Democrat Sean Eldridge Accused of Taking Illegal Contribution

Husband of New Republic editor used business group’s video without properly reporting, GOP claims

Sean Eldridge
Sean Eldridge / Wikimedia Commons

New York Republicans filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission last month alleging that Sean Eldridge, a Democratic candidate for a New York House seat, accepted an illegal contribution from a local business group.

According to the complaint, Eldridge, the husband of New Republic editor and Facebook "poke" button pioneer Chris Hughes, ran afoul of federal election laws by failing to report as an in-kind contribution b-roll video footage created by the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation and used in an Eldridge campaign ad.

The overlap between Eldridge’s ad and HVEDP’s footage was first reported by the Washington Free Beacon in December. The New York Daily News reported on the FEC complaint on Wednesday.

Federal campaign laws bar corporations from contributing to campaign committees. The video "is clearly the property of the HVEDC" the complaint says.

That means it is an in-kind donation from the HVEDC to Eldridge’s campaign committee, Republicans argue.

They want the FEC to investigate and penalize the campaign.

Eldridge’s critics claim his business activities in the Hudson Valley, where he has lived only since 2011, are extensions of his political efforts and attempts to buy good will in the area in advance of November’s election.