MANHATTAN — Since former male model and firefighter Craig Schley announced he was running for Congressman Charles Rangel’s seat six months ago, he has opened a campaign office, argued his side in numerous debates and solicited enough funds to pay for leaflets, online videos and his own entourage.
But one thing apparently slipped Schley's mind — registering his campaign and fundraising efforts with the Federal Election Commission.
Schley didn't register his campaign with the commission until June 15, just 11 days before the Democratic primary, and a day after insisting to DNAinfo.com New York that his campaign had filed all the necessary paperwork.
“We are very much registered with the FEC and in good standing,” Schley said June 14 when approached by DNAinfo.com New York about FEC records that showed no evidence of activity by his campaign since 2008.
The FEC finally received Schley’s “statement of candidacy,” a document that declares his intention to run, just before June 15 on Friday, a commission spokesman confirmed.
Campaigns are supposed to register with the commission within 15 days of logging $5,000 in campaign activity, which includes a combination of money raised through fundraising and money spent on expenses, including advertising, campaigning, paying staffers and renting office space, according to regulations.
Those who don’t comply are subject to fines that can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on how late they file and how much they’ve raised.
While Schley’s campaign would not disclose exactly how much it had raised or spent, Schley told DNAinfo.com New York he believed his campaign was past that threshold.
“Regarding funds raised, we enjoy a regular stream of contributions,” an unnamed campaign spokesperson wrote in an email, adding that the campaign had “moved into our office last month.”
“[O]ur campaign staff is growing, last week, we posted the first of three commercials, and our phone banking is working,” the official wrote.
Schley's campaign has also failed to reported its fundraising and spending activity, missing the latest filing deadline on June 14th.
Schley and other campaign staffers seemed unaware of the Thursday filing deadline, telling DNAinfo.com New York they intended to file his paperwork at the end of the month instead.
Schley referred additional questions to the campaign’s accountant, who did not respond to repeated requests for comment.