August 02, 2007

Fields owes an additional $337,340

The C. Virginia Fields campaign must pay a total of $407,907 back to the NYC Campaign Finance Board, according to the CFB audit released August 1st.

In addition to the $70,567 fine (which Ms. Fields can be held personally liable), the Campaign Finance Board wants the Fields campaign to return $337,340 in overpaid public matching funds.

According to the CFB, if the additional money is not returned, they may publicize the campaign's recalcitrance on the CFB web site, and they may seek the money through the filing of a civil action in court.

More over, Ms. Fields would be ineligible to receive any additional public matching funds should she ever run for an office under the jurisdiction of the NYC Campaign Finance Board (does not include state or federal offices).

Ms. Fields claimed she could be a responsible steward of the NYC 50 billion budget. However, the audit shows an apparent slothness in keeping track of multiple $10 expenditures.

Posted by Merkookio at 03:21 PM | TrackBack (0)

Final Audit of Fields' 2005 campaign released

The NYC Campaign Finance Board has released the final audit of the C. Virginia Fields 2005 campaign where her hopes to be NYC Mayor fizzled and imploded, primarily due to Virginia Fields' questionable judgment and horrible record as Borough President.

The audit reflects her lack of fiscal acumen and bad organization. Over and over again, the audit cites the Fields campaign for failure to document expenditures and contributions and failure to submit required documentation to the CFB auditors.

After reading through the audit, one wonders why the fine was only $70,000.

The audit (74 pages in PDF format) may be downloaded here, or at the NYC Campaign Finance Board web site.

Posted by Merkookio at 03:04 PM | TrackBack (0)

July 21, 2007

Campaign Board to Fields: You're Fined!

Below are excerpts from the NYC Campaign Finance Board press release:

For immediate release

July 20, 2007 -- During a regularly scheduled meeting today, the Campaign Finance Board assessed separate penalties against eight campaigns.

Penalties were assessed against six City Council candidates from the 2005 election: Alicka Ampry-Samuel, William Boyland, James Gennaro, Eric Gioia, Joyce Johnson and James Sanders. Penalties were also assessed against one 2005 candidate for Bronx borough president, Adolfo Carrion, and C. Virginia Fields, a 2005 candidate for mayor. For a complete list, see below.

Candidate Office Violation Assessed Penalty Total Assessed Penalties
Fields, C. Virginia
Mayor Failure to respond to Draft Audit in a timely fashion (112 days late) $43,800 $70,567
$15,050 over-the-limit contribution $10,000
$2,550 over-the-limit contribution $2,800
$1,050 over-the-limit contribution $1,300
$50 over-the-limit contribution $300
Failing to report in-kind contributions $550
Failing to adequately document in-kind contributions $200
Filing Statement 3 (1) day late $400
Filing Statement 5 (1) day late $400
Failing to report, or demonstrate the absence of, subcontractors $750
$57,272 in non-campaign related and impermissible post-election expenditures $5,727
5.90% monetary disbursements variance $1,000
Failing to report a transfer $50
Maintaining a petty cash fund balance in excess of $500 $250
Failing to file contemporaneous pre-election disclosure statements $250
Failing to document expenditures $250
Failing to submit a family member information form $50
Corporate contributions $1,040
"Single-source" over-the-limit contributions $1,250
Failing to provide a signed intermediary statement $200

Posted by Merkookio at 09:53 AM | TrackBack (0)

Fields get whalloped for $70K

This ditty appeared on the Observer's Politicker late on a Friday in the dead of summer's dog days. Were they trying to bury the news, or is Virginia Fields that irrelevent these days?

Fields also failed to submit the required January 15th and July 15th 2007 Periodic Reports with the State Board of Elections. We don't know if she ever paid the city back for her use of the city car and driver, as she promised to do.

The last time we looked, her Mayoral campaign treasury had zeroed out, meaning the money to pay the fine has to come from, well, elsewhere.

Virginia Fields Fined $70K
The Politicker
Friday, 07/20/2007 2:00 PM
by Azi Paybarah

The city Campaign Finance Board just announced its latest round of fines, with Virginia Fields leading the pack.

Fields' 2005 mayoral campaign was fined $70,567, mostly for not responding to a draft audit in a timely fashion (112 days late!). She was also fined $5,727 for spending $57,272 on "non-campaign related and impermissible post-election expenditures."

Other notable fines: Adolfo Carrion's 2005 campaign for Bronx Borough President was fined $6,875, mostly for accepting over-the-limit contributions. Eric Gioia was fined $5,050, mostly for the same reason.

Posted by Merkookio at 09:35 AM | TrackBack (0)

April 16, 2007

Photoshopping C. Virginia Fields can't take credit for

Photoshopping C. Virginia Fields can't take credit for

Posted by Merkookio at 02:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

March 06, 2007

Fields emerges; embarrasses Hillary

After many months of hiding, C. Virginia Fields emerged yesterday on national television pretending to spar with NBC's Chris Matthews really soft questions. We almost forgot how horrible the Fields' screech could be, but there it was pandering away on behalf of Hillary Clinton (who herself is no stranger to pandering).

Matthews focused on the so-called Showdown in Selma, and, of the two leading contenders for the 2008 Democratic nomination -- Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, which had the most-forced Southern drawl and who was able to out-Negro the other. Watching Hillary Clinton mimic a Southern drawl on the traditional spiritual "I don't Feel No Ways Tired" is hilarious.

We're presuming that NBC pays Hardball staffers considerable salaries to come up with hard-hitting questions for Matthews to ask his guests, such as:

• Why was it important for Clinton to attend? (perhaps a trick why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road question designed just for C. Virginia Fields, maybe she was prepped. She got it right: because 'she's running for President')
• Who had the most effective performance? (not answered)
• Do you believe Hillary Clinton can hold her own against Barack Obama in the black community? (not answered)

Perhaps taking a dig at Hillary Clinton, but equally applicable to C. Virginia Fields, Matthews' other guest, Selma Congressman Artur Davis said the black community has "...a lot of experience with politicians over the last fifteen years who became famous, but who didn't have a progressive agenda..."

Concluding the interview, Matthews whoops to Fields, "In fact the Clinton Campaign designated YOU as their spokesperson for tonight's program..." If we were Hillary supporters, we would start praying.

For an audio capture of the exchange (mp3), go here. For the transcript, see after the jump.

For a serious look at the historical importance of the Selma March, go here.

Continue reading "Fields emerges; embarrasses Hillary"

Posted by Merkookio at 04:04 AM | TrackBack (0)

March 03, 2007

C. Virginia Fields Sued for Election Law Violations

The New York State Board of Elections has filed legal actions against two campaign committees created by former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields for her 2005 Mayoral race and her 2006 State Senate race.

Ms. Fields lost the Democratic Primary for Mayor in September 2005 and she dropped out of the State Senate race in June 2006.

By an Order to Show Cause filed February 22nd in Albany Supreme Court, the State Board of Elections is seeking a court order compelling the Fields campaigns to file required campaign finance reports and pay fines.

Although the two committees are separate entities, as a candidate Ms. Fields is ultimately responsible for the filing of the reports and for any fines. The law requires candidates to be notified separately of the lack of compliance and potential liability.

According to Board of Elections officials, if the committees have not been terminated, declared inactive, or still maintain a financial balance, they are required to comply with NYS Campaign Finance Disclosure rules. The latest filing, missed by Ms. Fields and the committees on January 15th, would show who made donations to the campaigns and how the money was spent.

The New York State Election Law states, "failure to file ... shall constitute prima facie evidence of a willful failure to file" and "any person who knowingly and willfully fails to file a statement ... shall be guilty of a misdemeanor."

If the reports are not filed by the court return date in late March, the fines may be increased.

Excerpts from the New York State Election Law:

§ 14-108. Time for filing statements.

5. The state board of elections or other board of elections, as the case may be, shall not later than ten days after the last day to file any such statement notify each person required to file any such statement which has not been received by such board by such tenth day in accordance with this article of such person's failure to file such statement timely. Such notice shall be in writing and mailed to the last known residence or business address of such person by certified mail, return receipt requested. Failure to file within five days of receipt of such notice shall constitute prima facie evidence of a willful failure to file. If the person required to file such statement is a treasurer who has stated that the committee has been authorized by one or more candidates, a copy of such notice shall be sent to each such candidate by first class mail. A copy of any such notice sent by a board of elections other than the state board of elections shall be sent by such other board to the state board.

§ 14-126. Violations; penalties.

2. Any person who knowingly and willfully fails to file a statement required to be filed by this article within ten days after the date provided for filing such statement or any person who knowingly and willfully violates any other provision of this article shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Posted by Merkookio at 07:30 PM | TrackBack (0)

February 02, 2007

Fields and the Lexicon

The legacy of C. Virginia Fields (and the metaphorical image created by the mere mention of her name) is likely to be the use of Photoshop-altered images in political campaigns to create false impressions of political support.

As sure-as-shootin' that Monica Lewinsky will be at the top of Bill Clinton's obit, so too Photo-gate (or Fields-gate) will take prominent space in the eventual obituary for Clara Virginia Fields.

Not the first, doubtful the last and perhaps not the most egregious in its use, Fields-Photo-gate is known for the utter stupidity in the way the candidate (Virginia Fields) handled the disclosure and political fallout of the flap. But like the memorable Barry White song, with Fields, Photo-gate is the first, the last, the everything.

Even the right-wing Slant Point commented, "...if the Fields campaign had any intelligence, they'd simply follow Madison Avenue and hire the right colorful actors to all appear in the same shot. The end result is the same - forced diversity - but at least you'd avoid the fallout from photo fixing."

Or as Politics and Technology said, "Once again, people, don't do this."

Perhaps like Watergate, it wasn't so much the crime as it was the cover-up that mattered.

So it didn't surprise anyone when the Observer referred to a similar incident as "Virginia Fields-esque problem."

See the full article after the jump.

Continue reading "Fields and the Lexicon"

Posted by Merkookio at 04:55 AM | TrackBack (0)

January 27, 2007

Update: Fields Continues Avoiding Campaign Finance Rules

While New York State government may be the most foul this side of Baghdad, the one thing Albany bureaucrats do get serious about is Campaign Finance Disclosure.

As indicated from our January 22 report, C. Virginia Fields and her campaign committees were required to submit reports on January 15, 2007 updating contributions received, expenditures and other details. To date they have not done so, making them almost two weeks late.

So did they just forget? According to the New York State Board of Elections, a letter was scheduled to go out to Milton Wilson, Treasurer of the Fields' campaigns on or around January 22nd, reminding him of the January 15th deadline, and giving him five days to comply.

While the NYS BOE was not able to clarify if the sky would fall after five days, they did say that if Ms. Fields' non-compliance was not resolved within a few weeks, there could be escalating fines and other penalties.

Not only would they be required the pay the fines and other costs associated with the non-compliance, reported the Board of Elections, they would ultimately have to file the report as well.

Posted by Merkookio at 11:13 AM | TrackBack (0)

January 22, 2007

Fields Violates Campaign Finance Laws

Appears that the Fields political campaigns (and Ms. Fields who is ultimately responsible for compliance) are violating the New York State Election Law by failing to file periodic Financial Disclosure Reports with the New York State Board of Elections.

Candidates and their committees must file two kinds of reports: Periodic Reports are due January 15th and July 15th every year as long as the committee exists and until the committee is properly terminated.

In addition, if the candidate is Active (running for office), they must file up to six reports prior to and after the primary and general elections. While Ms. Fields is not currently a candidate for any office, there is speculation that she might be one in the future. After all, what else has she ever done besides run for office? She doesn't run a business. She doesn't sell toxic sludge (despite the inference below). She's a political hack, and unless she panders to people, she will wither in obscurity and irrelevance.

According to the New York State Board of Elections, Ms. Fields and her committees are in violation for failing to file the required January 2007 periodic report that would detail contributions and expenses. This is a serious violation that if not corrected shortly, would lead to the state agency filing an Order to Show Cause and obtaining a legal judgment for escalating fines.

Posted by Merkookio at 04:46 AM | TrackBack (0)

A lot of confused people

So this web site has recently been accused of causing confusion among the few people that might think C. Virginia Fields is a real person and not a robot from developers and corporations. After the embarassment of her 2005 mayoral campaign, she discovered that virtually no one would support her for the State Senate in 2006, leading to her early dropping out of the race.

There hasn't been much news about Ms. Fields lately, but perhaps these two recent reports can provide insight to the confusion that may (or may not) exist.

"I dont understand the BAN - I'm not advertising I'm looking to speak to someone from Virginia as I'm moving there shorty and looking for some information on Virginia Fields etc ... I think I just explained everything there... If there is anyone from Virginia, could you please PM as i need some help Locating some of the Paintball sites over there and have a few questions about what paintball is like over there."

-- from Looking for Virginia Ballers

and of course this is our favorite which puts her political career in context:

"Biosolids have been the source of controversy for years. We are talking about sewer sludge. It is usually shipped in from New York and New Jersey. It's then used to fertilize Virginia fields."

-- from Some lawmakers want better regulations for biosolids

Posted by Merkookio at 04:10 AM | TrackBack (0)

November 20, 2006

Long Life to Charlie Rangel

So the Democrats will have Congress. Time will tell whether they will seek to undo six years of George Bush and Dick Cheney. But don't the donkeys have as much pent-up blather and pandering as the party of Mark Foley?

One result of the Democrats taking the house of Representatives hits home: Harlem congressman Charlie Rangel will assume the chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee -- for which he has been waiting for thirty years. But earlier this year, perhaps in a moment of despair, the 76 year-old Rangel said that if the Democrats did not take the House, he would retire.

Oh, No!

Now Charlie Rangel isn't our favorite politician by any means, but his continued presence does keep Virginia Fields out of elective office. Were he to retire, Harlem could experience a sea-change in the political line-up.

Some see Fields as the natural successor to Rangel's seat (and held by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. until 1972). Fields is considered a political protege of the Harlem clubhouse whose powerhouse members include Rangel , former mayor David Dinkens, Basil Paterson and Percy Sutton.

But Rangel is quite spry for his 76 years and he may stay in Congress as long as the Democrats hold on to the majority and even then until they carry him out on a stretcher. No one expects him to retire any time soon, which of course means C. Virginia Fields just sits and waits.

When Rangel does retire, there will be plenty of competition for his seat, including a flock of up-and-coming politicians of the next generation -- now ranging from their 30's to early 50's.

- Bill Perkins was just elected to the New York State Senate seat that Fields had coveted. He's not going anywhere soon, but could run for Congress when the seat opens.

- Assemblymember Keith Wright is ensconced in his seat, but some see him also wanting the Rangel seat.

- Not to forget Assemblymember Adam Clayton Powell, IV, who could come back from relative obscurity to claim what he will undoubtedly characterize as the family seat (he had unsuccessfully challenged Rangel for the seat in 1994).

And that's just the established politicians. Younger hacks in their 30's are also testing the political waters.

So Virginia Fields may not have a lock on the seat if and when it opens up. Moreover, she's getting older, and older and older. She has been out of office for over a year and that's a lifetime in politics. People forget who you are.

From her two recent campaigns, she may not have the proverbial fire in the belly. She may not be able to garner union and political club support, and most importantly, she may not be able to raise the cash for what would be a nasty primary.

Of course stranger things have happened. Some of us remember that Dick Nixon came back in 1968 after losing to Kennedy in 1960 and the California Gubernatorial race in 1962. Vigilance is needed.

Posted by Merkookio at 12:27 PM | TrackBack (0)

September 15, 2006

Poor Poor Ginny Fields

Who in their right mind would want to inherit the political baggage of C. Virginia Fields through no fault of their own other than their name being similar (or exactly the same)?

Chances are that Virginia Fields (no not that Virginia Fields) had that in mind when she ran for office using the name "Ginny Fields."

Yes folks, there are two Virginia Fields in New York elective politics and Ginny Fields (right) is still in office, in the New York State Assembly representing communities from Long Island. Now using the name Ginny, her constituents in Suffolk County (where she was a member of the Suffolk County Legislature before being elected to the State Assembly) have in the past known her as Virginia.

See here, here, here and here.

Posted by Merkookio at 03:24 PM | TrackBack (0)

August 01, 2006

Did Virginia Fields lie about her age?

Happy Birthday to C. Virginia Fields on August 4th. The only question is, which birthday is it: 60th or 61st?

According to the Political Graveyard and many news reports, C. Virginia Fields was born August 4, 1946 making her 60 on August 4, 2006.

But campaign watchers remember her well-publicised 60th Birthday Fund Raising bash on August 4, 2005 ... when she would have been only 59 years old!

"Please join me on Monday, August 8, 2005 as I celebrate my fabulous 60th birthday ... Tickets start at $160 per person ... As I mark this milestone year, my life experiences and time in government have shaped my vision of making New York City a city of inclusion and opportunity for all New Yorkers." So read the invitation.

Why the lie? Some may think that some women lie about their age, but that's usually to make them appear younger, not older as in this case. Perhaps a fund raising event would not have been so interesting if it was for boring old 59 years.

Just a little fib. Just like Photo-gate (but she can't blame Joe Mercurio on this one). And she wanted to be Mayor. Balls Balls Balls.

Posted by Merkookio at 07:35 AM | TrackBack (0)

June 29, 2006

Driving Ms. Fields

Flashback to this December 26, 2005 report from the New York Post:

"In the first two days of the transit strike, only emergency vehicles were allowed on Fifth and Madison avenues under Mayor Bloomberg's contingency plan. Those rules apparently applied to all Manhattan drivers except the borough's president, C. Virginia Fields, according to our City Hall correspondent Stefan C. Friedman. An eagle-eyed spy caught Fields, the former mayoral hopeful who will be term-limited out of office in fewer than 10 days, sitting in the back of her city car as her driver took her down Fifth Avenue last Wednesday with "every one of the lights going." The emergency? Fields was "doing an assessment of how the transit strike was impacting the businesses on Fifth, Madison and First Avenues," according to spokesman Charles Walker. We eagerly await Fields' report before she moves out of city government on Jan. 1."

Posted by Merkookio at 02:23 AM | TrackBack (0)

June 09, 2006

What's a Gal gonna do?

For the entire story, see Working Families for WalMart

Posted by Merkookio at 01:03 PM | TrackBack (0)

June 01, 2006

Put the fork in. She's done.

And we were just gearing up for the fun (also working on a number of posts from the January-May period in order to catch up).

But today, citing a "very personal" decision, and that the campaign has "been very draining on me so soon after a very grueling mayoral campaign" (New York Times), Clarabell Virginia Fields decided to drop out of the campaign for state senator.

The news was also reported on the Observer and Daily news blogs.

Fields had just raised a reported $100,000 from a fund raiser at the Yale Club on May 15th and she had hired the Parkside Group (Queens lobbyists with ties to Hillary and Cuomo). She even had a web site being prepared.

But her main opponent, Bill Perkins had secured a growing list of endorsements from Upper West Side Democratic clubs.

With Fields dropping out, Perkins will presumably win the primary and election for state senate.

What is also interesting is that Perkins could be the person to beat for Charlie Rangel's seat when he decides to retire. I'm sure we'll all hear more about this later.

So now Fields will need to get a job. Perhaps Wal-Mart?

Posted by Merkookio at 05:47 PM | TrackBack (0)