Last week, Tim and Frank's campaign hit the skids.
The Peyton Place of the Occhipinti campaign went public and Tim's personal relationship with his Communications Director, Amanda Palasciano (AP), grew from a whisper to a full-fledged distraction. Add to that the dreadful Peyton Letter, presumably penned by Palasciano, which had some in the campaign defending her and blaming manager Jamie Cryan. According to sources, one of them was the scaly, truth-challenged political operative James Barracato. Barracato emerged to defend Palasciano, attack Cryan, and deny any knowledge of the campaign's plan to issue the Peyton Letter.
Oh really? Not according to a source who'd read Palasciano's email draft of the Peyton Letter prior to it's release.
Guess WHO was on the distribution? James Barracato.
Guess who wasn't? Frank Raia. (Does Frank have a computer?)
The dysfunction and feuding within the Occhipinti campaign seems to be far from over. A meeting called last Thursday was so contentious, sources say some were shouting at each other. One agenda item which sparked the outrage was the inequitable compensation of campaign staff.
GA has heard from multiple sources the problem lies with Occhipinti's demand for a $10,000 payment to his Communications Director for his 10-week campaign. Allegedly the agreement was to under-report the $1,000/ week payment on ELECs, and only show $250 of that amount. Why? To avoid questions about a disproportionately large payment to one campaign member? Allegedly the $10,000 total was approved by Raia, but when word got out to others being paid far less, well... all hell broke loose.
To boot, some say that Occhipinti had gone back to request more money, on top of the $10K.
Supposedly, Thursday's meeting resolved this matter, ending up with the $1,000/week down-sized to $250/week. But sources tell GA this 'agreement' was merely to pacify angry campaign members noting the $1,000/week will be paid.
All this is interesting, but raises serious questions for voters.
Occhipinti is asking us to put him in charge of the City's $100,000,000 budget. So what do we know about his competence as a financial manager? My first question would be:
Why is Occhipinti making large financial demands on his campaign?
GA believes the answer lies in poor-decision making with respect to his own finances.
In 2012, Occhipinti bought a $285K condo with his then-girlfriend. According to sources, she had paid the lion's share of the down-payment for the 1-bedroom because Tim had little savings. On or about September 1, 2013 she moved out. Due to her savings tied up in the condo, she was forced out of Hoboken to live in a cheaper city. Sources say Tim had agreed to procure a mortgage in order to refinance and buy out her share of the property . But within days of her leaving, (her personal belongings and valuables were still in the apartment), Ms. Palasciano moved in and Tim quit his job at Alliance Bernstein. Without his job and without savings, Tim cannot qualify for a mortgage, thus he is unable to buy out the co-owner's share of the condo.
What a DOOFUS!
Quitting his job "to campaign" while he had a legal and financial obligation to procure a mortgage and purchase co-owned property shows Occhipinti to be hapless and hopeless when it comes to management of finances.
Sources say as a result of quitting his job, the co-owner of the condo was driven to hire an attorney to enforce the sale of their apartment. GA agrees the sale of the condo is the only option for the jobless dunce. Sources say this is headed to court unless he does the honorable thing. Until then, Tim is a 'squatter' in co-owned property which he cannot buy because he quit his job, and living large with his 'roommate'.
And this guy thinks he can manage a City with a $100,000,000 budget?
What a MESS. Let's recap. A young man with little personal savings QUITS HIS JOB which means he cannot meet his financial and legal obligations with respect to buying out co-owned property. What does he do?
Takes on a roommate and demands his campaign pay her exorbitantly while other campaign workers are paid a fraction. Whether romantically 'involved' or not with his roommate is immaterial.
The issue for voters is Tim Occhipinti's maturity and judgment with respect to his legal and financial responsibilities; these attest to his fitness to be mayor.
Voters must ask:
Do you trust someone so reckless with his own finances to be mayor of Hoboken in charge of a $100,000,000 budget?
The questionable decisions Occhipinti has made with respect to his own finances should create deep, deep concerns for voters.
GA notes that Tim Occhipinti is tapping his 2013 mayoral campaign in same manner he tapped his 2015 municipal campaign account. Tim seems to show a pattern of using campaign funds to subsidize his expenses. Indeed, Occhipinti has drained his 2015 municipal campaign war chest 2 years in advance of his race.
|Frank's Gift to Hoboken|
For example, Tim's 'NO' vote on a cost-free hospital garage bond refinance.
That NO' vote cost Hoboken taxpayers $4.5 million dollars--- which came out of our budget surplus.
And his running mate, Frank Raia, is a businessman- how could he endorse this reckless disregard for taxpayer money? Neither Tim nor Frank seem to understand the City's need to maintain a minimum 10% surplus for such unanticipated emergencies like Hurricane Sandy or infrastructure repairs.
Voters must consider Occhipinti's financial management skills as well as his poor decision-making as a City Council legislator. Do voters believe he is ready to be Hoboken's Chief Executive?
What about Frank Raia?
Clearly, Raia endorses Tim's abysmal voting record on the City Council because he PICKED him for the top of his ticket. Remember, Raia is the one who foisted Tim upon us in the first place by his vote-farming operation in the 4th Ward.
GA urges you to RE-ELECT ZIMMER and vote for her AT-LARGE SLATE.