A campaign-services company owned by Doug Colety, Westchester Republican Party chairman and GOP commissioner for the county Board of Elections, has earned more than $3.5 million in the past decade from Republican candidates, most of it after he became party leader, The Journal News/Lohud.com reports today.
Executive Star Mailing Services, the company, has created campaign fliers, pamphlets and other materials for a number of state and local campaigns, including $171,322 from Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s campaign committee and $19,945 from Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef. He has received a total of $1.98 million in campaign work from the state Republican Committee and the Assembly and Senate GOP committees since June 2008, according to records reviewed by The Journal News/Lohud.com.
While the business doesn’t appear to violate any laws or elections regulations, the New York Public Interest Group said it has a “potential appearance of impropriety.” Susan Lerner, who heads the good-government group Common Cause, said it is a conflict of interest for a county elections commissioner to rule on an issue involving a politician who also patronizes his business.
Colety, who took over the county party five years ago, defended his business and said he makes little profit after outsourcing printing to local companies and paying for postage and taxes. Various Executive Star businesses have contributed more than $7,500 to GOP candidates, and town and county committees in the last dozen years, camapaign-finance records show.
“Why would I deprive, as party chairman, why am I going to deprive my candidates cheaper prices, quick service? When we control this now in-house, we can mail within one day,” he told The Journal News.