Bronx River Arts Center Gail Nathan Illegal Campaign Invite for Arroyo

Bronx River Art Center gets $25,000 in City Council funding in 2014 budget and Millions from the Arroyos and others for Capital Funding.

brac-logoBronx Nonprofit Emails About Fundraiser for Maria del Carmen Arroyo
Written by Nick Powell on June 18, 2013.

A Bronx nonprofit organization, the Bronx River Art Center, sent out an email on behalf of City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, inviting guests to a fundraiser for her re-election campaign and encouraging voters to cast their ballots for her this fall–which would be a clear violation of tax laws governing nonprofit organizations–though the head of the organization claims that the email was meant to be sent out as a private email, not on behalf of the art center.

City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo
The email invites voters to a private fundraiser for Arroyo and encourages voters to cast their ballot for her in the fall primary and general elections. It reads: “After the primary in September [Arroyo] will be up for re-election for a third term and we hope you will consider your options seriously when you go to the polls this fall.” Federal law explicitly states that 501(c)(3) organizations are prohibited from supporting political candidates.

Gail Nathan, the executive director for the Bronx River Art Center, said that the email was meant to be sent privately, without the Bronx River Art Center masthead.

“This is something that I, along with a couple of other arts professionals in the area, are doing privately, but I made a mistake and I used one of our standard format e-blast things and it had our BRAC letter head on it,” Nathan said. “This is a totally private thing, a couple of us our getting together and doing this personal thing and it has nothing to do with the arts center.”

Arroyo did not immediately respond for comment.

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