A Long Island Pole has bailed a billionaire couple on at least $50,000 of his college tuition in a hard-fought convention race.
Nassau County Legislature Josh Lafazan, a front-runner Democratic candidate in the Aug. 23 primary for the seat representing Long Island’s north shore, listed in recently filed financial information that billionaire Bryan Lawrence and his wife Elizabeth are a “creditor.” ‘ who provided him with a ‘student loan’ totaling between $50,001 and $100,000 in September 2020.
Under federal election law, Lafazan can accept such assistance because it predates the start of his congressional candidacy earlier this year.
However, voting experts say that limiting individual donations is certainly against the spirit of the law — or possibly worse — given records show Lafazan was wealthy enough to put $166,000 of his own money into his campaign coffers. They say he could easily have used the same money to pay off his student loans.
In addition to the loan, the Lawrences donated a total of $20,300 to Lafazan’s congressional campaign. Records also show that the campaign returned Bryan Lawrence $5,800 for exceeding the maximum amount allowed during the election cycle.
Jerry Goldfeder, a longtime campaign attorney, told The Post the loan could be “construed” by the Federal Election Commission as an “indirect payment” or “indirect transfer of funds” to Lafazan, allowing him to contribute cash to his campaign “not legally.” his own.”
“The FEC checks very carefully where a candidate’s money comes from when they make large donations or loans to their own campaign, because it must legitimately be their own money,” he said.
The FEC declined to comment.
The 28-year-old county assemblyman is also a consultant for Northwell Health and reported making more than $184,000 last year. According to his LinkedIn page, he has a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University.
Kim Devlin, an adviser to Lafazan’s campaign, defended the agreement with the Lawrences, saying, “The facts are that Josh was able to get a grad school loan from a friend, rather than a bank or school loan company. He disclosed it fully in his public financial disclosure, and it was a loan made long before he ran for Congress.”
Lafazan aspires to become one of the youngest members of Congress. He entered the race for the 3rd Circuit seat, which includes part of northeast Queens and northwest and central Nassau counties, after Democratic incumbent Tom Suozzi chose not to seek re-election and a failed campaign for governor to start.
As of June 30, records show that Lafazan had raised $1.53 million for the race — the most of any Democratic primary candidate. Other nominees include PR whiz and longtime Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman and Suffolk County Deputy Chairman Jon Kaiman.
Republican George Santos, a financier, will be the GOP nominee. He lost to Suozzi two years ago, but experts say the Republicans have a fighting chance of taking the seat this year without the incumbent running.
https://nypost.com/2022/08/06/josh-lafazan-had-billionaire-couple-cover-at-least-50k-of-college-payments/ Josh Lafazan had a billionaire couple take over at least $50,000 in college payments