists, and PACs. This is exactly what you would expect of an entrenched politician who sued to strike down New York's anti-corruption laws under Citizens United. It's outrageous that just last week Senator Dilan had the audacity to use taxpayer dollars to send a mailing to constituents claiming to be an advocate for campaign finance reform. If you're confused about where Sen. Dilan stands, just look at his filings and follow the money."
Otaño's comments were made in reference to a mailing Dilan's Senate office sent to constituents last week claiming the Senator sponsored measures to "address Campaign Finance laws and restore people's faith in government." In 2011 Dilan sued the New York City Board of Elections to strike the City's anti-corruption campaign finance laws as unconstitutional under the controversial Citizens United decision (http://newyork.ibtimes.com/articles/271766/20111222/citizens-united-nyc-campaign-finance-laws.htm).
Otaño vowed to be a true advocate for campaign finance reform in Albany. "My opponent claims to be an advocate for campaign finance reform while fighting to strike down anti-corruption laws. The only way to restore the people's voice in Albany is to have publicly financed elections, reasonable limits on campaign contributions, and pay-to-play legislation to limit the backroom influence of people doing business with the state."
The Otaño campaign disclosed its latest fundraising numbers the same day that the community organizing group New York Communities for Change PAC endorsed Otaño. "NYCC PAC is proud to stand with Jason Otaño and his campaign to bring the people's voice back to Albany. Brooklyn residents are sick and tired of corporate lobbyists trying to silence voters by pumping money into our elections. We're taking our voice back by refusing to support candidates like Martin Dilan who are indebted to special interests and not the voters who put them in office," said Lorna Blake member of NYCC PAC.
Allen Roskoff, President of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club said of Dilan's donors, "Martin Dilan only listens to two constituencies: the corporations and that fund him and Vito Lopez. How else can you explain someone who tells voters he's a Democrat who supports affordable housing and then votes with the Republicans against extending rent stabilization? There's a word for someone like that. It's called a shill."
Michael McKee, Treasurer of Tenants Political Action Committee, which endorsed Jason Otaño's campaign last month said, "This filing shows exactly what this campaign is about. We are waging a grass roots campaign that will determine whether the residents of the 18th district have a senator who is accountable to the people like Jason Otaño or one like Martin Dilan who only answers to corporations."
Otaño addressed issues of viability saying, "If anyone is standing on the sidelines saying this campaign is not viable because Martin Dilan has more money, they are saying that the people are not viable. We could not disagree more. We know this movement is viable because every day we're out there talking to voters who tell us they want change now. Martin Dilan can raise all the money he wants from corporations. Corporations are not voters. People are. "