City of New Braunfels Denies Making Contributions to Comal Republicans
New Braunfels City Manager Robert Camareno today denied reports that the city paid $2,525 to the Comal County Republican Party.
The Federal Elections Commission on Oct. 22 reported that the city made two payments to the Republican party’s political action committee.
Camareno, who was asked about the payments today by former New Braunfels District 6 City Council Member Leah Garcia, said that information is inaccurate and blamed an accounting error by local Republican Party Treasurer Minnie Altum.
He said Altum incorrectly classified campaign expenditures for two events local Republicans hosted at the New Braunfels Civic/Convention Center as donations received from the City of New Braunfels (see graphic at the bottom of this story).
In two emails to Garcia, who served on city council from 2014-2020, Camareno said the city does not contribute to political candidates or parties.
The alleged donations were revealed on OpenSecrets.org, a watchdog group that tracks the influence of money on U.S. politics.
According to information the organization downloaded from the Federal Elections Commission on Oct. 22, the city paid Comal Republicans $2,055 on Aug. 19 and another $470 on Sept. 17.
Comal County Republican Party Chair Sue Piner said those amounts actually covered rent of the venue for two events, an Oct. 12 candidate forum and the Sept. 10 “Trey Gowdy Event.”
Garcia said she is satisfied with Camareno’s response but hopes he will have a “frank discussion” with Comal Republicans about the way the party files donations.
“Seems like an awkward mistake,” said Garcia, who describes herself as mainly a Democrat who votes both ways. “They know better and I am curious how that error was made.
“I know both Robert Camareno and the chief financial officer for the city, Jared Werner, to be very knowledgeable and thorough in all accounting practices and extremely transparent,” she said. “I hold both in high regard.”