Donations To Candidates For City Council

Cash Received

Average Donation

Median Donations






Joseph Levy and I have downloaded data from the New York State Board of Elections regarding the donors to the candidates running for Mayor and City Council in Saratoga Springs this year.  We chose to select for “all donations received from January 1, 2014 to present”.  As I understand it, the candidates are required to report quarterly on their donations.  The last filing date was October 1 so the data does not include donations for October which is a very important period for candidates and could include new donors not previously identified.

The data in the charts is for specifically identified donors.  The candidates also reported donations in a category called “Unitemized” which we are not listing.

In addition, the names that appear are sometimes organizations and other times individuals.  Joseph Levy and I have done searches on the web to find out who these people and groups are.  As careful as we have tried to be, our findings are subject to error.

Here are the latest totals for the candidates.

Mathiesen $11,598.01

Wirth $16,764.17

Yepsen $58, 864.00

Safford $30,819.75

Madigan $7,718.65

Ivins $4,145.54

Franck $14,845.47

Scirocco $7,776.73

McTygue $10,382.17

Linked to this blog are spreadsheets for each candidate with the complete listing of donors.  I have also written a program to cross reference the donors and candidates to see who has given to more than one candidate. For instance:

John Franck gave to Joanne Yepsen and Michele Madigan

Michele Madigan gave to John Franck and Chris Mathiesen

Chris Mathiesen gave to Michele Madigan

Joanne Yepsen did not contribute to any of the other incumbents nor did she contribute to Bill McTygue.

Here are some more of my findings from the cross referencing:

  1. It is interesting to see which candidates gave to which other candidates.  In spite of her very large campaign chest, Joanne Yepsen did not contribute to any other candidates.  Michele Madigan contributed to John Franck and to Chris Mathiesen but not to Joanne Yepsen.  Chris Mathiesen only contributed to Michele Madigan.  John Franck contributed to Joanne Yepsen and Michele Madigan but not to Chris Mathiesen.
  2. Matt Jones is an attorney.  His father was Mayor of the city for a number of terms.  He regularly represents the Saratoga Springs City Center.  He represented the D’Andreas in their failed attempt to amend the Comprehensive Plan to remove their land from the Conservation District so that they could build a denser residential development.  Mr. Jones’  contributions to Yepsen and Madigan were made in 2014 and his contribution to Franck was in February and May of this year.   It is interesting that during the same period he did not contribute to either Mathiesen or Scirocco.
  3. Peter Martin, Democratic Supervisor, contributed to all four sitting Democrats.
  4. Former Mayor Raymond Watkin contributed $400.00 to Joanne Yepsen, $200.00 to John Franck, $100.00 to Bill McTygue, and $99.00 to Republican Rick Wirth who is campaigning for Commissioner of Public Safety.  Since Mr. Watkin is suing the City over the sale of the Collamer Building which was championed by Commissioner Mathiesen, this is not surprising.
  5. Bruce Clements is the son of Tom Clements who was the Republican Supervisor representing the city for many years.  He is a prominent Republican.  His donations to Wirth and Safford were to be expected.  Less expected was his donation to Michele Madigan.
  6. Phil Klein was one of the City Supervisors for many years.  He was a prominent member of the Republican Party.  He is currently an executive in the insurance division of the Adirondack Trust.  Not surprisingly he contributed to the campaigns of Safford and Wirth but he also donated to Michele Madigan and did not contribute to Skip Sciricco.
  7. Frank Parrillo is a prominent developer who owns extensive property.  For example, he owned {and may still own) the land where the huge Hampton Hotel and Condos were built across from the Parting Glass.  Not surprisingly he gave to Safford and Wirth.  He gave his most generous contribution, however, to John Franck ($500.00).
  8. Thomas Roohan, who owns Roohan Realty, gave $1000.00 to Safford and $500.00 to Scirocco.  He also contributed $100.00 to Michele Madigan.
  9. Saratoga Gaming LLC is a PAC representing the Racino.  They contributed $250.00 to Yepsen, $100.00 to Franck, and $600.00 to Madigan. They did not give any money to Mathiesen or Scirocco.
  10. Gordon Boyd, one of the leaders of Saratoga PAC gave $100.00 each to Yepsen and Madigan.
  11. Clark Brink owns the local McDonalds and is a contributor to the PAC.  He has contributed to Wirth and Safford.
  12. D.A. Collins Corporation’s CEO is the spokesman for Saratoga PAC.  The corporation gave $1000.00 to Safford and $205.00 to Wirth.
  13. Pat Design, it is rumored, will become Bill McTygue’s deputy should McTygue win.  His wife Bonnie Design gave $250.00 to McTygue and $125.00 to Wirth.Peter Faith who is with Edwards & Kelcey, Land Use Planning Consultants gave to both Wirth and Safford
  14. Peter Faith who is with Edwards & Kelcey, Land Use Planning Consultants gave to both Wirth and Safford
  15. Eileen Finneran is Commissioner Mathiesen’s Deputy.  She gave to Mathiesen and Madigan.  She did not give to Yepsen or Franck.
  16. Michael Hoffman, President of Turf Hotels, the proposed hotel to be built on the former site of the ,Weathervane Restaurant gave Wirth $500.00 and Franck $200.00.
  17. Tom Lewis, past chairman of the City Republican Party and chief of staff for Kathy Marchione gave to Wirth and Safford but not to Republicans Ivins or Scirocco.
  18. Northeast Government Consulting  represents Laker Development which is owned by  Kevin Dalpos.  Dalpos was appointed by John Franck to the Comp Plan Committee and  took very strong pro-development positions on the Comp Plan chanages.  NGC contributed $550.00 to Michele Madigan and $200.00 to John Franck.
  19. Ronald Riggi of the super rich Riggis gave $500.00 to Scirocco and $500.00 to Wirth.
  20. Vincent Riggi of the super rich Riggis gave $1000.00 to Joanne Yepsen and $250.00 Scirocco.
  21. The Police Union gave $500.00 to Yepsen and $500.00 to Madigan.
  22. Francine Vero is with the Harris – Beach  law firm that is outside counsel for the city. She gave $100.00 to Yepsen and $200.00 to Franck.
  23.  Charlie Wheeler who serves on the City Center Board gave $75.00 to Yepsen and $50.00 to Safford.
  24. 1760 UNION STREET LLC is a PAC that we have been unable to identify.  As near as we can tell they are related to real estate.  They each gave Yepsen $1000.00
  25. 422 BROADWAY LLC another obscure PAC gave $500.00 to Safford.

John Safford

Full List Of Safford Donors

As would be expected, Mr. Safford is generously supported by the Republican network which includes the usual amalgam of business interests.  There was an obscure contributor identified as 422 Broadway LLC.  I emailed him asking who this entity was.  He never responded to my email.  The list was extensive.  I have identified some of the larger donors here and some others I thought of interest.

  1. Mr. Safford received $500.00 from something called 422 BROADWAY LLC which we could not locate on the web.  It turns outs that it is a real estate holding company owned by Bonacio Construction Company and the building is the “Washington Building.”
  2. Mark Baker who is the executive director of the City Center gave him $50.00.
  3. BCR Restaurant Corp. is a holding company for Pennell’s Restaurant owned by Bruce Cerone.  It contributed $1,000.00.
  4. Theresa Elmore Behrendt is a heavy duty Republican.  She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and was a special assistant to President Ronald Reagan.  She donated $1,000.00
  5. Bruce Clements owns an insurance agency and is a prominent Republican.  He was more generous to Safford ($250.00) than he was to Yepsen ($100.00)
  6. D.A. Collins Corporation.  Very large construction company which helped organize Saratoga PAC.  They contributed $1,000.00
  7. Eisman Farms is a big thoroughbred breeder.  Owned by Kriss Eisman.  Contributed $500.00.
  8. ESMI of New York (Fort Edward) does industrial clean up.  Contributed $1,000.00.
  9. Gaffney’s contributed $133.75.
  10. Mark Haworth is a partner at Bonacio construction.  Contributed $1000.00.
  11. Horseshoe Inn Bar and Grill contributed $300.00.
  12. Mike Ingersoll from the LA Group only contributed $75.00.
  13. Andrew Jarosh (on the executive committee of the city Republican Committee)  contributed $50.00.
  14. Kate Jarosh (married to Andrew)  contributed $40.00 and gave nothing to Ken Ivins.  She was his campaign manager in previous elections  and his deputy when he was in office.
  15. Joseph Kakety is chief sales officer for College Loan Corporation and a big donor to the national Republican Party.  He donated $1,000.00.
  16. Tom Lewis was past chairman of the city Republican Party and an executive at Stewarts.  He is chief of staff for Kathy Marchione.  He is chair of the county Blanning board and serves on the city Planning Board.  He contributed $250.00.
  17. Frank Parillo Is big local developer.  He contributed $150.00
  18. Tom Roohan is a well known local realtor and has been a committeeman on the city Republican Committee.  He contributed $1,000.00.
  19. Sam’s Tires threw in $50.00
  20. Sutton For Mayor – Shauna Sutton lost to Yepsen in the last election.  Her committee contributed $500.00.
  21. Anthony Swiatek of Minerva Coins and Jewelry contributed $250.00
  22. Cliff VanWagner who is on the Planning Board contributed $100.00
  23. Charles Wait, President of Adirondack Trust contributed $250.00.

Joanne Yepsen

Full List Of Yepsen Donors

Ms. Yepsen was the champion fundraiser.  Many people contributed to her campaign.  With a few exceptions the list below is for people who donated $500.00 or more.  Attorneys were heavily represented in this group.  There were also several leaders of Saratoga PAC.

  1. 1760 UNION STREET LLC and 73 TROY ROAD LLC gave $1000.00 a piece.  They both have the same address in Cohoes, New York.  I emailed Ms. Yepsen asking who these donors were.  She did not respond.
  2. Jeffery Altamari donated $1000.00.  Mr. Altamari is Ms. Yepsen’s campaign treasurer.  He is also the treasurer of Semass Recycling Management Corporation
  3. Robert Beck donated $1000.00.  He is President. of John W. Danforth Company, mechanical contractors
  4. John Behan runs a consulting firm that specializes in planning issues and has done business with the city.  He contributed $800.00
  5. Gary Bordeau contributed $1000.00.  He owns Bourdeau Builders
  6. Steven Bouchey contributed $900.00.  He owns Bouchey Financial Group – Investment Advisers
  7. FPI MECHANICAL, INC. contributed $500.00.  They are an HVAC and plumbing contractor in Cohoes, NY.
  8. HASBROUK, PATRICIA? Donated $500.00
  9. HEMMER, DAWN? Donated $1000.00.  Her address is Syracuse.
  10. John Hendrickson (husband of MaryLou Whitney) donated $1000.00
  11. Joy Heyman? Donated $1000.00
  12. Hodgson Russ LLP is a law firm of which Robert McLaughlin is an attorney. Combined  donation was $950.00
  13. Jeffery Honeywell of the law firm Girvin & Ferlazzo in Glenmont contributed $1000.00
  14. Anderson, Anthony, and Tricia Ianniello whose law firm is involved with land issues contributed $2,350.00.
  15. Thomas Kersher of Kershner, Gross and Co.  Financial Services donated $500.00
  16. Frank Kiepura who is in financial services donated $500.00
  17. Lincoln Concepts LLC of Virginia donated $500.00
  18. Michael Phinney, architect, donated $1000.00
  20. Northway Title Agency donated $1000.00
  21. New York Thoroughbred Horsemen donated $1000.00
  22. Vincent Riggi  donated $1000.00
  23. Saratoga Gaming Resources (Racino) donated $250.00
  24. Saratoga Springs Police Benevolent Association donated $500.00
  25. Spa City Recycling donated $500.00
  26. TRINITY BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT CORP of Massachusetts donated $700.00
  27. Jeffery Vukelic is one of the founders of the Saratoga PAC and President and CEO, Saratoga Eagle Sales & Services Inc., beer distributors. Contributed $500.
  28. Charles Wait is President of Adirondack Trust and a leader of the Saratoga PAC.  He donated $500.00

Michele Madigan

Full List of Madigan Donors

Ms. Madigan received more donations from donors who also gave to Republicans than any other candidate.  She was also the only candidate to receive a donation from Tom Newkirk of Saratoga National Golf Course.

  1. Mark Baker, the executive director of the City Center contributed $50.00
  2. Gordon Boyd who is one of the founders of Saratoga PAC gave $100.00
  3. Bruce Clements whose father was the Republican Supervisor for many years and was a prominent Republican contributed $100.00
  4. John Franck used his campaign fund to donate $250.00
  5. Attorney Matt Jones whose practice includes land-use issues donated $350.00
  6. The Independence Party contributed $300.00
  7. Phil Klein who is a prominent Republican, former Supervisor,a donor to Saratoga PAC, and is an insurance executive with Adirondack Trust contributed $99.00
  8. Chris Mathiesen and his deputy, Eileen Fineran, contributed
  9. Thomas Newkirk of Saratoga National Golf Course contributed $125.00.
  10. Northeast Government Consulting contributed $550.00
  11. Saratoga Gaming (Racino) contributed $600.00
  12. Saratoga Springs Police Benevolent Association contributed $500.00

Bill  McTygue

Full List of McTygue Donors

The most interesting donation was $1,000.00 from Daniel Garrity who is the senior owner of Saratoga Raceway and Casino.  Bill and his brother Tom played a very public role in supporting the Racino’s bid for expansion.

  1. Belmonte Builders (Peter Belmonte) contributed $500.00
  2. Blue Star Enterprises. Appears to be a real estate holding company registered to Stephen Ethier who is a local realtor and developer, and partner with  Belmonte  in developing former Ellsworth Ice Cream property on Division Street. Contributed $500.00
  3. Daniel Garrity who is the principal owner of Saratoga Raceway and Casino donated $1000.00
  4. Harlan McGee Engineering of Malta contributed $400.00. Architects and engineering consultants, specializing in the resolution of civil litigation and claims involving personal injury, property damage, etc.

Ken Ivins

Full List of Ivins Donors

Ken Ivins had very modest success in fundraising.  He did not receive the endorsement of the local Republican Committee.  It is interesting that the county committee donated money to him.

  1. Commercial Coverage Inc. contributed $500.00.  Mr. Ivins works for them.
  2. Personal Coverage Inc. contributed $500.00.  Same owner as Commercial Coverage
  3. Republican County Campaign Committee donated $400.00

Skip Scirocco

Full List of Scirocco Donors

Skip Scirocco appears to have been modest in his fundraising.

  1. Vincent and Ronald Riggi , twin brothers and partners in the turbine business, contributed $750.00
  2. Thomas Roohan realtor and founder of Saratoga PAC and prominent Republican contributed a total of $775.
  3. Matt Jones, Attorney contributed $250.00
  4. Frank Parillo, major developer, contributed $250.00
  5. Stuart Ginsburg is a financial adviser with Wells Fargo.  He contributed $250.00
  6. M & J Construction/Red Rolls LLC owned by Mannie Balestero contributed $1000.00
  7. Anthony Swiatek of Minerva Coins and Jewelry contributed $250.00
  8. A.C. Riley (AKA AC Dake) former Mayor contributed $200.00

Rick Wirth

Full List Of Wirth Donors

No surprises here with the exception of the bizarre donation from Leon Pokoik .  The other donations are pretty much the standard network of real estate, construction, finance, and institutional Republicans with the exception of former Democratic Mayor Ray Watkin who is suing the city over the Collamer lot sale.

  1. D.A. Collins – Construction and founder of Saratoga PAC contributed $205.00
  2. Joe Dalton – Past President of Chamber of Commerce contributed $99.00
  3. Goldstein and Costello Agency – Bail Bondsmen from Albany contributed $500.00.  Wirth is a private investigator.  Maybe he tracks down bail jumpers?
  4. Michael Hoffman who is a partner with Frank Parillo and owner of the Turf Hotels contributed $500.00
  5. J2 Designs – Landscape and Construction.  Mathiesen will not let them use the city streets for parking their trucks.  Contributed $130.00
  6. Scott Johnson,  former Mayor,  contributed $500.00
  7. John Lant is a used car dealer (Lant’s Auto Sales) contributed $200.00
  8. Tom Lewis (see Safford listing).  Only contributed $55.00
  9. Frank Parillo – developer – Hampton Inn – Contributed $275.00
  10. Leon Pokoik – Candidate for Town Commission, Longboat Key, Florida. The Pokoik family owns real estate in Manhattan. In 2006, Leon was charged by other family members of embezzling over $2.2 million from the business, the amount that he actually agreed to reimburse.  Contributed $1000.00
  11. Ronald Riggi (Turbines) contributed 500.00
  12. A.C. Riley (see Safford) contributed $290.00
  13. Patrick Rocco is a Captain with the Saratoga Springs Fire Department.  He contributed $200.00
  14. Saratoga Cleaners contributed $200.00
  15. Todd Shimkus is president of the Chamber of Commerce.  He contributed $100.00
  16. Stewarts Shops contributed a mere $150.00  (they are saving their money for the PAC)
  17. John Baker of Gaffney’s contributed $475.00
  18. Anthony Swiatek (see Safford) contributed $100.00
  19. Cantina Bar and Restaurant contributed $250.00
  20. Turbine Services (more Riggi money) contributed $1000.00
  21. Cliff Van Wagner on Planning Board contributed $150.00
  22. Scott Varley, realtor, contributed $300.00
  23. Ray Watkin is past Democratic City Mayor.  He contributed $99.00

Chris Mathiesen

Full List of Mathiesen Donors

Commissioner Mathiesen received many small and medium donations.  He is supported by the most progressive wing of the Democrats in the town.  The only large donations he received were from Rob Mains ($900.00) and Amy Durland ($1,385.00).  They are married.  He did analytical work for the investment industry and she served on the Planning Board.  I will take the liberty of noting that Amy Durland has put in endless hours over the last few decades fighting the good fight to protect the greenbelt and to support thoughtful development.  I am not surprised by her generous support for Commissioner Mathiesen because Ms. Durland is someone who acts on what she believes.

John Franck

Full List Of Franck Donors

John Franck is a staunch supporter of Saratoga National Golf Course and his donations reflect his enthusiasm for development.  It is interesting that he received all this money even though he has no opponent.  He did not report on any income during the quarter that ended October 1.

  1. Dean Michael of Asset Manager, Saratoga Hotel Group, Real Estate Development donated $200.00
  2. DBS Realty Holding company for Northway Estates mobile home park donated $200.00
  3. FITZGERALD MORRIS BAKER FIRTH P.C. Law firm from Glens Falls represented city in water and landfill issues donated $500.00
  4. Collin Grady Manager at US Foods, formerly with Mazzone Group (Food Service) Mazzone is one of the principal owners of Saratoga National Golf Course.  He contributed $100.00
  5. Michael Hoffman President of Turf Hotels, proposed hotel on site of Weathervane Restaurant donated $200.00
  6. Jo-ann’s Candy House contributed $900.00.
  7. Kimberly Jones, wife of E. Stewart Jones (well-known criminal defense attorney) contributed $250.00
  8. Matt Jones, local attorney, contributed $500.00
  9. LEMERY GREISLER LLC law firm contributed $500.00
  10. Adam McNiell Financial advisor, President of McNeill Financial Group contributed $250.00
  11. Bill McTygue contributed $300.00
  12. Ira Mickenberg, attorney, contributed $200.00
  13. Northeast Government Consulting, a legislative lobbying firm which represents Laker Development  Group. Kevin Dalpos of Laker Development  was appointed to the Comp Plan Committee by John Franck.  Was known on the committee as a development zealot. Contributed $250.00
  14. O’DELL & O’DELL, PC, Law Firm in Glens Falls, contributed $200.00
  15. Frank Parillo , real estate developer, business partner of Michael Hoffman (see above #5), has business relations with Franck. Donated $500.00
  16. RIDA ARCHITECTURE PLLC, Dominic RIgosu donated $400.00
  17. Patrice Shannon Editor/Associate Producer at Curiosity Stream (video production) donated $300.00
  18. Andreas Spungen, Yoga instructor, donated $500.00
  19. James Towne, Jr, Attorney, member of NYRA Franchise Oversight Board, $250.00
  20. Plumbers and Pipefitters Union donated $500.00.  Larry Bulman was the chair of the Saratoga County Democratic Party and head of the local Plumbers and Pipefitters Union before going to Washington for a high union post.
  21. Cliff Van Wagner has been on the City Planning Board for decades.  He has been a prominent Republican and is about as close a friend of the development community as there is.
  22. Francine Vero Business and Commercial Litigation Attorney, Harris Beach LLC donated $200.00
  23. Nancy Vetter donated $300.00
  24. Raymond Watkin, past Democratic Mayor, donated $200.00
  25. Sarah Whittle donated $500.00

2 thoughts on “Donations To Candidates For City Council”

  1. Great analysis and lots of data! You need to bump up your numbers though, Ms Yepsen is now up to $62,645.95 as of the filing today. This is the last info that we will get until after the election unless the donations are over $1000.


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