July 26, 2018
ITHACA, NY – The Ithaca Times/Ithaca.com, published a story yesterday, that was critical of State Senator Tom O’Mara (R, Big Flats). According to the story, which was picked up by the statewide news webpage, EmpireReportNY.com, O’Mara spent over $11,000 of campaign funds, on dining expenses. The EmpireReportNY.com site linked to the Ithaca Times story, with a headline that O’Mara spent more than half of his campaign funds on dining.
When you read the actual story, you see O’Mara’s explanation is that those dinner events were related to his senate office, and that those were dinner meetings with voters, lobbyists, etc. O’Mara also stated that the senate rules forbid reimbursement for dining. An official from the State Election Board was quoted as backing up what O’Mara said, telling the Ithaca Times that “If it’s related to the holding of public office or the candidate’s position in the party, it’s generally allowed”.