Did Dick Morris' endorsement cost a NY state candidate $5K?

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

According to records with the New York State Board of Elections, on April 21, the New York State Senate campaign of Greg Ball paid $5,000 to Fox News contributor "Dick Morris" for "fundr[aising]." One day later, Morris appeared at an event in support of Ball.

Last April, "gov_wire" on Room Eight - a New York state blog co-founded by Politico's Ben Smith - posted a Ball press release announcing Morris' appearance at an April 22 fundraising dinner, which served as the kick off event for Ball's campaign. The invitation stated: "Assemblyman Greg Ball will officially kick off his campaign for State Senate at a Special Dinner with Fox Television Correspondent [sic] Dick Morris."

The blog of New York television program Capital Tonight reported that Morris recorded a robocall inviting people "to join us at this special evening and dinner."

NCNLocal.com posted video of Morris speaking at the fundraiser, and interviewed Morris after his remarks. Morris told NCNLocal that the New York Senate "need[s] new leadership" and Ball "will really clean it up."

This isn't the first time Morris has received money for speaking at Republican events. According to Federal Election Commission records, in February, the Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania paid Fox News "political analyst" Dick Morris $10,000 for speaking at its 2010 Lincoln Day Dinner. The Alabama Republican Party also paid Morris $15,000 on June 23 for "Summer Dinner Speaker."

In a 2008 FEC form, the unsuccessful 2008 congressional campaign of Mark Zaccaria (R-RI) listed a $6,000 disbursement to Morris' Triangulation Strategies on October 2. The description of the disbursement read: "Partial Pymt - Dick Morris Fee for Event." Zaccaria held a September 2008 fundraiser with Morris. Morris also served as a paid consultant for Christy Mihos for Massachusetts Governor.

On September 25, the Politico's Alex Isenstadt noted in an article that Morris "has found ways to pad his bank account off the midterm elections."

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Dick Morris
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