Deborah Coughlin, the president of New York City’s elite Metropolitan Republican Club that recently wrongly and forcibly removed all Trump supporters from its board, broke federal campaign finance laws in order to donate thousands of dollars to Democratic New York Senator Chuck Schumer in 2003.
In a story that GotNews broke and that the New York Post has now picked up, a deeper dive into the financials surrounding the scandal-plagued board of New York City’s Metropolitan Republican Club has produced more troubling questions: what are the political views of the people running this New York City GOP club?
Five Trump supporters and long-time club members – Georgia Palmieri, Alain Palmieri, Michael Javelos, Allan Stevo, and Sandra Chase – were wrongly and forcibly removed from the board of the elite Upper East Side club because of their support of President Donald J. Trump by Club President Deborah Coughlin (2015-2017), Secretary Jeff Charles Goolsby, Chairman Ian Walsh Reilly, the son of former club President Robert Morgan III (2006-2012), and former club President Peter Hein (1980-1985).
Club President Deborah Coughlin and New York County Republican Chairperson Adele Malpass, unironically, and in near identical statements, described the removal of Trump’s supporters from the board by the group of former club presidents as “the replacing of the ‘old guard’ by younger blood.”
As we last reported, Metropolitan Republican Club President Deborah Coughlin, according to publicly available Federal Elections Commission filings, is a longtime supporter of the ‘Friends of [Democratic New York Senator Chuck] Schumer’ group. Coughlin has in fact given far more to Democratic causes than to Republican causes, with Friends of Schumer having received more that twice as much from her than all Republican causes combined. Coughlin furthermore, GotNews has recently discovered, broke FEC campaign finance laws in the process.
According to Schedule A itemized receipts reported by Friends of Schumer, Deborah Coughlin, on a single day, gave Friends of Schumer $3,000 for the primary elections, and another $3,000 for the general elections, as indicated by FEC document #23020181306:
The Federal Elections Commission shows that Coughlin gave a recorded total of $6,000 in a single year, which is a violation of personal contribution limits under federal law in 2003:
Investigations into these matters sometimes determine that the actual level of giving is more than the recorded level of giving. While the FEC plain text response to the query shows two $500 donations from Coughlin, a deeper dive into the source documents from which the data was collected, show Coughlin to have actually given two $3,000 contributions to Friends of Schumer.
According to the FEC, at the time of Coughlin’s two $3,000 single-day contributions to Friends of Schumer, it was illegal for any individual to give more than $2,000 to each candidate or candidate committee per election or $5,000 to any political committee per calendar year. Friends of Schumer is designated a principal campaign committee of a candidate by the FEC, or “candidate committee.” Met Club President Coughlin, according to FEC records, with her two separate contributions to Friends of Schumer has not once, but at least twice broken the law in her support of Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer.
In a notable recent example of campaign finance violations, Republican pundit Dinesh D’Souza was sentenced to community service for 8 months at a correctional facility in 2014 and currently remains on probation after violating federal election law in a U.S. Senate race in New York. D’Souza broke federal law in support of the Republican underdog Wendy Long as she faced off against incumbent Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Republican club president Deb Coughlin, in contrast, though her campaign support of the Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also was over federal limits, has not yet had charges brought against her.
“It’s really better in an ideal world for no one to get in trouble, but if you really think about it, if D’Souza got in trouble, then Deb should too, you know, have her day in court,” said one club member outside the club’s townhouse at the most recent club social.
While some speculate that Coughlin is being protected for breaking laws in favor of the locally dominant Democrats, the actual reasons for Coughlin not being investigated for her violation of campaign finance laws are not as suspicious as one might think.
The FEC is rather reliant on the “if you see something, say something” style of reporting in order to launch investigations. In fact receiving complaints are so important to the investigative process of the FEC that the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, 52 U.S.C. S 30109(a)(2) requires that once a complaint is received the FEC must make an investigation of violations it has reason to believe have been committed.
All this, amid the swirl of corruption surrounding the club that Coughlin runs, leaves one to question what is really taking place at the Metropolitan Republican Club.
In response to the details of Coughlin’s political contributions, one member at the club’s First Thursday gathering said “If that’s what she’s doing with her money, then ‘Republican in name only’ really describes Deb I’d say,” but little did that club member realize how much deeper these matters go.
Before the most recent details on Coughlin came out, one of the ousted pro-Trump board members, Allan Stevo, commented the night of the annual meeting, January 31, 2017 “Disgusting what’s happening tonight. The insiders ought to be ashamed of themselves. They’d be happier with everyone in this club wearing pink hats.”
Despite the overwhelming circumstantial evidence, County Chairwoman Adele Malpass assures anyone who will listen that the clearing of Trump supporting board members from the board “had absolutely nothing to do with Trump.”
“At this point, I am suspect of anyone who claims it had nothing to do with Trump. What are they trying to hide? Why can’t they all just admit it and we all move beyond that?” commented Allan Stevo.
While giving to Friends of Schumer is the right of every American, it makes you wonder: why does Coughlin even want to be on the board of such a high profile Republican club?
Why is the president of New York City’s elite Republican club a big donor to anti-Trump Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer? Why is she removing Trump supporters from the club board with no explanation?
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If the more than 400 members of the well-heeled Republican Metropolitan Club have their way – and they are a group of people used to having their way – it means that heads will roll, likely starting at the very top. It’s really only a matter of when that will start and if they will step down voluntarily or be pulled out by the membership in the midst of controversy.
Stay tuned for more.
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