Submitted by Hector Arzeno, former Democratic challenger for State Rep, 151st District in the November 3, 2020 election
After learning that Harry Arora is under investigation for campaign finance issues, I have many questions. After reading the feeble attempts to deflect instead of substantively address the allegations, I have even more questions.
In my experience, ones who attack the messenger are more often than not, concealing something.
In this case, we don’t know what is concealed, but we know how. One month before the election, Arora’s wife set up a shell organization that the campaign paid as a “consultant”. According to Arora, this shell company was used to pay vendors. But why? They did not appear to have any difficulty paying their vendors before October. The Arora campaign had no need for a shell organization to funnel money through.
The timing is suspicious and mind you, this is not an innocent campaign financing slip. It takes a good amount of premeditation to incorporate this shell, a shell led by a family member, even though the SEEC guides state clearly that a campaign cannot pay family members or their business. I get it, in a busy campaign mistakes can be made, but you can’t accidentally start a shell corporation, and you don’t accidentally start a shell corporation four weeks from your election.
I had the same state funding as Arora, and was fully capable of recording my itemized expenditures on this campaign without any funny arrangements. Transparency is a critical component of the state’s Citizen Election Program, specifically to address efforts to subvert spending limits.
I do not think Arora did this to pocket the money, but I would like to hear from Arora, why he felt he needed a shell company to funnel money for his campaign.