NY Dems Evicted?
In Dispute Over Rent, State Democrats And Paterson Face Eviction From Headquarters
By Edward-Isaac Dovere
Ebenezer Scrooge would have been proud: just before Christmas, employees at State Democratic Party headquarters arrived to find a notice of eviction tacked to the door. Rose Hill Property Association served the State Democrats and, as a subtenant, the “Paterson for Governor” campaign, citing “rent in arrears in the sum of $28,848.00 with interest from October 1, 2010, together with a judgment for attorneys’ fees, costs and disbursements.” That puts them three months behind in rent payments.
Peace, love and harmony have not exactly been in the air at the state headquarters this Christmas season. Sources indicate that the eviction notice is the latest symptom of tensions between the State Democratic Party and what remains of the outgoing governor’s campaign operation, with a dispute over who is liable for payments for the 10th floor space (Democrats occupy both the 9th and 10th floors of a narrow building on Park Avenue South and 32nd Street).
Reached by email, Democratic state chairman Jay Jacobs would not discuss the situation between the Democrats and Paterson. “I am not commenting on any dispute. Suffice it to say that our obligations have been met,” Jacobs wrote. “There is no disputing that.” Jacobs said that the landlord has been informed that the State Party has paid its share of the rent. The New York State Democratic Committee is current in all of its rent obligations. I rechecked with our office today and found that that is the case. That notice, as pertaining to the New York State Democratic Committee, is in error,” Jacobs wrote.
According to its most recent filings, the state Democrats had $71,000 on hand in their state account and $165,000 in their federal account, though they are apparently carrying some as-yet-unreported debt coming out of the 2010 cycle. Current information about the party’s housekeeping account, generally used for rent payments, will not be available until mid-January.
The Paterson for Governor campaign is not the only tenant that could be subject to problems if the eviction goes through: the space on the 10th floor is also home to the Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee, the New York County Democrats, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee (which is itself in debt for $2.4 million), the Democratic Lawyers Council and the fundraising firm Bedford Grove.
The lawyer for Rose Hill Property Association did not return a request for comment about the situation. Attempts to contact representatives of the Paterson campaign were not successful.