State Senate 46th District: Hinchey campaign paid for Greenberg challenger’s lawyer 

Michelle Hinchey

Michelle Hinchey

HILLTOWNS — Although State Senate Candidate for the 46th District Michelle Hinchey and her campaign have distanced themselves from a challenge that was submitted against Democratic opponent Gary Greenberg’s nominating petition, financial filings reveal that Hinchey’s campaign paid the challenger’s lawyer $13,500. 

Greenberg was knocked off the ballot as a result of the challenge, clearing the way for Hinchey to be the sole Democrat in the June 23 primary. She’ll face Republican-backed Conservative Richard Amedure, of Rensselaerville, in November. Republican George Amedore is not seeking re-election.

Hébert Joseph, who submitted the challenge in March over concerns about the number of Greenberg’s signatures, was represented by attorney Alan M. Goldston in related proceedings. Joseph is the chair of Rensselaerville’s Democratic party and an endorser of Hinchey. 

The challenge succeeded in whittling down Greenberg’s number of signatures from 337 to 291, just below the state’s temporary threshold of 300 for ballot eligibility. Usually, candidates need 1,000 signatures to qualify for a ballot position. Because of the coronavirus, however, Governor Andrew Cuomo amended those requirements by executive order.  

Greenberg is now seeking a November ballot position as an independent candidate.

“All the expenses in our filings were spent to ensure Democratic victory in November, with the best candidate to represent the 46th district,”  Hinchey campaign manager Jesse Meyer told The Enterprise this week. “Attention to anything else is meant as a distraction.”

Greenberg told The Enterprise this month that the payments to Joseph’s lawyer indicate that Hinchey had lied to The Enterprise about her campaign’s involvement in the issue. Hinchey never said outright that her campaign was not involved.

Hinchey, in March, had told The Enterprise, “My campaign did not challenge the petitions, but there’s a basic set of rules determining eligibility and they apply to anyone hoping to be on the ballot.”

When asked this month if the Hinchey campaign coordinated with Joseph on the challenge, Meyer said he had no comment and referred back to his earlier statement.

Greenberg himself has not submitted financial disclosure reports, which are required by New York State Election Law to be submitted by candidates or committees who meet certain conditions.

Greenberg told The Enterprise that he is exempt from filing because of the ballot shakeup, and said that he’ll file reports when he’s back under the conditions that would require him to do so. 

The Enterprise could not reach anyone at the state or county boards of elections to verify Greenberg’s exemption, but Article 7 of section 14-124 in the lawbook states that “no candidate who is unopposed in a primary election and no political committee authorized by him ... shall be required to file the two statements of receipts, expenditures and contributions required by this article to be filed immediately prior to such uncontested primary election …”

According to the state board of election’s filing calendar for 2020, the first filing date related to the general election is Oct. 2. Failure to file a disclosure report can result in a fine of up to $1,000. 


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