03
Feb

Photo: Jay Westcott/Politico

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 3, 2016

Contact: Daniel Stevens, dstevens@campaignforaccountability.org, 202.780.5750

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today, Campaign for Accountability (CfA) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) requesting an investigation into illegal coordination between the campaign of Andrew Heaney, who is running for Congress in New York’s 19th district, and a super PAC he appears to have established, New York Jobs Council.

CfA Executive Director Anne Weismann stated, “It is hard to imagine a clearer case of coordination between a campaign and a super PAC. If ever there was a case that should galvanize the FEC to enforce the coordination ban, this is it.”

Andrew Heaney owns Heaney Energy Corporation, a New York fuel oil dealer, as well as two other companies, Submarine Rock and Little Deep. Shortly before he announced his candidacy, these companies funneled at least $20,000 to the newly created super PAC, NY Jobs Council. In addition, a company led by Mr. Heaney’s sister, Allison Heaney, made two contributions to NY Jobs Council totaling $35,000. NY Jobs Council has consistently attacked Mr. Heaney’s opponent in the Republican primary, John Faso.

Press reports indicate that the executive director of NY Jobs Council is Rob Cole. Last October, Mr. Cole was quoted as saying that the super PAC had not decided who to endorse in the race although most of the super PACs donors are closely aligned with Mr. Heaney. Mr. Cole is a well-known political operative who partners with another operative, James “Jake” Menges in at least two businesses: In the Field and Crimson Public Affairs. The Heaney campaign has paid Mr. Menges and Crimson for consulting work, while NY Jobs Council has paid In the Field for consulting. In addition, both the Heaney campaign and the super PAC paid the Jackson-Alvarez Group for research.

CfA’s complaint alleges that by directing his corporation to make a contribution to a super PAC to attack his opponent, Mr. Heaney appears to have made a prohibited corporate contribution and an excessive campaign contribution.

In addition, it appears Heaney for Congress and NY Jobs Council may be illegally coordinating. Both entities hired the same firm, Jackson-Alvarez, for research, which likely will serve as the basis for ads against Mr. Heaney’s opponent. Further, as Mr. Menges and Mr. Cole are working for Heaney for Congress through Crimson Public Affairs, and NY Jobs Council through In the Field, it is impossible to believe they are not providing the super PAC – of which Mr. Cole is the executive director – any information they also shared with the Heaney campaign.

Ms. Weismann continued, “The Heaney campaign and NY Jobs Council are just two sides of the same coin. They both use the same consultants and Heaney established and funded the super PAC, which now bashes Heaney’s political opponent. The FEC should quash this clear effort to end-run the law.

The complaint can be found here.

CfA is nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.