Rosselló Campaign Manager Downplays Reports of Fundraising Irregularities
SAN JUAN – Elías Sánchez, the executive director of the political campaign of Ricardo Rosselló Nevárez, one of the contenders for the for governor from the New Progressive Party, downplayed the investigation announced by the elections comptroller regarding alleged irregularities in fundraising for the campaign.
An internal audit by the Office of the Elections Comptroller reportedly revealed that more than $320,000 in cash funds are not confirmed by the donors identified in the reports.
“The Board of Comptrollers authorized the Donations and Spending Audit division to continue the investigation process and to inform us of the findings. This past Friday, we received the audit report that we had ordered stemming from two anonymous complaints, and the division recommended to us to request additional proof,” Comptroller Manuel Torres Nieves said in a statement.
Sánchez said, “We were exonerated of some malicious claims made in anonymous letters regarding a donor and the fact that the audits revealed that the t-shirt sales process was within the law, which makes us very happy.”
Regarding the audit process of fundraising events, he added, “If there is any information to corroborate, we should be apprised of it, and we are willing to help in finding the people who have not responded to the letters of the electoral comptroller, but the report discussed today in the press has not been divulged to us, thus we do not know its content.”
He stressed that Rosselló “is the only one that has, for more than a week, presented proposals, and this kind of news will not take us off course. We are not aware of the report mentioned but are willing to respond and collaborate with whatever is necessary.”
Sánchez explained that “it can be gleaned from the article that the claims in the anonymous letters before the electoral comptroller were proven false, those regarding a supposed doctor who received money from another one to donate, and the t-shirt sales, which, according to the audit were conducted within the law.”
Regarding the issue of the anonymous claims the report exonerates, Sánchez said they are strategies to divert attention from the important issues that need to be discussed.
“It is evident that Dr. Rosselló is the only candidate who has presented strong and organized proposals, and that is why there are attempts to detract from his message. But according to the article, the alleged claim was proven false and we were exonerated. This is a very important thing in that report.”
Sánchez believes that the findings regarding “unidentified donations” are nothing more than the audit process that the comptroller carries out for all the events of all candidates, in which they get in touch with the donor to verify the donation.
“I do not think this happens only in this audit. This is an issue of the donor that has nothing to do with the campaign, and we have yet to see if, in effect, the donor received the notification or look into why [the donor] has not responded, without jumping to conclusions,” he said, while urging all donors to respond to inquiry letters.
“We place ourselves at the disposition of the comptroller’s office to help in the process and give them support in finding those who have yet to respond,” Sánchez said. “It could be a donor identified by mistake that could have erroneously had the last name of another person. That happens often when there are events with hundreds of people and information is collected with mistakes.”
He argued, “in this case, what proceeds is for us to be notified so we can look into it and correct the information or correctly identify the donor. But we should note that this report has not been given to our committee, and therefore find strange that an audit that has not yet concluded is being discussed publicly.”