Candidate is acting as his own treasurer. His numbers don’t add up
Richard Brandt, the 30 year old printing and packaging salesman challenging Little Silver Mayor Bob Neff in the June 4 Republican Primary has spent $29,297.74 in his quest for a portrait in borough hall, according to documents he filed with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC).
Brandt, who acts as his own campaign treasurer, says he raised $30,520.11 for his campaign, including $20,450 he loaned to the campaign himself. He reported expenditures of $29,297.74 and cash on hand of $56, leaving $1,165.51 unaccounted for. Additionally, at one place on his Form R-1 twenty-nine day report, he says the loaned the campaign $17,100, not the aggregate loans of $20,450 he reported elsewhere on the form, for a $3,350 revenue discrepancy.
One thing that makes Brandt’s report even more puzzling is that he says he spent $600 with an accounting firm, McGuckin Shatz & White, CPAs, of Ocean Township, for tax services and forms. Political campaigns don’t pay taxes and don’t need forms to not pay them. Brandt should have hired the firm to help with is ELEC reporting.
Brandt reported donations of under $300 in the amount of $12,934.91. The identity of those donors is not disclosed under NJ law. The only donation over $300 was for $485.20 from Steven Canino of Little Silver, a registered Democrat who is not eligible to vote in the Republican primary. MMM called Canino to ask why his donation was $485.20, an unusual amount. He said his donation was in the amount of $500 and he suspected that fees were deducted. Brandt should be reporting the bank fees as an expenditure.
Canino also confirmed that he is a Democrat, “life long,” he said proudly, and that he is not voting in the Republican primary on June 4th.
Brandt has not returned a text message offering him an opportunity to explain the discrepancies in is report. In February, Brandt cancelled an interview with MMM. On April 27 he declined to be interviewed and referred us to his website for answers to our questions. He doesn’t talk about his ELEC reports on his website.
Should Brandt respond to our inquires, we will update this story or post another.
Cynthia Neff, the mayor’s wife and the treasurer of her husband’s joint campaign account with Councilman Don Galante and Councilwoman Corrine Thygeson, told MMM that the incumbents’ campaign has not spent more than the $14,100 threshold to trigger detailed reporting of expenditures.ELEC_Document (22) 29 day report