Mittman surprised everyone when he came from seemingly out of nowhere to enter a Democratic Primary for the 6th Congressional District seat vacated by Gary Ackerman. He was going up against some political heavy hitters who also wanted the job, namely then-Assemblywoman Grace Meng (who would go on to win), then-Assemblyman Rory Lancman, and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.
The unassuming Bayside doctor never stood a chance.
But he tried. He didn't run the most media-savvy campaign – not unsurprising for a newbie making his first-time run for political office – but we saw him out and about in the district, handing out fliers at parades and meeting the voters of the district.
But politics is an ugly game, and it takes money to win; money that Mittman didn't necessarily have or couldn't raise because of his low name recognition.
Now some folks who worked on the campaign are charging that Mittman stiffed them on payment, and have filed complaints with the Federal Elections Commission.
One campaign worker claims he is still owed $300 for driving the “Mittman for Congress” RV throughout the district.
The other complaint that was filed is a little more serious, with another man claiming he is still owed $9,000 for work he did on videos used by the campaign.
Of course, as this point they are just complaints and there's no proof that Mittman did anything wrong, but even the most seasoned candidates with the best lawyers will often find themselves running afoul of confusing election finance and disclosure laws, so it's not surprising that Mittman, running for the first time and for national office, no less, would find himself in some financial hot water.
We here at Pol Position hate to be downers – you know we're all about the good times, people! - but let the case of Dr. Mittman be a lesson to all of you starry-eyed “Mr. Smith's” out there who want to hold public office just so you can “give back” to your community: make sure you hire a good election lawyer.